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Moving from the symbolism of daily used artefacts to symbolism of paintings andsculptures is the Asian regions, the museum covers the cultural aspects of the IndianRajputs, Asian Sculptures of Gods and Devils, and the era of woodblock painting rivalrybetween Utagawa Kuniyoshi and Utagawa Kunisada. The difference in the style of Indianand Japanese paintings fascinated me a lot. The Indian Rajputs would carefully selecttheir paper, and would primarily use the colours black, white and red repetitively to createthe effect of a burnish paper which would also create a dense and shiny surface. The4 “Traditional African Masks.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 25 Sept. 2017, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traditional_African_masks. Paragraph 114
inspiration of these paintings come from the artist’s inner emotions such as shock, fear,awe, wonder or delight. A common trait within these would be that the paintings showonly one side of the human body (Right side for females and left side for males) wherethey try to make the women beautiful and shy. These would have slight imperfectionswhich establishes the credibility of the artist. The painting would depict a story or animportant event within a single picture such as a victory over a rival nation or thedeparture of the king for a war. The Japanese wood block paintings on the other handwould involve the painting being drawn on a washi5which is then faced upside down andstuck onto a wooden plank with glue. An incision is then made to carefully cut out theoutlines of the paintings. For an artist to be able to make a print a painting, they wouldhave to ink the wooden plank with the suitable colours and press it onto paper specificallymade from bamboo leaves. This paper would most like look like a scroll rather than anordinary piece of paper. A unique trait about these kinds of paintings is that theimperfections which are seen in the Indian Rajput paintings and not evident in these. Thequality of the paint looks fresh with shading done at various parts with a crisp look as if itwere printed right out of a computer. The inspiration of these paintings would mainlycome from events such as a war or a dangerous voyage where the artists would drawmythological creatures and monsters. Another difference which is seen is that theJapanese painting characters would be portrayed to be roaming with a sword at all pointof time as if they were ready for any kind of secret attack, however the Indian paintingsof King, Queen, Prince and Princess would not involve any kind of weapon visible to theaudience. As a visitor moves on from the first floor to the second floor of the museum, there is ashift between the time period of the artefacts. The previous set of artefacts looked5Japanese Paper15
relatively older than the one presented on the second floor. Another thing which I noticedwas that the Greek paintings were made by the same artists which was also the case in 9Indian paintings also, however, the American paintings were made by different artists.