The Art of Place
“Place” is essentially everything around you
“Place” has got to be one of the most important variables in a person’s life. Living in a poor area can negatively affect people, or make them motivated to pursue better. These struggles of life could also be present in the art that is produced. Location affects how an artist creates their pieces and also allows viewers to see what kind of influences surround the artist. These potentially refer to urban areas, graffitied sidewalks, or people in general. Culture cohesively parallels with “place” because geographically art forms and styles are more common or unique around the world. These variables allow artists to separate themselves from others because they portray culture, place, and struggles differently and no two pieces are alike.
Born February 1st, 1962 in Tokyo, Japan, Takashi Murakami has become quite an icon. Murakami has put forth only a handful of ideas regarding “place” but they add up to one main concept; Bright calmness. The piece “ Yoshiko and the creatures from Planet 66” expresses a dinosaur-like creature with 6 adjacent creatures that vary in attitude. All of Murakami’s pieces offer bright, cynical, and odd strokes, but even with all the chaos they are calm and portray the world in a somewhat happy light. “Flowers with Smiley Faces” is a mural full of smiling flowers. This has become a staple in his art and bring a little joy in every piece they appear. As mentioned earlier, he has only released a few pieces regarding some type of place, but the ones that are available are calm and serene, even with all the drama that is apparent. These ideas parallel with our country because it is not all flowers and roses, but rather beautiful, interesting chaos. Furthermore, Tommy Fung, a Hong Kong artist, portrays place in a more literal approach. Through the use of photography, his art is realistic with some exaggeration in every piece. His art is posted to Instagram (link:https://www.instagram.com/surrealhk/) and has a variety of pieces addressing coronavirus. None of his pieces are entitled, so I will provide the timestamp if you wish to view the pieces I discuss. On February 22nd, Fung posted with the caption “For your safety, stay away from the Hong Kong police!” an image of four Hong Kong police officers. However, the image was altered to have an image of bacteria (or possibly, coronavirus) covering their face. Furthermore, the piece reflects police brutality and how “toxic” police officers can be. This also reflects our current climate since police officers have become hostile and the head enemy of the “Black Lives Matter” movement. Another piece, posted on February 2nd, portrays a mountain of civilians reaching up to grab a facemask. Coronavirus has become quite the pandemic over the past eight months, and many people began to scramble and hog resources at the start of quarantine. This left many civilians without water, food, and other items that are essential. In this piece, however, the essential item would be a face mask. Fung’s posts portray the world in its current climate but his art is primarily sad. The proper term would be satirical. To add on, Sociologist Karl Marx helped with the realization of the power gap. This “gap” divided the powerless and powerful and allowed business owners to exploit workers. Through reasoning, he also acknowledges how a system of stratification, the bias of law, and unequal distribution of resources affected the powerless. Marx also addressed culture through class and how conflict would lead to social change. These are important ideas and concepts because of the current date, they are still prevalent like the gender wage gap, black lives matter, and unions protecting the rights of workers. Max Weber, another sociologist, also refined Marx’s ideas, but Marx originated the ideas which have shaped our current economy.
I don’t believe there is a way to properly adapt shool into the climate of coronavirus. It is physically possible, but online schooling is beneficial to all. There are zero risks of catching coronavirus if students remain in online schooling for the time, which would not be the case if physical classes were taking place. In addition, dorms are non-beneficial to both the school and students since students are kept captive in their dorm room, and irresponsible scholars could possibly throw parties with the potential to contaminate countless others. In addition, civilians who work have had to adjust to the circumstances of our climate. These include wearing a face mask for the duration of their shift, working from home, or being laid off completely. However, essential workers like nurses to fast-food workers and anything in between should be compensated with higher pay since they are in fact working during a pandemic. They are quite literally, risking their lives to serve others. I also believe libraries will be extinct within the next 5 years. This is mostly due to “Gen Z” not utilizing or visiting them. Baby Boomers may have had to “work hard” to find credible sources without the internet, but the internet is such a beautiful, special, quick utility that we should use to our benefit. This does not mean “believe everything the internet says,” it simply means we should use every tool at our disposal, with caution of course.
Conclusively, I expect things to remain the same for the end of this year and the beginning of next year. We have been used to wearing masks everywhere and this virus doesn’t seem to be leaving anytime, so I will continue to attend online courses. I will also be residing in my home for the rest of the year. Some friend gatherings may take place but I have limited the party to about 5 people. By 2024, I expect to be a Nurse working at Kaiser Permanente. I’m sure a cure for Coronavirus will arise throughout those four years, so I am excited to see where the Nursing path takes me.