Dancing Dali

September 29, 2014 § Leave a comment

One of the great things about Surrealists is their multimedia-style. In addition to Dali, take Svankmajer and his movie on dreams. I think these videos expand their expression to a different dimension.

I really love this particular film by Dali and Disney. These are both the greatest artists and the music, the dance, and of course the animation are just gorgeous. Finding new face to an artist is always exciting (though in research just complicating).

Manet.

September 5, 2014 § Leave a comment

Edouard Manet, Peonies in a Vase, 1864

Berthe Morisot, Peonies, 1869

Eva Gonzales, Peonies and a June Bug, 1871

Art reveals a lot without words.

Thoughts on Contemporary Art

August 27, 2014 § Leave a comment

My opinion on contemporary art has changed significantly since the the time started studying art history. Contemporary art was what brought me into the world of art, but when I started studying classic art, I just could not accept contemporary art anymore.
Now, it feels different. I look at contemporary art and I enjoy contemplating on it. 

In my opinion, the purpose of contemporary art is to provoke thinking. Contemporary art is hard to understand. What does it represent and what does it tell? Though people seem to accept it the way it is.

Maybe it’s cool to like contemporary art. But I think that people are becoming more independent in the modern society. People earn information on their own; be it from books or from the internet. Any kind of information has become more and more accessible and people in the same region could have very different opinions. Contemporary art brings people together by inspiring questions, then making them want to talk about it. Contemporary art, thus, brings communication.

This is what I mean when I say: “I think art is a great conversation starter.”

Danaes

August 26, 2014 § Leave a comment

by Gustav Klimt

by Egon Shiele

Klimt was one of my first crushes of Western art. I instantly fell in love with the Kiss. Strongly influenced by Japanese gold screens, his use of flat surface and lavish gold leaves powerful impression. Naturally, I read a little on Klimt and met Danae. It was just one of his many lush painting, until I saw Danae by Egon Shiele. I had a chance to see it in person at Philadelphia Museum of Art last summer(2013), next to a Klimt painting (not Danae, though). I thought at first, it was another Danae by Klimt, but Shiele’s is influenced by Klimt’s — Klimt’s is a year or so earlier.

The representation of bodies on both paintings are flat, but has some sense of soft flesh that makes them sexually attractive. The facial expressions and the fingers too evoke sensual feelings. 

Long Live Curiosity

August 25, 2014 § Leave a comment

Prints of Edvard Munch

August 25, 2014 § Leave a comment

I have been slacking off after arduous writing assignments, so I’m back on blogging.

So, Munch. Lately, I often come across his painting and prints on the internet, and it turned on my curiosity. To me, Munch was just Scream. That was the one and only Munch to me. But his prints are very interesting.

Check this out: Edvard Munch: Symbolism in Print, MoMA collections.

According to the website, this exhibition was at the North Carolina Museum of Art with the collection at the MoMA. Munch’s art can sometimes be too showy about emotions, as in Scream, but his prints are a bit more subtle but still obviously expressive. It may sound supercilious, but to me, Munch’s art is soul-less. It’s not about agony and suffering. It’s more about hopeless and helpless surrender to life.

But how beautiful surrender can be. When you drop everything and throw your hopes out, the empty world is suddenly beautiful in its own way. That’s how I feel when I see Munch’s art: depression isn’t all that bad.

Museo Del Greco

August 3, 2014 § Leave a comment

I love museums as much as I love art. I love museums as architecture and also as a home for art. How cool is it that everything about and surrounding the great art is housed in beautiful architecture? I am no specialist on architecture (not that I am a specialist on anything though), but the competitions and history of museum architectures are really interesting.

I have never visited this museum, or have I known about it for a long time. This was just a random find on the internet.

I was looking for some art to write about on this blog, There are many paintings and sculptures etc that I want to write about but I wasn’t feeling it. I was looking at El Greco and found this magazine blog post. (Dezeen. Looks like a really cool magazine!)
This is Museo Del Greco.

The Mysterious World of Buddhist Sculptures: 2

July 31, 2014 § Leave a comment

Pensive Bodhisattva

So, the second in the series of Buddhist sculptures is this: Pensive Bosatsu (Bodhisattva) in Chugu-ji Temple. Pensive Bosatsu, I believe, is of Korean origin. The Metropolitan Museum has a Korean Pensive Bodhisattva in the collection.

This sculpture is the one that got me curious about Buddhist sculptures. This guy (a Bodhisattva), has his one leg upon the other, tapping his chin with his fingers. “Pensive,” is it really? Anyone would sit like this.
Even from the title, this sculpture would remind many people of Le Penseur by Rodin, a sculpture made in the modern, secular society (I think?). This sculpture, however, is far from the struggling man that is Le Penseur. This image, somehow, feels so close to our feelings.

Pensive Bosatsu looks thoughtful, but quite calm and relaxed, unconcerned. A posture that anyone would sit alike, and a facial expression that seems like remembering some good memory. Still, the lean upper body and the black, one color statue brings peace in people’s mind. I think. I love that this sculpture seems so familiar to us, and yet there is something beyond human that this sculpture emanates.

Looking forward to seeing this sculpture someday.

The Mysterious World of Buddhist Sculptures: 1

July 30, 2014 § Leave a comment

Miroku Bosatsu in Daigoji

Being a Japanese art history student, I had the hardest time appreciating Buddhist sculptures. In the first place, they all look the same; gold, serious face and postures. And, it’s about religion. The complicated Buddhism, with many sects and different teachings. Even worse, the first teacher on Buddhist sculpture was a creepy old man who got excited – as in almost sexually excited – by some sculptures.

So why am I writing about one (Two. The second one is coming soon.)? I think I understand the beauty in it.

This sculpture, Miroku Bosatsu, or Maitreya Bodhisattva in Daigo-ji Temple, Japan, is by far one of my most favorite Buddhist sculpture.
This is very gorgeous and decorous sculpture, made in the late 12th century. Many accessories, the back panel (apparently called halo in English), the lotus flower it’s sitting on, are so detailed, reflecting light from any angles. What’s most unique about this sculpture is that it is painted with gold clay, rather than gold leaf, making it look matte, and giving the calm and quiet feel to it.

I don’t know much about Buddhism or Maitreya Bodhisattva (though I studied about it), but it’s so delicate and balanced. I think I can see why people would want this as spiritual and peaceful image.

Marbles

July 28, 2014 § Leave a comment

Three Graces @Victoria and Albert Museum

Apollo and Daphne

Related to the last post, I might as well write about marble sculptures. I love it when a marble sculpture is kept clean and looks purely white.

Sculptures were difficult for me to appreciate when I first started studying art history. Like many art history students, I started studying art with Greek and Roman sculptures. But I found it hard to say that I like a sculpture just by looking at a photography. I still do.

Now, though, as I am looking at these pictures of sculptures, I feel that I see it rather differently. The lighting of the photography, especially, shows the 3D-ness of the sculptures that is absent in paintings. Apollo and Daphne’s details!

I wonder if these sculptures were meant to be touched sometimes. The smooth surfaces of marble sculptures are so touchable..