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The Wang Center Museum Report

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Updated: May 5th, 2020

Description of the Museum

The Wang Center is a museum located at Stony Brook University in Long Island. It is an Asian cultural center dedicated to the exhibition of Asian arts and cultural artifacts. The center was built in 2002 using donations made to the university by Mr. Charles Wang. The two spaces where art exhibitions are normally held include the Jasmine and Skylight galleries. The design of the center is such that it unifies interior design elements with the outdoor environment creating unique exhibition spaces.

Rooms Visited

It was in the Skylight Gallery that the contemporary Korean artworks were displayed during the March 2015 Korean History Exhibition at the Wang Center. The gallery is located on the first floor of the building. It has an elevated roof providing enough display space and allowing for the manipulation of the room’s lighting. We also visited the Jasmine Gallery located on the second floor for more traditional Korean artworks.

General Description of the Viewed Art

Among the exceptional contemporary Asian artworks, we viewed during the exhibition was Umbilical Cord, 1996. It is one of the famous works by the Korean contemporary artist Eusook Lee. The artwork is an installation work made from enmeshed threads, fibers, electric florescent pellets, and evocative messages.

Considering the unique design of the artwork, viewing it from the Skylight Gallery required excellent regulation of the gallery’s lighting. It features an artificial sound that resembles a heartbeat. The sound creates an aura of fetal energy emanating from a symbolic womb.

Analysis of the Artwork

The artwork is an ingenious depiction of certain themes such as trauma, family separation, and personal healing. It is through the analysis of the artistic elements such as texture, space, line, color, and subject matter that these themes can be perceived. Viewed from the light-regulated environment, the polyester film strips reflect the light from the neon strips creating a sense of visual texture. The involved messages complement the artwork by providing a background on the depicted themes making Umbilical Cord a multi-media artwork.

The artwork enables the economical use of space as it is three dimensional, allowing its viewers to observe it from various perspectives. The neon strips allow for experimentation with different colors making the work superbly colorful. The Umbilical Cord provokes a powerful meditation on life, especially to those who can identify with the themes presented in the artwork.

Information on the Artist

Eusook Lee is an Asian-American contemporary artist based in the US. Her father was a Korean immigrant to the US. As a result, she is one of the numerous indirect victims of the unfortunate events in Korean history.

Her works, therefore, reflect the experiences of the many Koreans in Diaspora. The experiences of her father in Korea and her stay in Germany during the times of the Berlin Wall inspired the themes in her artworks, such as Waiting Souls, 1994, and Umbilical Cord, 1996.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "The Wang Center Museum." May 5, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-wang-center-museum/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'The Wang Center Museum'. 5 May.

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