When the constellation lectures first started, I felt I was lost in the middle of nowhere. There were a lot of things to learn, such as new terminology, names of artists, poets, scholars, ideologists and writers, and some of the names are in French, Italian or Spanish. Moreover, learning art is also the interaction of art history or history of the west. It has been challenging but also instructive especially to a student who comes from an eastern cultural background.
Art is an interesting and broad subject. It is not only aesthetics appreciation but also fairly philosophical. It reflects the internal feelings and emotions of artists as well as social status at that time. Artists inject their emotions and thoughts into their work abstractly. It can interact between the artists and audiences, stimulates audiences’ imagination, contemplation and curiosity thus resonates with the audiences. These questions are asked very often after viewing art work – what does it mean ? why is it art? what is art ? Understanding or interpreting the context of an art work depends an individual’s knowledge, experience, culture and imagination. It requires a lengthy journey to achieve a full understanding.
The constellation lectures help to build and strengthen my understanding of art, its history and western history which has broadened my knowledge base. I believe this is my weakness. It offers the opportunity for me to learn from a different scope of art and thought thus benefiting and improving my own practice.
I have been immersed in my original culture since I was born and it was a major part of my life. After emigrated to UK, my own culture has more or less been influenced and forgotten. Due to constellation requires on understanding of art in different aspects, such as the western history, art history, culture and biography of artists, sometimes, I compared the eastern and western style and found that it is very interesting. This experience triggered my interest to look into my own culture again and it is enthralling to compare both the east and west. The transition from one culture to another or mixing both can entail many challenges and may help to reshape the way I identify my own value and practice.
Through not only the constellation but also the first year experience, I realize that my current skills and knowledge need to be seriously strengthened. I will put more effort into finding ways of developing my weaknesses into my strengthens. Therefore, I would like to focus on doing research about eastern and western culture in terms of their art and technique. Although many students/artists try hard to be original, learning and studying from the work of other artists is inevitable. Thus, spending more time on books, videos, museums, galleries and exhibitions is also necessary . In addition, effectively managing the time is also great importance to study, as poor time management leads to too much stress and a disappointing outcome. Observation is a key component of being an artist as well. We need to take time to notice things surrounding us and be more sensitive, how colours change through seasons, how bright and dim lights project onto objects affecting perspective, how human behaviour changes the environment or is being changed by the environment. Practice is also essential as without good skills ideas cannot be delivered.