The Good Life Tour of the Harn by Caroline keefe

This piece is called "Filaments of Light" by Yvonne Jarquette. This piece caught my eye immediately, and before reading the description, I assumed it was drawn with pencil or done with paint. However, after reading the little blurb, my eyes immediately recognized the technique - wood cutting. Being able to see this piece up close let my eyes take in all the little details and nuances worked into the piece. Understand the technique also let me appreciate the work that had gone into the artwork, as cutting all those little windows and the moving cars out of wood probably took forever. I find it amazing that this artist started with a black piece of wood, and was able to create this fast paced, dynamic scene. I also appreciate how the technique of wood cutting gives this piece a sense of motion, and the viewer can feel the cars on the highway zooming pass the city buildings and off into the black abyss. This piece gave me a sense of excitement, the type of energy that you feel when you're standing in the middle of a big city and being able to physically feel the movement and vivacity around you.
Walking into this wing, I immediately felt a sense of calm. The natural light gleaming through the windows when you first enter boosted my mood, and felt very inviting. Besides the lighting, it was also very quiet, which is something I appreciate about all museums. Being able to ponder the meanings of different artworks is best done in complete silence (or low whispers) and it's just something that's very soothing.
Besides the natural lighting, I also appreciated the subtle purple lighting towards the ceiling. While I don't fully understand the symbolism of the color choice, it still thought it was a nice contrast with the rest of the wing, which was mostly monotone. I also really enjoyed the seating options they had. Being able to sit down and fully take in your surroundings is quite nice, and also gives one the ability to view the artwork from a different perspective. At the coffee table surrounded by the chairs, they also had more interesting books on art (that relates to the exhibition) so one could look further into artwork on the topic being exhibited. In this case, the exhibition focused on women artist's and feminism, and the coffee table books were compilations of more artwork by women, which I looked at for a good twenty minutes before moving on to other wings.
This was probably my favorite painting in the entire exhibit. Growing up in a large Asian city for 18 years, this particular piece struck a chord of desire mixed with nostalgia for me. While this painting is "set" in Tokyo, it really reminded me of the city that I grew up in, Shanghai. Since moving from Shanghai in June, the only thing I've wanted to do is move back. Seeing this painting and taking in the neon colors and how they reflect off the cars and buses, reminded me of the nights spent walking around the city of Shanghai and taking in all the bright signs, loud noises, and weird sounds. Moving from a city of 25 million people to a "city" of 127,000, it's been tough to adjust. Looking at this painting, however, made me feel happy and reminded me of all the fun memories I was able to make while living there. It also made me appreciate the privilege I had to experience the beauty of Asia (and the big cities within it) up close and in person, and being able to create this personal connection with the art piece.
This piece of work was called "I Am Not a Persian Carpet." The artists focus for this piece was to show how women, in both the western and eastern culture, are often seen as "commodities." This simple image holds a lot of hardship and toil that every woman in history (though some worse than others) have dealt with. Using the pattern of a Persian carpet focuses the viewer on how women in portrayed in the Middle East. By exposing her body, and idea shunned by many groups in the Middle East, simultaneously showing that women are real people but also objectifying herself by only showing her stomach, rather than her entire body. This idea of stereotyping has been around for centuries, but now women have more ability to speak out about it and educate others about their struggles. This piece, and all of the artwork in the exhibition, show that women aren't merely pretty things to look at, but they're people, with dreams and aspirations, and sad moments and happy moments, and everything in between. This applies to really every stereotype made about anyone, whether it's about their gender, race, or sexual orientation, we are all people with different lives and stories, and we shouldn't be cut down to one aspect of ourselves. We all have different layers and every piece of us should be celebrated.
Created By
Caroline Keefe

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