Reaction to the Student named “Pranavi Kolli”

– The essay below is written by a student name Pranavi Kolli. Please write a reaction to Pranavi of 250 words.
Prompt 1: One visual element that greatly contributes to the works success is space or depth.. Space is evident in the overall composition because the three-dimensional structure carves out space within the land. The space around the memorial illuminates the walls relative depth and shape. Because of the depth of the work and the manner in which the monument carves space into Earths ground, we can see the memories held in the memorial as a deep scar in our nations history that is not closed away but rather open and visible to us all. The depth increases, as if causing us to sink into the Earth as we walk along the path, and it underscores the profound impact the Vietnam War carried. The space around the monument highlights this idea that the wall, which represents the War, was a tremendous gash in America. It is the space that gives the depth and shape of the monument definition and character. A second visual element that appears in the composition and gives meaning to the work is light. The natural light of the surroundings reflects across the surface of the monument, causing a mirror image of the outside space to appear when we view the memorial. Maya Lin recognized that polished black granite acted as a mirror, allowing us to see ourselves in the reflections of the names. One aspect of the works success is its ability to connect us with the veterans who sacrificed their lives for our nation, and the monuments reflective nature enables us to feel closer to these heroes. Although we may be separated by the worlds we live in, the dead and living are brought together because of how light interacts with the work of art. The light reflected on the monument illuminates the names of the veterans and communicates with us how the fallen were human beings just like us, amplifying the effect of the work. 
Two design principles that are at play in the composition are symmetrical balance and unity. The symmetrical balance can be seen from an imaginary vertical central axis that divides the monument into two equal sections. The two halves of the memorial parallel each other exactly in terms of size and shape. This symmetry provides a sense of balance to the monument, amplifying the peaceful ambience when viewing the work of art. The symmetrical balance gives equal weight to each name and illuminates the names of the veterans in a more tranquil manner. The second design principle of unity ties into the symmetrical balance of the names. Unity stems from a sense of various parts belonging together and creating a coherent, whole entity. In Maya Lins memorial, we can see that the names of the veterans begin on one side of the center, continue on to the edge of the memorial away from the center, and then begin again chronologically on the opposite side only to continue on to the center again. This design unifies the veterans together, bringing together those who passed away in the first days to those who fell during the last. She tells the journey of the Americans in the Vietnam War through time. The men who fought together and fell together continue to stay by each others sides for eternity through this monument. The names are all listed together without much separation between them, once again unifying the veterans and demonstrating the profound connection the heroes share. Another aspect of unity is seen from the solid, black granite. The entire memorial is made from the same material and reflects our images into the surface along with the names of those who died. The reflective granite unifies the world of the living and the dead, our past and our present. 
 
Prompt 2: Veterans, observers, artists, art critics, and the selection committee had one profound commonality between them that tied them, and that was the desire to create an honorable memorial for the veterans of the Vietnam War. However, the manner in which each of these individuals and groups approached achieving this goal greatly differed. Some veterans felt that the memorial Maya Lin had created did not do justice to those who fell, and they criticized the monuments design, referring to the work of art as a big ditch. Art critics criticized the artist of the monument, Maya Lin. At the time that she designed the memorial, Maya Lin was a college student. Added to her young age was the fact that she was a female, not a veteran, and of Asian descent. All of these factors became points of criticism by art critics in addition to several veterans. The selection committee, however, had unanimously chosen Maya Lins design as the winner, persuaded by her choices and believing that her creation truly did capture the essence of the Vietnam Wars impact on our nation. Critics and veterans did not like how the walls of the monument were black in color, and they believed that it signified death and despair. They also were not in agreement with her decision to create the monument almost under the Earth, and they believed that it should be built from the ground up instead of hidden from view. Veterans and critics may have been used to seeing other monuments and memorials with clear symbols and a straightforward design, so the ideas of Maya Lin may have seemed far-fetched and too different from what they had been used to. Other memorials close by, such as that of Abraham Lincoln or Thomas Jefferson, had clear form and were built of white marble. Thus, the black, simply yet thoughtful design of Maya Lin stirred controversy as many had not been accustomed to such thought-provoking memorials. Maya Lin, however, wanted to illuminate how the Vietnam War was not so simple, that its effects have been long-lasting through different cultures, generations, and identities in America. 
 
Prompt 3: The ethical issues surrounding the Vietnam Veterans Memorial might have been the controversy that Maya Lin endured due to her identity as a young, female, non-veteran, Asian American. Although her design and thought process might have been extremely thoughtful and intricate, her identity had been an area in which others have easily criticised. Some might have felt that because her parents were from China and China had been backing communist North Vietnam, she did not deserve to create a memorial for American veterans. Ethical questions relating to identity and whether or not someone is qualified to speak on a subject matter continue to today. Some groups of people might feel afraid to voice their opinions or participate due to fear of judgement and criticism. Even today, there are people of unique identities and backgrounds in our nation who are afraid of speaking up and joining in on discussions. Although they may hold eye-opening perspectives, just as Maya Lin did, they may not share what they think due to the fear of criticism. One prominent example can be seen in the disproportionate gender distributions in STEM fields. Although women might be extremely capable and innovative in their creations, they might not feel confident to voice their thoughts for fear of judgement and shame from others in addition to the idea that has been planted in many young girls minds that they are not smart enough to pursue careers in science and technology. Maya Lin might have felt afraid to have to deal with the controversy and backlash against her identity, but this isnt solely an aspect of the past, and social issues relating to identity continue to today.