Reflection | 3 lessons from the past 3 months at RCA

I still remember at the 3rd week of school, I was so excited to show my acrylic painting to tutor Lee, he asked me point-blank: Why do you keep painting the same thing? Why can’t you open yourself and break your limitations?

This is my first lesson at school: find your art language in different ways.

During the continuous experiments and self-breakthrough process, the followings are my learnings:

First, I learn how to transform my ideas into practice through experiments with different material and forms. 

The drawing workshop run by Gary made me aware of time-based painting, which pushed me to create the large size artwork “Time, City, Being”, layers by layers, I tried painting, collage, textiles, lights, and stop-motion animation in one artwork.

What matter for me is not the artwork itself but the process and idea of time-based artwork, it would be a form for my future collaboration and exhibition.

Second, I shape my thinking process through the development of independent research in different methods. 

For the first two projects, my mind was jumping everywhere, I painted whatever I want but seldom went deeper. For the 3rd project, by researching the object form V&A Museum and studying collections by Edda Gimnes, Issey Miyake, I shaped my thinking process and learn how to explain clearly.

Last but not least, I really enjoy the environment of study, especially communicating with different tutors and classmates, no matter they are critical or encouraging. 

For example, when I felt interested in designing a garment but didn’t know how, tutor Julian and classmate Shuyuan guided me step by step to transform my painting into fashion design. I will bring this combination to my future projects too.

For the next stage, I plan to focus on painting and textile study, to research more on textile art and do more experiments with mixed media.

Mowen 

Royal College of Art, London
2018.10.21

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