Of Light and Man

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A Girl Asleep 1657

 

I remember being drawn to Vermeer‘s painting because of the intriguing light effect he produced. I would stare at the painting for a long time, trying to trace the light back to its source. Not long ago did I realize that we are not separate from light. When we close our eyes, light seems to disappear. But the truth is, there is nothing but light and darkness is our imagination. There is no shadow, no darkness, and all is light.

 

Mexican Culture in a Diamond

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The Museo Diego Rivera Anahuacalli (Anahuacalli Museum) is located in Coyoacán, in the south of Mexico City. The museum was conceived by Mexican painter and muralist Diego Rivera. Diego was motivated by his own interest in Mexican culture and collected about 60,000 pre-Hispanic pieces during his life. This museum, which houses Rivera’s collection, was completed after his death by architects Juan O’Gorman and Heriberto Pagelson, and Rivera’s daughter, Ruth. The building shapes like a pyramid and is made of volcanic stone, and it is an artwork by itself. The museum collection features almost every indigenous civilization in the history of Mexico. To me, the building looks like a diamond. Well, it may not seem transparent, but it is.

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Philadelphia – City of Murals

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The Philadelphia Mural Arts Program turned Philadelphia into an outdoor gallery, with murals everywhere. Art saves people and places they live in.

The “Mural Mile” is easily accessible from the greyhound station. I spent less than $20 on transportation from New York City, and enjoyed a fantastic museum trip with free admission!

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Big Fat Cat

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This fat cat is the work of Colombian artist Fernando Botero(1932-)It used to stand in front of a building in Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

Recently I passed by the same spot, but the cat is gone and replaced by a different sculpture. Then I noticed how the image of the cat is still vivid in my memory, and I feel warm just remembering how it looked.

There are many sculptures on the sidewalks of New York City. Some are abstract, some are realistic, some are funny, and some are serious. They all tell us to slow down, stop and breathe.

World of Buttons

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This shop in Upper East Side of Manhattan is like a museum of buttons. You can find any kind of button here.

Our world is full of buttons big and small. We find them on clothes, purses, duvet covers, and even on some shoes.

Perhaps buttons are too widespread and abundant, so even though we rely on them all the time, we rarely pay attention to them. Only when we have lost them do we find them extremely important. Pants become loose, purses don’t close tight, duvet covers don’t hold together any more…then we realize that somewhere there is a small button supporting our lives.

The production of buttons is very interesting. There is a whole array of raw material and designs. Buttons are wonderful to look at. The details on them reflect the lifestyles and values of those times in which they were born in.

When the society is obsessed with the idea that “bigger is better,” some people still work on the small things, care, collect, and appreciate them.

The most miraculous is present in the most ordinary. We are fascinated by the ordinary because we are all part of the miracle that is life on earth.

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A Piece of Berlin Wall in New York City

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There is a piece of Berlin Wall on 53rd Street between Madison and Fifth Avenue of Manhattan.

 

The wall is 12 feet tall, 20 feet wide, and consists of five panels. From 1961 to 1989, it sat on the border of East and West Berlin, watching the madness of people at play.

 

In 1990, this piece of wall reincarnated into a mural at one corner of New York City’s busy streets. Many people walked by without noticing it. The employees in the buildings nearby sometimes sit beside it to have lunch, and the tourists looking for the “big spots” almost never stop here.

                                                              

So the wall watches on, perhaps singing “oh when will they ever learn” to itself. The mini park next to the wall is a perfect place for meditation. Sit still, and you’ll discover something, or about the benefit of nothing.