Taking a museum day was something that I think many more professors should implement. Not only was this a fun experience, but it was also a relaxing one in the midst of finals and assignments. Getting out of a dorm and getting lost in artwork is always something I've loved to do, ever since I was young. This time, I took the time to read the descriptions beside each piece of artwork that caught my attention, in an effort to learn about some meaning behind it. I was pleasantly surprised by some.
Medium of the Art/ Technique of the Artist
The artwork I was in the Harn came in various forms and mediums. From marble and bronze sculptures, to oil paintings, to sculptures made of cloth, the pieces were very unique and interesting. This particular piece was a sculpture of a seated Bodhisattva. This Bodhisattva, or Buddha-to-be, was sculpted from wood and coated with gold, polychrome, and lacquer to keep it looking freshly coated. Seeing it in this 3D case allowed me to walk around it and see the tiny details that went into it, such as small strokes where the lacquer was applied. Seeing this on a laptop or as a picture, wouldn't have done it justice, as it was very regal and spiritual, especially in person. The description taught me about the Bodhisattva, and connected me to the spiritual meaning behind this sculpture. What I found most striking about this medium is how it is made of wood. I initially thought it was sculpted in some sort of marble or stone and then painted upon, but I was then informed by Staff that one of the reasons it is so closed off and sheltered, is because of the wood. This sculpture communicated a feeling of peace to me, seeing the Bodhisattva meditate. I felt spiritually connected and appreciative of the religion and practices, even though I do not practice them, myself. This piece made me feel peaceful, calm, and tranquil, as I suppose it meant to do. It was also very nice to see it as a huge part of a major religion and spiritual belief system and made me appreciate it even more. Below are some more pictures of artwork in different mediums that really inspired me.
Design of the Museum
This wing, I found particularly interesting. It wasn't your typical museum wing, with the white, marble floors, walls, and ceilings. It had polished, wooden floors and trims. It safely kept artwork in matching wooden shelves and and used bright studio lights, which I thought was most unique from the many museums I have visited before. I found it so appealing, because it was so different, yet so fresh and clean. Instead of cold and "dead" marble flooring, the wooden panels gave a sense of warmth and liveliness to the room, which I thought brought out the artwork. This design and use of the space gave me an overall more warm, personalized, and happy feeling. The wooden floors made me feel at home, personally, and gave a more welcoming feeling to the room. The artwork sitting in the wooden shelves gave them a sense of belonging, rather than just sitting on display on a white stone case. The colors and mediums accentuated the artwork and complemented it very nicely. Another exhibit I really liked, is down below. I think this one gave another unique sense, as the plants and cobblestone made it seem more "alive" and natural.
Art and Core Values
This piece speaks to one of my core values, very strongly. One of my core values was personal growth, and while many people might not look at this piece of artwork and think it speaks about "personal growth", I do. I read the description and it was made by Roberto Matta and was surrounded by the inner workings of one's subconscious. He would take natural items found in nature and incorporate them in his art. This piece is an "inscape" or a landscape of the mind. At first I was drawn to how abstract it is. Then I read the description and the reason why I associate this piece with personal growth is because the way I see personal growth, is that it is a winding path full of twists and turns. You might find yourself, and then lose yourself, over and over again. It might be a messy process to find out who you truly are and to fully grow, much like this piece. Also, I believe inner growth starts with your mindset and the fact that this piece is a mind's landscape, really helps solidify my opinion and comparison of this piece! The emotions I get from this picture are confusion, chaos, and beauty. While life may get messy and chaotic, there is always beauty in it if you know where to look and have the right eye for it, much like with this picture. Thinking about how this picture relates to my core value brings me to my final conclusion. This picture is messy, full of chaos, and pretty undistinguishable. But it catches your attention and brings you to ponder what it is about and instills feeling. Observing one messy line will lead to one clear-cut line and so forth. This is very relatable to human life, as each life is a mystery and an abstract thought, unless you are the one living that life. Each one is unique and each story is different, much like each line and design in this piece. Once you accept that and continue your search for "more", you will start to get a sense of a whole or find something you didn't know was there, if I am explaining myself sufficiently.
Art and The Good Life
I especially enjoyed the feminism/sexism/racism wing. It was probably my favorite and probably the most relevant in the time we are in right now. This picture above is probably my most favorite, but I will add more below this description. Racism and sexism can be manipulated in art forms to gain attention and awareness or expression. A lot of artwork can be described as sexist, with one argument being how so many sculptures are of more men than women. With these topics so relevant today, I think this wing was very important. It can relate to the theme of Fighting for the Good Life, as many different groups of people have fought, and are still fighting for, equality and a chance at having what they consider a "good life". I think that with racism, sexism, and xenophobia, progression in a positive form, is held back and we need to be accepting, tolerable, and respectful of all people, races, cultures, and genders. This starts with social media and the arts, as they get the most attention and since they are the easiest outlet of spreading this love, not fear and hate. The pictures I will add below this also strongly support my claim, and I believe a fight for rights is necessary, even through the arts. This display inspired me and made me very happy, as I'm sure it has with other people. This made me realize that all hope is not lost and that positive and encouraging words are out there, continuing to inspire us to fight adversity and fight injustices in order to create a fair chance at attaining what each one of us considers the "good life".