Tomomi, TANAKA. Black Flame. 2015, stoneware, Harn Museum, Florida. Personal Photo by Brandy. January 26, 2017.
The art piece shown above can easily be mistaken as a simple sculpture of a women standing with her head down, but after experiencing it in the museum it becomes clear that there is a much greater significance. When you look closely at the woman you become aware that she does not have the desired body of a woman during the time period that this sculpture was created. This sculpture when looked at closely depicts a women as being a strong medium shaped women with thick legs and a slightly bulging stomach. It is also noticeable after looking at her face, which is faced down, that the artist took the time to show the fear of the women through her intricately sculpted facial features and distorted face. The artist's ability to sculpt the woman's figure with such delicate, yet strong features is perhaps the most striking part of the piece. He is able to get the precise size and proportionality of the women without making it obvious that she is not an ordinarily sized woman for her time period. The amount of detail put into her distorted face capitalizes on what I believe to be the message of the sculpture. The message that I received from the sculpture is that women who did not have the desired look of a small waist with unproportioned bosoms were shamed. The women is showcased as standing to show that she is stationary but will eventually go into motion. This motion is the fight to go against social norms during the time period. This piece of art made me feel empowered. This feeling stems from my relationship to the piece because in modern times I do not fit the desired figure of a women. There is a distinct connection between the sculpture and modern day standards that can be looked over if it is not experienced in person.
The exhibit dedicated to Asian cultures was appealing to me because of the spacing, the arrangement of the different cultures, and the nature aspect that was included. The amount of open space in this exhibit allowed the tourist to have a holistic view of the exhibit. There were two large pieces in the center of the room and other small pieces of art displayed along the walls. This made the exhibit seem more organized and easier to tour. The arrangement of the different cultures was extremely helpful. The different countries in Asia were isolated from each other including a separate room dedicated to Korea, giving a clear distinction between what pieces represented what cultures. Perhaps the most appealing part of the exhibit was the garden connected to the museum to emphasize the importance of nature in the different cultures. I enjoyed this part of the exhibit because it was very different from the other exhibits and enhanced the already tranquil feeling associated with the exhibit. Combining all three elements, the exhibit left me with a tranquil and satisfying feeling that carried on as I continued to explore the different cultures presented.
This sculpture appeals to two of my core values which are wisdom and freedom. The sculpture shows a headless and armless body sitting in a somewhat robotic manner. The lack of a head on the sculpture appeals to my core value of wisdom because it shows that without knowledge you will remain stationary and not have control of your actions or be aware of what is going on around you. A headless body means that a person lack the capacity to think for themselves and therefore need others to think for them. By allowing other to control you, you are giving up your freedom. Not having the knowledge to know when to sit down and stand up and when to fight (shown by the lack of arms) or submit is relinquishing your right to freedom. The added element of not including arms on the body made me explore my core values even further. Not having arms makes it hard to do daily tasks and work to improve oneself. I never thought about freedom in the sense that when your mind is being controlled, your ability to work and accomplish things is also compromised. Taking away the arms shows that without knowledge, work is impossible. This piece gives validity to my core values, as well as highlights components that I had not encountered before. This piece of art makes me somewhat angry and sad because it makes me realize that people may not know when their wisdom and freedoms are being compromised simply because of their inability to obtain knowledge.