Southeast Asian Arts: Intersecting Histories Essay

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There is no better way to become connected to an unfamiliar world than by visiting your state museum! It had been years since I have stepped foot inside the Honolulu Museum of Art and surprisingly, I enjoyed taking the time to visit the museum by myself to be able to embrace my own thoughts in the presence of incredible forms of tradition and culture that have been around for thousands of years. I looked forward to showing my respect and appreciation that the Southeast Asian art collection had to offer. I would especially like to thank our museum administration for giving college students free admission in attendance for class assignments. I became filled with excitement and eagerness to simply absorb the rich and diverse histories of this part of our world. It was an elegant afternoon at the museum with a few other visitors at the time. As I entered into the beautiful stone corridors, I was suddenly overwhelmed with calmness. All the stress that had been building up inside of me that day also suddenly felt relieved in that hour and My intention was to keep an open mindset towards anything that I saw or read. My goal was to let my guard down and truly understand and contemplate each piece that I came across, and why and how it could have been so significant and special to the peoples of Southeast Asia. Having the opportunity to live in this time where we still have access to museums where we can put ourselves in a place to experience and envision the revolutions and tragedies our ancestor’s endured for us is breathtaking and that solely, makes me forever grateful. Unfortunately, the peoples of Southeast Asia were once thought to have shared a lack of inventiveness since prehistoric times and to have been “receptive” rather than “creative” in their contacts with foreign civilizations. Later excavations and discoveries in Myanmar and Thailand, however,

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