Medium of the Art/ Technique of the Artist: When I first saw this artwork I was intrigued at what it could be. In all the time I have passed walking in and out of art museums I can honestly say I have never seen anything like this piece before. From a distance I thought it was a 3D representation of water because of the movement depicted by the flexibility of the piece. Curious by what this was meant to represent, I completely ignored the medium of the artwork until I got closer. At a first look I thought it was vintage gum wrappers sown together, however as my eyes scanned across the entire piece I noticed it was also made out of what seemed to be bottle caps. Known as Old Man's Cloth, El Anatsui uses flattened pieces of aluminum and copper to create his artworks. Knowing this it made me view the artwork in a completely different manner. I believe this work challenges what it means to be art. The aluminum and copper pieces are chosen by Anatsui near his home in Southern Nigeria. I find this inspiring in that he created something so beautiful out of something so miniscule. Besides inspired I also felt amazed knowing that what I was looking at was completely different from what I first assumed.
Design of the Museum: Walking through the Asian Art Wing was probably the most pleasurable experience I had. Aesthetically, it was designed in a way that made me remember it in ways other exhibits never did. I appreciated the way the artwork was laid out around the room no matter if the piece was a painting, sculpture, or picture. Unlike some of the other exhibits, the Asian Art Wing had its own area dedicated to each piece of art. This allowed viewers to appreciate the art in a better manner enabling them to focus on one piece at a time and truly appreciating the art. I think for many of us sometimes museums bombard us with art pieces and information that distracts us from really appreciating the art. This part of the museum is split up into four main galleries that cover art from South and Southeast Asian cultures. I related to this part of the museum because I got to see some of my culture on display and I do not get to see that often.
Art and Core Values: Growing up my culture has always been important to me especially since I come from two different backgrounds. My dad, from South India, has always instilled hindu traditions and values on to me so when I saw this sculpture of Ganesha I was immediately drawn to it. Within the religion Ganesh is known to be the lord of good fortune. He is the lord of new beginnings and the remover of obstacles both physically and mentally. This particular piece was titled dancing Ganesha, which is another reason why I was drawn to it. I have grown up with Indian dancing as a part of my life for longer than I can remember so this sculpture really spoke to me. The spear depicted in the sculpture is used by Ganesha to destroy the obstacles in his path. I believe conquering obstacles is important to growing as a person and to see this depicted in the sculpture really spoke to my values.
Art and the Good Life: I chose the Seated Buddha to represent the Good Life because it reminded me Siddhartha. To me, when we first read Siddhartha it was a prime example of an individual trying to find himself and his way to the Good life. The serenity of the sculpture reminded me of what I one day want to achieve in my life. Right now I am in a place where I am bombarded with schoolwork and everyday struggles and I would love to reach a place where I find peace and rest in the future. Buddha is a symbol of purity and enlightenment and I believe for one to achieve the good life it is important to live a genuine and pure life. The sculpture represents peace that you achieve only after you conquer hardships, and it is a peace worth waiting for.