Maya Lin and Krzysztof Wodiczko: Response Paper

Maya Lin and Krzysztof Wodiczko are both artists who use their artistic work to reveal the untold stories of the people who may not speak for themselves or those who have suffered and experienced unspeakable acts. Maya is a senior artist at Yale University who came to the limelight after designing and creating a memorial monument for the Vietnam War Veterans in Washington DC. On the other hand, Wodiczko is a professor and director of design, public domain, and art at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Wodiczko is known for his scale sliding and projection of videos on architectural porticoes and monuments in the entire world.

Maya Lin’s mother is a literature professor at Ohio University, while her father was the Dean of Fine Arts at the same University. Therefore, Maya, the child of immigrants, uses her artistic work to find her identity and where she is from, and she tries to create a home using her skills. Maya Lin uses artistic abilities to link her architectural projects, sculptures, parks, and monuments to people within a given landscape. On the other hand, Wodiczko uses art to tell stories of the survivors of violence, immigrants, the homeless, war veterans, and other sidelined people in the community. Therefore, comparing Maya and Wodizcko work, there are visible similarities since both of them use art to create pictures of the stories that are untold or may be hard to tell.

Wodiczko creates monuments and sculptures of marginalized people and Heroes who live in the shadow of their memories. Through his work, he creates a picture of what they experienced. On the other hand, Maya creates a monument in Washington DC, for the war veterans in Vietnam, which paints a picture of the unspeakable acts they experienced while at war. Maya Lin says she used her artistic skills to create a Memorial Monument to help people confront their pains.

In this case, the memorials help people in the healing process since they can confront their fear. Once they visit them, people grieve and contemplate the consequences of war, playing a big role in the healing process, especially to the family and friends of those who died during the war or at any event (Patrick and Jeffrey 6). Hence, a memorial is an object that serves as a memory of a person or persons who died or a place set aside where friends and family can visit their loved ones for many generations to come. In fact, memorials offer a grieving process and peaceful personalized space and freeze the history, thus serving as a reminder of what happened. They are meant to stand forever, remind people, and give the friends and family a place to mourn whenever they visit them (Patrick and Jeffrey 6). As such, the Memorials may also be used to reconcile the nations that were once at war.

In essence, when designing a memorial, the artist should put into consideration some of these elements. Firstly, there is the layout where the artist should put in mind how the memorial will appear to the observers. Secondly, there is the aspect of lettering, including fonts and engraving, which should be considered in cases where the names of the people involved are to be inscribed. Finally, the artist should make sure the memorial brings out the picture of what happened to the people, a situation that should assist people to paint a mental picture of what transpired to their heroes and the loved ones.

In conclusion, Maya and Wodiczk are artists who used art to tell the stories of others, especially those who cannot speak for themselves. Maya became famous after designing the memorial monument for the Vietnam War veterans, while Wodiczko was famous for his architectural designs and monuments all over the world. Through their work, people who were affected found solace and were able to face their fears, a situation that assisted them in the healing process. In their designs, Maya and Wodiczk created a mental picture in the people’s mind, especially of what their friends and families experienced or went through.


Works Cited

Patrick and Jeffrey. “Architecture Role in Emotional Healing: A Memorial to the Oklahoma City Bombing Victims.” 1996. Retrieved from:;sequence=1

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