I had a fun day today at a small museum I visited for the first time.
First time, because I was not too interested in this place until today… it is not that well-known (no critically acclaimed exhibitions that urges me to go see) and it is located in an affluent neighbourhood (makes me feel I have to dress up against my will). Well, shame on me for thinking this way!
It turned out to be a wonderful place to go. The building is beautiful, well-matched to the neighbourhood and worth re-visiting even without the exhibitions it holds. It has close ties with nearby schools and provides them with multitude of educational opportunities. (I saw a lot of children, a lot more than I have seen at other bigger and more well-known museums!) And because it gives equal or more focus on its younger audience, I found its way of presenting art to be quite gripping, intriguing, and thought-provoking.
The exhibition I went to today was a series of paintworks by a contemporary countryman artist (whom I have never heard of before… excuse me for my ignorance!), with a common theme of windows, flowers, and toys from around the world. With each painting were displayed his sketches of the flowers, the actual toys that make appearance in the painting, and his own words on the behind-the-scenes from inspiration to conceptualization and production.
You could compare with your own eyes each of the components that made up the painting, and see which ones, as whole or parts, made it to the final product, and whether or not they were portrayed exactly the way they exist. You could read into his thoughts behind his choices and start to see a certain pattern in his line of thinking. And after a few of these exercises, you could look at the components only and anticipate what the final product would be like… right or wrong, you were sure to have fun checking your answers!
Maybe in our daily lives, we see too often only the final products and make too swift judgments based solely on what is on the surface.
Maybe we arrive quickly at conclusions on whether we like them or not from their appearance, but not give enough thought on why we feel either way (or do not feel anything, sometimes).
Maybe it is not practical to ask “why?” all the time like a three-year-old.
Maybe you do not have the time to go through all of them to reach definitive answers, or you are afraid you will drive the people around you up the wall.
But maybe once in a while, it is good to get your three-year-old self out and ask “why?” until you are satisfied with the answer you get.
Because maybe that is how you find out something new about yourself and the world around you, and have fun while you are at it, just like a three-year-old.
What an exciting day of discoveries I had today! I had so much fun, I spent the entire afternoon at the museum going through only sixty or so sets of exhibits. Good to know the three-year-old in me is still as inquisitive as ever. (Though I sincerely hope I was not in the way of the younger audience and their precious educational opportunity…)
But I better get back to being my actual age – it is Sunday night and it would not be wise to hear the three-year-old in me ask “why?” endlessly to the reasons for going back to work tomorrow morning… nighty-night for now, but I hope you will not stay asleep in me forever!