Medium of the Art/Technique of the Artist: This mysterious mask was created in Burkina Faso and is called keduneh (Face mask). It was manufactured by the Winiama people in the 20th century. This object is crafted out of wood as well as Earth colors, making the mask look as though it even contains come sort of metal or brass in it. What really interested me about this was how scary and wild the mask looks. Just looking at it through a picture, one can't see just how intimidating the face mask really is. However, seeing the mask in person immediately drew me to it out of curiosity. To me, the mask looks like a piranha, as there are menacing, sharp teeth carved into the mouth as well as bulging eyes, showcasing that the person wearing this creation is always watching you. This view that I had before even reading the description of the artwork helped me understand it much more. The mask is actually designed to be a wilderness spirit, which has two main roles. It takes the form of animals is used to harm or just scare enemies and it blesses women with fertility. The first purpose of the mask matches my assumptions based on the scary look. It is used to claim territory and fight off any other nearby tribes. After reading the description, I was even more intrigued that the wood structure had something to do with fertility. It clicked in my head after reading, as a chief of his tribe was always two things: stern and ready to battle anybody who stands in his tribes way as well as gentle with females, especially small children. If I lived in this time period in Burkina Faso, I would have been terrified if I came across this mask. The predator look of the mask would have painted a picture of the man wearing it as a relentless savage.
Design of the Museum: The part of the museum that I chose was the Asian Art Wing. What fascinated me most about this section of the museum was the set up. When you walk in, the department is really well designed and the use of space in the room is pretty much perfect. Immediately to the left, there are ceramics, including old plates and other stone and glass crafts that describe a very old time in Asian culture. Women made these objects as they were only allowed to be house moms, who cooked, cleaned, and served as a wife and mother. Then the center of the room has two giant creations, which still to this day confuse me. I don't really know what they are, but the designs are pretty intriguing. To the right, there were many different masks and paintings that symbolized the Asian culture as well. The masks, similar to my last picture, related to groups of people and the various groups they were associated with. Finally, in the back left there was a separate room that led to an area filled with religious crafts. This was my favorite room in the whole exhibit, as I was really interested in all the Buddha paintings and sculptures. It was really cool to see all the different interpretations of the Buddha as well as various' descriptions of how the Buddha has an impact on each peoples society and their culture. Some people discovered the Buddha to be more of a liberator who has plenty of knowledge to tell his disciples while some people viewed him as a figure that inspires tradition and sacrifice. Even though the exhibit was foreign (It was the Asian art wing after all), I felt very welcomed to learn about Eastern cultures. This feeling attracted me so much and resulted in this being my favorite wing of the whole museum.
Art and Core Values: This work of art is called Uma-Mahesvara, and was crafted in India around the 10th century. The carving is made entirely out of sandstone, and portrays the Hindu god Shiva and his companion, Uma. In the artwork, they are embracing each other, surrounded by other characters in the background. To me, this image instantly reminded me of family, connectedness and love. Everybody in the visual is happy together, symbolizing togetherness. Coming from a healthy, exuberant family, I understand the importance of having people that love and support you in every way, shape and form. The ability to wake up and have such a great support system everyday of my childhood really crafted me into the man I am today. I am extremely fortunate to have such loving parents and two younger sister who look up to me and love spending time with me. The themes of connectedness and love relate directly to this, as having this family has allowed me to blossomed a UF student. In this artwork, the characters around Shiva and Uma represent followers and supporters of the god, who cherish him and believe in him. They seem to all be connected through their support of Shiva, showing that he was a leader that successfully made people happy and synchronized. This piece of art really made me look back more closely at my life and made me refocus on the impact my family has had on me. I now know to make sure to cherish my family every second of every day. . I was very lucky to have been born where I was, and I can't even ignore one thing my family has done for me up to this point.
Art and the Good Life: This picture is called Going to the Fair, and was crafted by Helen Hyde in 1910. The artwork really grabbed my attention because it tells a unique story that relates to themes regarding the connection between the youthful and the elderly. The purpose of the creation is to tell a tale of young and old folk traveling alongside a road. The rest of the description is more open to interpretation, but I thought there was a very clear underlying theme in all of it. The passing of knowledge and wisdom from the old to the young is a common theme in the good life as well in this picture. The many different, unique experiences in a older man's life turn into advice and life lessons for younger children who have much to learn. The picture really connected to my life, as I am close with my grandpa who has plenty of life experiences and adventures to share with me. After viewing this piece I really came to appreciate this theme more. The fact that the elderly figures in the picture are carrying the children along a road signifies even more so the importance of this connection. One day, the older folk will pass on the torch to their kin, and then the children will have to become adults and experience life for themselves. The only knowledge in the world they will have to carry with them are the teachings of others along the way, typically from more experienced, older people. The fact that this concept will never go away is another reason I became so interested in it. No matter what the world changes into, there will always be more developed and experienced individuals who need to pass on their wisdom to the younger citizens of the world.