essay 2 - Pao-Yuan Tso Sec: 104 10/13/2008 Aizen My...

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Pao-Yuan Tso Sec: 104 10/13/2008 Aizen Myōō Sculpture: the Missing Pieces of Digital Interpretation A wooden sculpture of Aizen Myōō, the God of love and lust, sits on a platform displayed behind a thin sheet of glass in the museum . Originally painted red but now fading into a dull, pastel shade, the Radiant King’s body shows noticeable signs of erosion and peeling . On the other hand, the digital image, viewed from Tokyo National Museum’s online catalogue, of another Aizen Myōō wooden sculpture appears truly aesthetic . The body of the figure is dark red and black, carrying ornate, flamboyant jewellery . Moreover, its vivid colors, highly wrought details, and contrasting background, which include paintings of many other esoteric deities, effectively captivate viewer’s attention . Despite the online image’s pleasantness to the eye, it has many limitations, in terms of its background and overall impact towards spectators . Even though the general image and shape of Aizen Myōō are similarly depicted by the museum and the internet, the overall viewing experience of the statue in the museum is very different from that of the website . Being present in front of the actual sculpture gives very extraordinary and memorable impressions and perspectives toward Aizen Myōō . The atmosphere in which art is presented influences viewers’ process of observation tremendously . Being dimmed and modified to a warm, orange tone, the museum’s lighting
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emits not only an ambience of secrecy and eeriness, but also a sense of divinity . Because the sculpture is surrounded by many statues of other deities, it felt as though it were actually present inside a candlelit temple . And the Gods, without a doubt, seemed to have come to life. Under the luminous, florescent light, on the contrary, the other Buddhist statue is minimized and fit onto a fifteen inch computer screen as a small digital image . Viewing the electronic image of Aizen Myōō in a modern setting, containing electronics like iPods and printers, seemed absurd
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This note was uploaded on 02/19/2009 for the course HISTORY 35 taught by Professor Levine,g during the Fall '08 term at University of California, Berkeley.

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essay 2 - Pao-Yuan Tso Sec: 104 10/13/2008 Aizen My...

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