The MFA thesis opening reception was great. There were lots of people, more than I expected. I heard around 500 people came to the opening. Everyone’s works looked great, and it was so good to see how people were enjoying the fruits of our labor.
I was very eager to see how people would respond to my work. Would they interact? Would they get inside the big pieces, or would they be hesitant? Once people started flooding the gallery I was quite surprised by the way people naturally interacted with my work. People were touching it, getting inside, looking around at the different shapes, and interpreting the work in their own way. Below are some memorable responses.
- A 7 year old boy asked me if he could buy the smallest piece (brown one). I asked him why he wanted that particular one. He said “This one is small, almost my size and I could carry it around easily.” I responded “Okay that’s good to know…How much money do you have?” He replied “Just three dollars for now.” I said “How about you fill up your piggy bank and we will talk about it.”
- An elderly lady walked in and exclaimed, “Wow this is lot of work, who is the artist here, are you?” I said yes I am. She asked, “Did it take you all your life to make this work?” I replied to her adding humor, “Yes, I started weaving when I was one month old.”
- One of my Nepali friends curiously asked me why only that particular room was darker. I told him “The power is out in this room and we are using generator to light only a few bulbs.” He laughed and said, “Ha! Exactly like in Nepal.” (Later I explained that the dim light was done intentionally to recreate the low light experience common in Nepal.”
- A Yoga instructor said she would totally love to meditate inside the big piece and even read a book.
- A mother of two kids said she would love to have something like the big piece for her kids to play inside.
- A young girl asked her mom, “Did this one fall down?” Her mom explained that it was supposed to be that way.
- One lady who had donated materials to me asked, “where were the materials I donated used?” I laughed and suggested she try and see if she could find where they were.
I saw many people enjoying, touching, and recognizing the materials that were familiar to them. It was also interesting to observe how people were using the work as a photo booth. Several parents captured the moment of their kids spinning in circles underneath the work. After the show I realized how quickly it all went. I have been waiting for this show reception for the past year, and it was over in the blink of an eye. The reception might be over, but the exhibition will be up through April 28th. I am so happy to be part of this show and a big congratulation to all my peers. WE DID IT!