After listening to the experiences of the pass-outs of my course during the Seminar, I was very keen to put my post of Asian Civilization Museum, Singapore. Lot of people don’t know that I completed my foundation in Visual studies in Lasalle College of the Arts, Singapore then I applied in Nottingham Trent University and got accepted for the B.A (Hons) Fashion Communication and Promotion course! Throughout my foundation year, I had many field projects and one of them was to Asian Civilization Museum for my artifacts research, I came across many and new interesting facts, since the name is Asian Civilization Museum, it’s but obvious it will be related to Asian continent!
Since it is a historical museum, all the artifacts here have some value and essence of that era which cannot be explained! I had focused on the religious aspect of history, while doing the research in the museum we had to analyze each and every aspect of the religious artifacts, many questions came to my mind during the research time. My research object was a SANDSTONE FIGURE OF BUDDHA PROTECTED BY NAGA MUCHALINDA (11TH – 12TH CENTURY).
Stone images were placed at the centre of Khmer temples to worship, in this image Naga Muchalinda, king of mythical serpents, shelters Buddha from the floods. Buddha’s serene expressions and features- long earlobes and tight hair curls with the protuberance are symbolic of his enlightenment. This is just the basic information which was provided to me by the guide there. after this I was articulating the information given and many question came up! ARE RELIGIOUS ARTIFACTS FORM OF ART?
The answer is yes! yes they are form of an art. At that time these stone structures had value for people, so during that period it was considered as an art. But seeing people today, they just perceive it as a historical artifact and overlook its value. If seen properly then we observe line work on stone and intricate work on hair of Buddha, then it is an form of art which is being overlooked by us due the reason that it is religious piece of stone. People accept this a a religious figure but fails to notice it is art due the same reason.
I still remember this visit as it was first field project I’ve ever done, it helped me to open up to articulating the things which we see as artists and designers and take inspiration from each and every thing which we come across in museum or exhibition or maybe daily life!!