Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision

It’s funny that in the three years I lived in the DC area, I never visited the Vietnam Memorial. It’s not that I didn’t want to go, it’s more like I didn’t want to deal with the scores of tourists visitors that frequent the memorials every day. On hindsight, I probably should have tried at 6am in the morning, which, by the way, is the way to see cherry blossoms when they flower.

When I heard about the scene where Maya Lin took a piece of glass her size and weight, put it in a plastic bag, and then broke it, I thought that was quite a … strange thing to do. Then, I saw the video, then it made so much more sense. There are so many metaphor one can draw from the piece. And of course the instructions she gave to the shipping person could be whole other set of metaphors.

I think the documentary deserved every award it received as well as its subject. For me, the Vietnam War Memorial, the Civil Rights Memorial, and the Yale Women’s Table were similar in the way that she used the materials in a way that the visitors can go right up to the piece and touch it. I think I’m going to need to go to one of these installations to see what it’s like.