"A Day Spent at the Harn is a Day Well Spent!" by: Hasin Sharma

Close up picture of White Closed-Form Vessel by Toshiko Takaezu

Medium/Technique of the Artist

One artwork that I saw in the Harn that struck me was the "White Closed-Form Vessel" by Toshiko Takaezu in the 1990s. The stoneware used symbolizes the strength of her secrets, and hence the amount of effort that the artist puts in in order to keep it away from her audience. She does not want the audience to find out her messages, yet wants to display that she is reflective and doesn't keep anything in from the audience. This is supported by the color of the stoneware, white, which represents simplicity and purity. Despite the fact that her secrets cannot be uncovered until the vessel is broken, she points out that everything about her is there in essence, but not everything can easily be uncovered unless one goes through certain means to do so. This medium and technique that the artist used was what gave the work a meaning; otherwise, the work would not mean anything to me. Given this, I felt that I could relate to this work; likewise of the artist, I find myself to reflect a lot, but unless someone wanted to find out what I reflected about, or if I wanted to tell someone, I would keep my reflections to myself. From it, I learned that sometimes it's okay to keep to yourself, as long as you consider your information as valuable. After looking at the artwork, I felt like the artist with her secrets: reflective, yet empowered.

Design of the museum

The Asian art wing of the Harn was what appealed to me the most. What I enjoyed most about this wing was the attention to detail. Almost all of the forms were square and geometric, which contributes to an overall sense of order. This is significant in relation to Asian Art because the Asian culture often focused on order, and would often use geometric forms to display this idea. I also enjoy the arrangement of the art; it was arranged in a way that made the overall space feel bigger to walk around. My favorite feature about this wing, however, was the ceiling. I was unable to get a good picture of it, but the material used for the ceiling was the same for the walls and floor, which I enjoyed. I think that this style choice would be most successful in terms of Asian aesthetics in their artwork, as they looked for a sense of unity and the idea of "one" (this is definitely the case in terms of Buddhist art). And in terms of material as well, the material helps convey a zen, organic mood for viewers who visit the wing. The outside porch of the Asian wing was the most entertaining part to explore; I thought that the outside porch was one of the best visual demonstrations of the relationship of art in terms of actual nature and art in terms of its man-made nature. Overall, I enjoyed the attention to detail that this wing had, the atmosphere that such attention to detail created (the use of wood for the walls and ceiling), and the arrangement of the wing to display the artworks. I felt relaxed while going through this wing, which is something that I do not tend to feel when I look at museum wings.

Art and Core Values

This was an artwork in the Latin American wing of the Harn, and it was of three sisters. This appealed to one of my core values, family, because at first glance, I thought of my sisters at home. Given that I have not spent much time with them before I left for college, I realized that I should have done so, as I did not think that I would miss spending time with them, despite the fact that they are related to me and that it would not be difficult to spend as much time with them as I did before. With that being said, I realised that I had more to value about my family than I had valued in the past. The work helped me understand that my family is a significant part of my life, and that I should do as much as I can to keep in contact with them, i.e. come home more often or call/videochat my family. Upon looking at this artwork, I felt sorry for the people in the photograph, as they have experienced poverty and hunger; however, I have experienced this when I was younger, although I did not feel like I experienced it, as my parents would provide me with almost everything that I wanted or needed, despite whether or not those things were crucial for me to have. Although that resembles my family situation now, I know to be grateful for what my family has done for me and that I want to stay close to them despite events that could affect my family structure, or even peace of mind.

Art and the Good Life

**I was not able to get permission from the security to take a picture of myself with the work, so I did my best to get a picture of the work on my cell phone.

Frida at ABC Hospital (1950)

The artwork that I found significant in relation to the Good Life was this photograph by Juan Guzman (Frida At ABC Hospital). This work relates most to the theme of "Embodying [the good life]." The first thing that I thought of when I looked at this piece, with respect to the Good Life, was Kevin Connolly. I thought of Connolly because likewise of Kahlo, Connolly had a physical condition that could have easily hindered him from achieving his good life and positively impacting his society. Although Kahlo was worse off than Connolly physically and would have less chance of achieving her "Good Life", Kahlo's resilience allowed her to discover her passion, which ultimately became her Good Life: painting. This work contributes to my appreciation of the theme, and helped teach me a lesson: despite what limitations that I may encounter, I can still pursue what I am passionate about, and hence "embody", and thus enhance my good life.

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