The Chinese Terracotta Experience
Visiting the museum has always been a captivating experience as it allows you to discover new things and appreciate the vast and rich culture a particular society has. BY allowing oneself to become part of the displays, it can lead to enjoyment an approval. At the same time, it also allows you to create a particular connection between particular pieces and transfer the significance of the moment which makes us understand the complexity and simplicity associated with it.
Upon entry into the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, my eyes were fascinated in the complexity and diversity of sculptures, paintings and illustrations that depict the ability of the place to transcend to the different needs of visitors. After walking through several galleries and appreciating the beauty of each work by different societies, my eyes were focused on a particular sculpture that can be distinguished to be Asian. It is then by careful attention that I came to realize that what I was looking is a sculpture of the Chinese terracotta warrior.
Looking at the history of the mentioned piece, the creation of this sculpture dates back during the Qin Dynasty under the rule of Shihuangdi. Hirst argues that “Shihuangdi represents the emperor’s ability to control the resources of the newly unified China, and his attempt to recreate and maintain that empire in the afterlife” (p.1). Though he brought greatness and achievement to China during his reign, he lived a short life. However, it was in here that he left his legacy to the Chinese people; to the world. Hirst mentions that “a remarkable testament to his control of the countryside and its resources was constructed: a semi-subterranean mausoleum complex and an army of 7,000 life-size sculpted clay terracotta soldiers, chariots, and horses” (p.1). This is what history and art refers to as the Chinese Terracotta Warriors.
I chose this particular piece of art because I was interested in the reason why it was created. At first, I had little knowledge about the work other than it came from the oriental. However, upon further examination and reading of its history, I began to admire the beauty of such work. It opened my eyes to the complexity and richness that never would have happened if I did not allow myself to be educated and undergo a process of appreciation.
Though the terracotta warrior were one of the works I came to understand better during my visit, I regard it as the most meaningful compared to others. This is because it is in here that I allowed myself to become open the most. I spent effort reading its history and how the grandeur and excellence of one’s leader is memorialized with this massive work of art. In the end, it is my curiosity and ability to understand better the scenarios surrounding history that made me engage in a wonderful experience in the museum.
Hirst, K. Kris. Emperor Qin’s Terracotta Army. 2009 accessed 5 May 2009 from