During my experience at the Harn, I was exposed to a large variety of artwork. The following pieces are those that resonated most strongly with me, in adherence to the themes we were provided. Image above: Harn Asian Collection Main Room.
Medium of the Art / Technique of the Artist
The Ancestor Spirit Masquerade Costume stood out to me the most in terms of medium and technique, as well as cultural significance. The costume utilizes multiple layers of fabric and leather, cowrie shells and metal. These layers serve a symbolic purpose: they completely hide and transform the wearer, allowing him/her to truly embody the spirits of deceased family members who are honored through the Egungun ceremony. Seeing this piece in person allowed me to fully imagine the transformation "from human to spirit." To me, it conveyed a sense of honor and mystique.
Ancestor Spirit Masquerade Costume (Egungun) - 20th Century Nigeria
Design of the Museum
The Asian collection, hosted in a separate wing of the museum, had the most interesting and elaborate design. The wing made use of open space concepts, deliberate piece placement, and an enchanting garden (pictured below). The design of the wing, while heavily modernized, sought to reflect the culture of the pieces hosted within it. Journeying through the space allowed me to better connect with the collection and understand underlying themes within the works (e.g. balance, symmetry, minimalism). The picture on the Intro Page is also from this wing.