Design of the Asian Collection
The museum beautifully portrays Asian culture in an incredible manner. Walking into the Asian collection of the Harn Museum instantly greets visitors with a welcoming, open feeling. The inclusion of the vast expanse of windows opens the room and highlights the garden. The garden feels secluded and showcases the beauty of nature. The soothing stream flowing through the garden reminds one of the natural flow of the world. The hardwood floors and pillars hint at traditional Asian architecture.
These two pieces located in the Asian collection were incredibly striking because of the artists' meticulous attention to detail. The jade piece is remarkable because it was entirely formed from one larger piece, making the free-moving rings difficult to carve. The tall sculpture has an incredible linear flow starting from the base. Thousands of speckles are carefully aligned in direct paths, and the otherwise chaotic piece is given a sense of order. This can be related to life, in which a seemingly simple thing is composed of thousands of tiny pieces but each has their place and their path.
El Encuentro is a sorrowful piece that portrays a sad reality from the past. The painting shows four bleeding women with their hands in the air to protect themselves from the white-clothed characters in the back. It can be seen that these women are struggling to fight back against the oppressive background characters. One can feel for these women as they are clearly being mistreated and are incapable of defending themselves.
The Value of Art
This is one of the masks located in the African collection, and masks have, throughout history, been used to conceal one's identity for one reason or another. In this instance, the mask models features of the typical state of happiness, like raised eyebrows, wide grin, and is seemingly laughing. The mask was intended to be worn by the chief of a people. One can interpret that the mask was used in celebrations and portrayed an excessively happy leader. No matter the situation, happiness was always necessary and important. Even if the tribe had lost a member or was suffering, it was important to keep a positive internal attitude. A mask like this made it easy to project that attitude, even in difficult times.