Perceive to Find Meaning

Normally, to see is to be able to use the sense of sight. To see is to be able to have a visual representation—something that is visible to the naked eye. However, there is more to seeing than just the mere “seeing”. Beyond that, to see is to be able to understand the underlying story behind something. To see is to know the purpose. To see is to be able to find meaning.

As I entered the museum, I saw a room that is not pretty much filled with numerous bizarre artworks I expected it to look like. The whole place embodied a minimalist kind of setting. It was very spacious. I honestly got disappointed for a while knowing how usual museums look like. Despite not meeting my expectations, I still pushed through and started looking around.

I was wrong.

The museum offered a different take on “museums”. It focused more on giving a special meaning or realization more than the sake of just displaying something nice. It was composed not only of artworks but also video documentaries, interactive videos and as well as computer activities. Everything was interesting in their own way. The whole experience was worth the appreciation, realization and learning.

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All the artworks, I tell you, looked very nice and were crafted very well. Luckily, I was not only limited to the visual representation of the artworks themselves. The “mentor” in the museum told my friend and I the meanings per artwork, the symbols shown and why are they crafted that way. After knowing the stories behind those artworks, I was able to see. Seeing in a way beyond expected—that I was able to perceive not only the artworks themselves but also the meaning and stories behind it.

Few from the displays in the museum are photos of survivors from the nuclear bomb in Japan, an interactive program about fear, a layout and a 3-D format of how someone interpreted his fear, videos about survivors of Undoy and Sendong, how people’s lives are still the same through the decades, hypnotism and a whole lot more. Every artwork is unique but has somehow fallen into a certain category – dystopia now, that in the current things happening, I have come to realize that we are really, really, really far from achieving Utopia.

The three artworks that look like a Xerox copy of a building are made out of newspapers—newspapers that contain news about Thailand. Thanks to the “mentor”, I was able to perceive that the three are not really different from one another, it’s just a picture of a building viewed as a whole or viewed zoomed in or viewed from a single part only. I honestly did not notice that at first. The artwork showed the life of Thailand and how they depend too much on Europe, that if Europe falls down, they will too. This kind of setting is very much evident in the Philippines too and how we are to the United States.

It’s amazing how these artworks were able to give meaning aside from just the building itself. Through the simple building, it was able to explain the current situation of countries.

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      Above all the things I have seen in the museum, “Dialogues on Discrepancy” was the artwork that struck me the most. As I stumbled upon the artwork, I felt a heavy feeling within me. I heard loud sounds that I don’t want to hear ever again. I heard buildings falling and people crying out for help. I heard laughter from the big and rich people not caring about the others.  I felt sad knowing that this is reality, the current state that we are now living— living in a world of chaos and division, living in a world where no one cares about the others.

I was able to notice in the artwork not only the building disaster but the people. Some have color while some are left in black and white. This just shows that some people, particularly the poor are left unnoticed when in fact they are those people that we should take into account. These are the people that we should care about too. These are the people that should be heard but sadly, are not given the chance.

We live in a world where everything is falling down. We are in a world far from Utopia, far from the perfect world that we are all aiming for, far from a world of equality, unity and love. We live in a world where some thinks they are above others. We live in a disaster.

The artwork made me go back to the current situation that is happening, as if it was my first time to be aware of it. Recently, I have been focusing too much with my studies, focusing too much to myself. The artwork brought me back to what I should be concerned about as well. That I should also take be aware of the current situation of chaos and division in the world and that I too, should do something about it.

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            Here is a picture I drew of how I now see “seeing”. Yes, to see maybe in the form of using the sense of sight but there are other sides of seeing too. Notice that the eye is in a heart shaped form because to see deeper is to use one’s heart. With heart, seeing can go deeper, deeper in a way that it could find meanings, like what is seen inside the pupil in the drawing. The eye is not directly looking at the viewer because in seeing is not only directed to seeing the object itself. Seeing can be viewed and can mean in different ways.

After the whole MCAD experience, to see, for me is far from just being able to use the sense of sight. To see is to feel. To see is it to experience. To see is to find meaning beyond just the mere visual representation.

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