Metropolitan Museum of Art By Hannah Lipskar

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My Experience:

For my living color experience, I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I focused mainly on the exhibits in the Astor Court and Garden. This experience was very exciting and educational for me because the exhibit did not plainly give examples of the two religions that we focused on this year. The Astor Court and the the Astor Garden both featured different religions. The garden portrayed the values of Daoism and the study portrayed a more Confucian ideal.

Connections to Ancient China and Daoism/Confucianism:

Li and Rectification of Names: This experience related to Li because the study showed order and a place for everything. There was no awkward positioning of any object. Everything fit very exactly into place such as it should due to rectification of names. Though rectification of names is meant only for humans and animals, I believed that this connection was fitting for the situation.

Dao and Junzi: The Confucian room had a very main theme of Dao and Junzi. Education is very important in the Confucian religion. In the study, there are many books and areas to study and to learn. Devoting time to studying is extremely important in order to become a Junzi in Confucian culture. Meritocracy is also very important in Confucian culture because of concepts such as the Civil Servace Exams. I have implied that because the study room is not extremely fancy, it is another way to show that through studies come riches and power.

This is a wardobe found in the Confucian study.

My Photo Stream

Uncarved Block: Many of the rock sculptures found in the Astor Garden were very rugged and unorganized. They gave the impression of being uncarved. The fact that they were uncarved gave the sculptures more depth and made it more ascetically pleasing and easier to understand. Many other elements of the garden seemed untouched and natural which is valued in Daoism.

Connection to Nature: The garden consisted mostly of plants and natural elements. The moon viewing terrace that was found in the garden is used to let garden owners sit and relax while watching their plants grow. It is a calmness and a belief that everything will work out smoothly that dominate the belief system of Daoism.

Wu Wei: This connects to Wu Wei because it is a very calm and restful garden. Nothing is forced or man made. Everything has been made because people waited. A pond is featured in the corner of the garden. Water is a symbol of Wu Wei because it is influential enough to erode a gigantic rock, but free flowing and it is not forceful.

The flowing pond that resembles Wu Wei

My Photo Stream

Yin Yang: I believe that Yin Yang is the main theme of my whole project. The balance between Confucianism and Daoism is not only showed in the museum exhibit, it is shown in China. The differences of the two religions compliment one another so that ultimately, eternal harmony can be reached in China as well as in other areas. I have gathered from our studies that balance is the only way to really achieve total harmony. Acceptance of one another and balancing our differences is the true answer to all that we have been learning about in class.

Glossary:

  • Junzi: An exemplar who exhibits the virtues, knows his social roles, performs the rituals, and otherwise traverses the Way Heaven.
  • Rectification of Names: The Confucian doctrine that to know and use the proper designations of things in the web of relationships that creates meaning, a community, and then behaving accordingly so as to ensure social harmony is The Good.
  • Li: Etiquette, custom, ceremony, courtesy, civility, propriety, and order.
  • Dao: Education; figuring out the way through education. Practice, practice, practice.
  • Wu Wei: The method of following the Dao is called Wu Wei. This can be translated as uncontrived action or natural non-intervention.
  • Yin Yang: The principle of natural and complementary forces, patterns and things that depend on one another and do not make sense on their own.
  • Uncarved Block: Metaphor for the simple natural state of humanity.

Credits:

Created with images by hannibal1107 - "Outside the Metropolitan Museum of Art"

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