Yesterday, I finally had the opportunity to experience the Remaking Tradition: Modern Art of Japan Exhibition at The Cleveland Museum of Art. I have been meaning to go for quite some time. It sounded like an awesome exhibit from the commercial that they have been running on TV. They were right.
The exhibit includes works from the collection of the world-famous Tokyo National Museum.
One of the first things that I see is what I like to call an informative wall talking about how the United States docked a naval fleet at Uraga harbor in 1853. The U.S. asked that Japan open up at least some of its ports to trade with them. Other countries had tried to convince Japan of the same before and after the US arrived. Japan slowly began to open its ports to Western goods and influences. Much of the art was the result of this open door.
Everything from paintings to drawings on golden seal paper to sculptures to weavings encompass this exhibition. I believe that Japan had great ideas and art before they opened to the West. However, I believe that other influences made what was already great even better. This is a lesson that we can also take to everyday life. You are already a smart person and a good person. However, being open to new ideas and people can make you an even smarter and better person. Sometimes, the experiences are awesome. Other times, they suck eggs. Either way, you learn a lot; and your horizons have been expanded.