After conducting a long-time research, unsolved problems became clarified but at the same time uncovered more questions which needed to be investigated. That brings us to the next stage of the research. It is seemingly a never ending exploration.
Writing the dissertation at the same time to make progress on the other projects, there is more or less pressure on every student. Nevertheless, I have found that I am starting to enjoy this pressure compared with my first year. Since I have realized that through this process I am not only gaining knowledge but I have also developed self-confidence and self-awareness in order to continue to grow. In my first year, I did not fully recognise the value of the modules as I found that we were sidetracked into too many areas which I felt that I was shifted away from my main subject, however, I am learning to appreciate it even though focus on the main subject is still preferred.
I am so pleased with the trip to Jingdezheng since I physically experienced and understood the general state of Chinese ceramics as it is today at the same time to hone my skills. It is far better than only replying on reading materials. As I mentioned in my previous writing in my blog where I stated that Hong Kong people regard themselves as people who have no roots. Because of the historical reason Hong Kong was once a British colony and after 1997, it was handed back to Chinese rule. They do not belong to Britain nor to have a strong connection with China either. The visit to Jingdezhen has changed my perception towards my identity. It has directed me to my present approach in ceramics and led me to the next step of my research.
Due to a considerable amount of information after the research for the dissertation. Whether the management of time and data collection as well as the strategy on structural writing is crucial. Choosing the most appropriated information for the dissertation means we cannot afford to be complacent. Through this journey I have been offered an opportunity to improve learning skills in many levels and those can be adapted for future studying or developing my career.
The experience of writing this dissertation was exciting and exhausting. The exciting came from the physical experience exploring in another country and through this research I solved the problems that I was posing. The exhaustion was the clock ticking faster and faster but the question appeared to be never ending its necessary exploration. Of course, I should take the whole responsibility as I should have started it earlier. Furthermore, writing in a second language was challenging as part of my reading materials are in Chinese. The time spent on finding the most appropriate meaning on those specific nouns into English was lengthy. Avoiding too many differences from the original terms, Hanyu pinyin (mandarin pronunciation) was used and then added in explanation.
After I finished my dissertation, I found that I needed to continue to strengthen my critical thinking, I also recognized that my lack of enthusiasm in participating in activities is my weaknesses. That caused my performance to diminish in certain areas. However, I had a chance to improve my writing skills that is going to benefit my communication skills and my career in the future.
In my paper I raised concerns about skills being ignored. But my spirit has been geed up by an article in the Craft Council’s website which was regarding Edmund de Waal who gave his passionate speech at the Craft Council last year about craft, practical skills and hands-on actual making should be encouraged to people from their young age. He cited the thoughts of Primo Levi who valued the ability of making “….with their own, on their own, with their own head, and even better with their own hands – to make something that will last beyond them, which will have encounters with people they do not know and cannot dream of. That is the value at the heart of making.” Please allow me to give a daring speculation that skills may be coming back into importance. Abstract art when it was first introduced in Europe in the 19th Century, was already over a hundred years and has predominated the art world since then. It may be that art is undergoing a transition. In addition, I also expressed my concern about Chinese ceramics in modern times. I will take this as my next stage of exploration and hope that I can expand it into a wider context.
These three years of studying have given me a clear perception about my direction on art and design. I will continue to solidify my knowledge in ceramics meanwhile I will attempt to extend the area of studying into different fields. Jewellery, use of different materials and in particular employing the use of technology in my creations. Admittedly, technologies are becoming indispensable in our daily life and have a significant influence the way we create nowadays. I am fascinated by the technologies used in design such as 3D printing and CNC cutting which widely opens the horizon on creation.
I am sure I will make good use of the knowledge I have gained in this period of time and look forward to the next adventure.
“Time = Life. Therefore, waste your time and waste your life, or master your time and master your life. Alan Lakein