Medium of the Art / Technique of the Artist: There were many artwork pieces that especially peaked my interest, however a piece by Yvonne Jacquette stood out the most to me. This piece was called “Tokyo Street with Pachinko Parlor the second,” and it was created in 1985. Seeing this oil on canvas in person was mesmerizing, the colors were a mixture of vibrant and dark. This piece had a sign painted at the top of it and these colors glowed off it and onto the road and cars below. For me, the whole thing seemed beautiful and it really came together as a whole. The image gives the perspective from above, so you can clearly see all the buses and vehicles and you know why they are colored that specific way, it flows naturally and to me it truly represents the bustle of the city. Seeing this piece in person helped me to appreciate the work and what it represents more. If I had simply seen this artwork online, it would have looked slightly intriguing, but I don’t think that all the elements of it would have truly came together and connected. There is a massive difference between viewing something online and seeing it in person. In person, you can clearly depict the details and decipher every line and color. Although, online I feel as though it is much less meaningful and more difficult to understand its beauty and true representation. The thing that I found most striking about this piece was the color contrast. It shows the lights and the brightness of the city, but it also represents the streets and shows the darkness in them. I feel that this represents the good and bad side of every city and it is easy to identify with. It also communicated how busy the city life is and how it reflects on and effects the normal city-goers. No matter how exciting the life seems, there is still many people that must work day in and day out, and they cannot enjoy what is supposed to be the fun life of Tokyo, or of any major city. I felt personally connected to this piece because of what I feel that it represents. It shows the exciting city of Tokyo; however, most people are just passing it by, stuck working their lives away. I felt personally connected to this piece since coming to college because most of my time has been spent working or doing projects for school, so I also feel that a lot of opportunities have passed me by in these past few months. So, seeing this painting brought some of my deeper feelings out and I felt emotionally and physically connected to it.
Design of the Museum: The David A. Cofrin Asian Art Wing was the most appealing wing of the museum in my opinion. I really enjoyed this art wing because it had a very open floor plan and in some of the other ones I felt as though everything was quite close together and compact. There are a select few items showcased in cases and I think that each of their locations are strategically placed so that it looks very clean and professional. If you walked through the wing and past the doors, there is another open space which features a beautiful garden by the back. I enjoyed this aspect because it was a good way to breathe and clear your head before diving back into the art. It was also extremely illuminated throughout, so no shadows negatively effected the artwork. This exhibit made me feel calm and peaceful, I felt as though I was in a safe space where I could truly express my inner thoughts and feelings about the artwork. Due to the lighting and how spaced out everything was, I felt comfortable viewing all of the pieces and I did not feel pressured to follow any specific pattern while at this wing, it felt as though I could view the pieces at my own leisure.
Art and Core Values: The art piece “Tiergarten, Berlin, July 1” by Rineke Dijkstra strikes closely to many of the emotions that I have felt and experienced in my life. This is one of Dijkstra’s photographs in a collection that show adolescents while they are establishing their identity and who they want to be as people. The artwork that evoked certain emotions in me is of a young girl that chose how she wanted to pose for the camera. However, her self-conscious struggle is clear and she appears uncomfortable as she tries to act “natural” or “normal.” I believe that this picture showcases the negative side of one of my core values. I truly believe and strive to be the best person that I can be without caring or concerning myself with what others think of me. I strive to live and stay true to this value, however today that has become increasingly difficult. This picture shows how even at a young age we struggle to fit in and “stay within the crowd” so that we do not look weird, and so that we may avoid harassment. This artwork shows true vulnerability and makes it clear how early of an age you can start to feel judged at. The girl in this photo tried to pick the pose that would make her look the most “normal.” She did not want to stand out and was afraid what people would think of her if she made the wrong decision on how to present herself. This helps me to better appreciate my core value because it makes me remember and realize how hard it is to stop caring what others think and I remember how early of an age these sad thoughts can begin. I look back at myself and my life when I was the age of this adolescent girl in the photo and I recall how I only cared about what people thought of me. However, now I can look at myself in college and see how far I have come and how much less I concern myself with the opinions of others on how I present myself. Naturally I still care slightly, but I can see how I have changed and improved over the years and it is a healthy comparison. This art piece brought out many past emotions of pain, jealousy, and hurt in me. I delved back into my past as I looked straight on at this artwork and it pained me to see another girl experience what I once did. Viewing this art piece has helped me to better understand what I believe and cherish. I believe that to achieve the “good life” and for one to be happy and healthy, that they must not concern themselves with the negative opinions of others. Also, being the leader of your own life and taking control is so important and I now can cherish the fact of how I have improved as a leader and I am proud of myself for that. After examining this art work, I now know how important it is to continue striving to be the best person that I can be, and never diverting back to that past and painful life.
Art and the Good Life: The artwork “Sheep Wranglers” by Justine Kurland conveys the good life, and it has the theme of how one attains the good life. This is one of the themes that we discuss often in class because we have talked about ways that negatively impact one’s journey to everlasting peace. One cannot attain the good life or “enlightenment” when they are stressed, over-working, or being judged for who they are. Therefore, this work truly evokes this theme and the good life because it portrays a group of young women in a pasture, they are free from worry, pain, judgement, and they can just be happy and carefree. They aren’t poisoned by technology, politics, or anything from the outside world, they are living a simple life and enjoying what their environment has to offer them and what they can offer in return. They are living in a peaceful state of nature and admiring it, rather than taking everything, including nature for granted. The women in this artwork have almost a child-like aura about them, living in a peaceful state. This piece adds to my understanding of the good life and the theme of how one attains the good life because it showcases such a healthy and positive way to live. Sometimes I am too wrapped up in school, my phone, or my problems, and this artwork has helped me to learn to step back and look at the bigger picture ahead. This piece has helped me to appreciate nature more and I have a newfound admiration for the environment around me.