East Asia Since 1800
USCI/NCTA Spring 2012 Seminar
27 March 2012
Make- Up Assignment
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
I had the privilege of visiting LACMA on April 3, 2012. I mistakenly thought we had class that night, and remembered only when I had driven the 40 miles that we indeed, did not have class that night. So, being a productive individual (and a mom with a free night out on the town) I decided to use my time to make up for the class session I had missed the previous week due to my school site’s Open House.
I must admit, I thought that I wasn’t going to find any “Asian” art, but to my surprise, the LACMA had entire buildings dedicated to art from Japan, China, Korea, Tibet, etc. According to the information in the museum, Chinese art was “one of the earliest areas collected by LACMA; the selection here reflects the museum’s collecting history.” I meandered through the museum, unsure of what I was supposed to be looking for. I saw more renditions of the Buddha that I thought were humanly possible and the pottery was exquisite. In between the buildings containing the “Asian” art, I saw my artifacts from Europe and Eastern Europe, including paintings depicting various religious figures, and felt ashamed that I hadn’t been to church in a while.
What I cam to realize was that I was making connections with the art that I definitely would not have made prior to taking this seminar. I saw various interpretations of the Bodhisattva, which Dr. Dube referenced in his second lecture. These particular pieces were from Sri Lanka, but were similar to the one in the lecture due to the metalwork detail. The copper artifacts were breathtaking; the detail was so intricate and it is baffling that they were made over 800 years ago. Another piece that stuck with me was the satin tapestry called “Badge of the Third Civil Rank with Peacock” made in China during the late 19th century during the Qing Dynasty. I remember we talked about the ranking system of officials, specifically dealing with their salary, dress, and social status. This “examination period” was successful because they were accommodating, and dealt with ethnic, cultural, and political issues with poise. This depiction was so beautiful; it was designed for a third rank official. I have to remind myself of how different our government is designed; we lack attention to detail and the cultural infusion that existed in China during this time. The colors and focus on the peacock in the center is striking; I struggle to imagine what the first ranking official’s emblem might look like.
I am proud of myself for using my time after realizing that class was not meeting, but I am more proud of how much I’ve internalized the information that I listened to in class. I was hesitant to take this course because I didn’t know how useful it would be. However, already I have broadened my knowledge of U.S./China relations and have used the debate structure that we practiced in class during our discussion of totalitarian government while reading Animal Farm. I am grateful for this opportunity and look forward to adding more to my repertoire as a professional.
edited by efowler on 5/8/2012
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Make Up for session 6 - March 27, 2012