The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) is one of the most famous museums in the United States. Its blend of works of art from various parts of the world makes it reliable for information gathering in the realm of art and architecture. This discourse, therefore, focuses on two famous Asian works of art by comparing and contrasting the head of Buddha and the Portable Shrine to Bodhisattva Kannon. The two works of art serve a similar purpose of religious activities, but their form, content, and mood vary to some extent. The significance of comparing and contrasting these artworks is to highlight the fact that art can occur in various ways to serve a similar purpose or to portray a similar message (Jacobsen, Aktor & Myrvold 33-38).
In terms of form, the two works of art are similar since they all have a three-dimensional structure. However, the components of the two are different. The Portable Shrine to Bodhisattva Kannon was designed using three elements, which are gold, wood, and metal ("Portable Shrine to Bodhisattva Kannon"). The head of Buddha is made up of exclusively metallic (cast iron) components ("Head of Buddha"). As far as content is concerned, the two works of art exude some similarities. For instance, they are all used for religious purposes whereby the head of Buddha serves as a worship symbol while the Portable Shrine to Bodhisattva Kannon is where worshiping and meditations take place. The mood of the two works of art is slightly different. The Portable Shrine to Bodhisattva Kannon presents a thought-provocative mood, which augurs well with its role as a site for meditation and prayers ("Portable Shrine to Bodhisattva Kannon"). The head of Buddha, on the other hand, exudes a calm mood, which elicits hope among the Buddhists ("Head of Buddha").
In summary, the two works of art have different form, content, and mood, yet they serve a similar purpose of worshipping, praying and meditating. The broader significance of the two works of art is that they relay a message that religious practices should not be limited to a particular phenomenon. People can practice religion using various forms of art provided that the actions within the religion provoke individuals to meditate on the prosperity of humanity, and they foster peaceful coexistence among persons on the globe (Jacobsen et al. 132).
"Head of Buddha." Detroit Institute of Arts Museum, Detroit Institute of Arts, www.dia.org/art/collection/object/head-buddha-51220. Accessed 11 Apr. 2019.
"Portable Shrine to Bodhisattva Kannon." Detroit Institute of Arts Museum, Detroit Institute of Arts, www.dia.org/art/collection/object/portable-shrine-bodhisattva-kannon-50019. Accessed 11 Apr. 2019.
Jacobsen, K., Aktor, M., & Myrvold, K. Objects of Worship in South Asian Religions: Forms, Practices, and Meanings. Routledge, 2014.
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