A Tour of The Harn (Image courtesy of Visitgainesville.com)

Medium of the Art / Technique of the Artist

Me next to the "Seated Buddha"

When I first saw the "Seated Buddha" of the Gandhara region, I first did not think much of it. I only looked at it for its general structure, and paid no attention to detail. However, after further inspection, I gained an appreciation for it. By seeing the intricate details of its robes and head, and by learning about the history it represented, I better understood the work. It was created within the Gandhara region, which was connected by trade routes to western Asia from the Mediterranean. This region combined elements borrowed from many different cultures. For example, Classical Greek and Roman influences are evident in the face and robes in the sculpture. This was very striking to me, as I couldn't appreciate that detail if I did not see the culture in person. The sculpture communicated a peaceful feeling to me. The hand (that is broken off in the figure) would have originally held up an outward facing palm, representing a hand gesture known as "mudra," or reassurance. As an engineer, I do not have much time for relaxation. However, when I saw this piece, I became motivated to take more time off and rest my mind, as the Buddha seems to be doing.

Design of the Museum

Me enjoying the design of the Harn.

Ever since I first walked into the museum, I was left agog from the beauty of the design of the building. When entering the Asian Wing, I first noticed the wooden structure of the floors and ceilings. I also appreciated the natural light flooding in from the garden outside. With the view of the garden and Koi pond, I felt more connected to Asian culture and could appreciate the art more. The arrangement of the art was also very balanced, as it was a mix of natural works modern works, and even contemporary works. I am from Satellite Beach Florida, a small beach town. The open space and view of nature made me feel very at home in a way, as I could sit back, relax, and just enjoy life, as I do when I am at home.

Art and Core Values

Me next to "Road Worker" by Diego Rivera

People look at art differently. Each work speaks to each viewer in its own, unique way. To me, "Road Worker" by Diego Rivera spoke volumes to me. The piece was initially inspired by Rivera's desire to illustrate the daily life of the lower class, hard working Mexican. To me, it spoke to me by representing the daily struggles I face with life. It encompasses the hours I spend in the library studying Calculus or Physics, or the hours I spend at the gym trying to improve my physical body. It represents one of my core values of hard work. The man in "Road Worker" does not have an easy life. He spends everyday working on the road, a physically demanding job. He does what he has to to feed himself and family. It makes me feel emotional in the sense that it reminds me of my sacrifices I make in life when I need to work. It helps me better understand that hard work is very important in life, as Rivera felt that it was important himself, as he has chosen to illustrate it.

Art and the Good Life

Me and "The Swimming Gator" by Hiram Williams

"The Swimming Gator" by Hiram Williams makes me think about my Good Life. The first thing I think of when I view this piece is The University of Florida and its infamous mascot. It makes me reflect on where I currently am, and what I am currently doing in life. It embodies the theme of "Seeking The Good Life," as I am currently a college student learning about what I want to do in the future. Just as the gator in the painting is swimming, most likely looking for food, I am also swimming through life, trying to find my passions and motivations. It communicates this theme by reminding me of why I am at this school, and why I am a Florida Gator. It helps me appreciate the theme of "Seeking the Good Life" as I know that as a Florida Gator, I will make it out of the Swamp alive, thriving in my new life after I graduate.

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