Week 4 | Art Experience: Art Care Package

I had a lot of fun creating my art care package because it brought back sweet memories. I decided to send my aunt, Pa’ Lek, the art care package because I am her favorite niece and we shared a lot of memories together when I was growing up. She recently traveled back home to Thailand alone, so I am sure she will be happy to see my art care package in the mail.

In my envelope, I included photos of my two younger brothers, Justin and Jason. Pa’ Lek adores my two little brothers and always reminisces about us being little. In one of the photos, my brother Justin is riding a toddler bike. It’s the same bike my aunt would always push us around in, so I know she will recognize it and it will put a smile on her face. I also included that picture of my brother Justin because he will be leaving for the Navy soon, and she is sad to see him go. The other photo is of my brother Jason, and it’s her favorite photo of him because she says that his ears look like big elephant ears and she always thought his large ears were very cute.

The next thing I included in the art care package was my rose quartz crystal pendulum. My Nana actually gifted this to me when I was a young girl. The pendulum is a tool used to communicate with spirits by accessing your higher self. By doing so, you can ask questions and receive a yes or no answer. My Nana was very spiritual but she gave me the pendulum as something to do for fun. I once showed Pa’ Lek and she loved the beautiful rose quartz and had fun asking the pendulum silly questions.

Another thing that I included was my music note keychain. Singing is one of my hobbies that I am very passionate about and Pa’ Lek has always loved that about me. I come from a background of a family full of musicians and when Pa’ Lek was younger, she was a singer. Pa’ Lek loves going to all of my performances and watching me sing because she says I remind her of herself when she was younger.

I also included the thimble game piece from our Monopoly board because I taught her how to play years ago. It is now her favorite board game and she always wants to play when she stays at my house. Her favorite piece from the game is the thimble.

Last but not least, is my sash from winning a Thai pageant in 2014. I think that this will be Pa’ Lek’s favorite item in the art care package because she was so proud of me when I won the title of Miss Noppomas 2014 Wat Thai Los Angeles. Every time she introduces me to someone, she loves to introduce me as a beauty queen and it always makes me laugh! She always told me how she wanted to be a beauty queen growing up and loves reminding me how proud she is of me for winning the title.

I think that sending Snapchats to someone is similar to an art care package because you can document what you are doing or what you are seeing. You can also send pictures of an ephemeral object and remind them of that event or memory.

The difference between Snapchat and the art care package is the physical aspect of it. On Snapchat, what you see is virtually there and you can’t physically touch what is in the photo. Not only that, Snapchat only lasts up to 10 seconds and disappears forever. In an art care package you can feel and even smell the objects in front of you. For example, you can smell the pages of an old book or even feel the paper slide between your fingers. Also, Snapchat is an instant documentation or almost a live feed of what you are doing in that exact moment. An art care package contains objects that has a longer history behind it.

I think that ephemera is precious and its value is subjective. I think that the value of the objects in my art care package depends on who is receiving it and what our relationship is like. I know that my aunt will value these items because we have a very close bond and she can relate specific memories to each of these items. Someone who doesn’t know me may find my envelope and look inside and say that it looks like a bunch of worthless junk. However, if one of my grandkids saw my sash, they would find it interesting and hopefully cherish it. I think that generations past my grandkids would not find my objects very interesting or valuable because it’s probable they might not get the chance to know me very well.

I think that art can be anything you want it to be no matter if it is seen by many people like  a painting in a museum, or if it seen by one person, like an art package. The only difference is how people might perceive or interpret your art. If my art package were to be placed in a museum, most people would think it is random junk thrown into an envelope. However, people close to me will look at it and relate the pieces to my personality and my experiences. They will be able to see the artistic qualities in my art package, whereas someone who doesn’t know me might not understand it.

Sending a photo to someone through Snapchat takes seconds, whereas sending an art package to a friend will take days. I think that the time and effort put into it means a lot, but it isn’t everything. The art care package takes more time and effort and there is something special  about receiving personal packages or letters in the mail in a world where most people communicate virtually. However, with Snapchat, you can share a special moment with someone almost instantaneously and can respond within seconds of receiving a photo. It can almost feel like you are experiencing that moment with that person even if you are time zones away. So as much as I think that time and effort is important, I think the content in your art package or your Snapchat is where it matters most.

I think that the love you receive through an art care package and a Snapchat is different. In a Snapchat, you can send a shot of something to remind your boyfriend or friend that you are thinking of them. For example, I can send a picture of the sunset I am watching to my boyfriend and share that with him even when he is not with me. To me, the love in an art package is a little different because you are able to feel the objects with your hands. I think that by using senses other than sight, you can relive memories more vividly and can feel the emotions associated with that memory more intensely.

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