Tierra’s Met Adventures

I recently got to paint the streets of New York City red as I explored the city on foot (and by Uber) last week. One of my last stops was the Metropolitan Museum of Art at Fifth Avenue, which is honestly my dream location in terms of where I would like to work in America after I am done with my education. I have a particular interest in East Asian art—which is a tad difficult to find in the museums around the Charlotte area—so I spent the entire visit scouring the temporary collections on Japanese, Chinese, and Korean art. I have sorted through all of the pictures I took at the museum for my favourite piece from each exhibition to share with you all!

1. The Kneeling Archer

First on my list is the Kneeling Archer from the exhibition on Chinese art titled Age of Empires: Chinese Art of the Qin and Han Dynasties (221 B.C.–A.D. 220). The exhibition features over 160 pieces of ancient Chinese art from 32 institutions across the People’s Republic of China. I chose the Kneeling Archer, because he was my favourite of the Terracotta Warriors on display. The Terracotta Warriors are a massive army of soldiers sculpted from terracotta that are still in the process of being unearthed from the tomb of the first Qin emperor. The Warriors are thought to be a replica of the army that actually served him while he was alive. I have always been fascinated with the terracotta army, so seeing some of them in person was almost overwhelming. Age of Empires: Chinese Art of the Qin and Han Dynasties (221 B.C.–A.D. 220) will be on display until mid-July.

2. Portrait of a Scholar by Chae Yongsin (aka Seokji)

The second piece on my list is from the Splendors of Korean Art exhibition. The exhibition features a chronological collection of the framework to Korean art. The collection features pieces from the National Museum of Korea and the Met’s own collection. Portrait of a Scholar is a painting of an unidentified man on a silk hanging scroll. Although his identity does not survive, his clothing indicates that he must have been a scholar, hence the name of the work. I chose Portrait of a Scholar as my favourite work from this exhibition, because I love the contrast between rich colour and negative space. The scholar’s face is also wonderfully done; it looks like he is actually alive and staring back at you! Splendors of Korean Art will be on display until mid-September.

3. Jizō Bosatsu by Intan

Jizō Bosatsu by Intan is the final piece on my list. The sculpture is part of the Celebrating the Arts of Japan exhibition. The exhibition features pieces from the collection of Mary Griggs Burke, who over the span of 50 years amassed the largest private collection of Japanese art outside of Japan. Jizō Bosatsu is bodhisattva who has reached Enlightenment and chosen to stay on earth to help teach others. In Japan he is known for protecting children and saving people from hell. According to the Met, it is one of two surviving sculptures baring the name of the artist Intan. Jizō Bosatsu was my favourite piece in the collection, because the delicateness in which Intan carved the wood struck me more than any feature of the other pieces in the collection. The exhibition will be on display until mid-May.

Be sure to visit the Met’s official website for more information on individual objects and the exhibitions as a whole!

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About the Author

Tierra Holmes is a rising senior studying Art History and History at UNCC. When she isn’t chained to her computer working on research projects, she enjoys marathoning Korean dramas and spending money she doesn’t have. After graduation, she hopes to curate a museum or gallery and possibly guest-star on Mysteries at the Museum.
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