Reflection | Study at the Royal College of Art

During the multidisciplinary study at the Royal College of Art, I have tried various study options and got introduced of different learning and research methods, which challenged my perceptions and enabled me to think deeper in my art practice and myself.

Before joining the course, I used to stick to acrylic/oil painting on paper and canvas, the only character in my painting was the Persian Princess. Coming to school, by working in teams, pair or alone, visiting museums and galleries, joining workshops, having group and personal tutorials, and studio practice, I have learned many learning and research methods and started to experiment with different subject and materials.

However, what I enjoyed the most was not painting on my own but to see what my classmates from different disciplines have done and to learn from them. For example, my studio neighbors were photographers and sculptures, my close friends were illustrators and fashion/jewelry/product/graphic designers. Studying with them together encouraged me to explore various art forms,  like textile, costume design, printing, sculpture, installations, 3D modeling,  stop-motion animation, photography, film, performance, spatial design, etc, which opened my paths widely and led me to think about functions of art and design again and again, but 7 months was not enough for me to explore or choose only one discipline to focus, I still wanna try more forms and materials.

I started to understand many more historical and contemporary artists, among them, Jackson Pollock and abstract expressionism, Jean Basquiat and neo-expressionism, Joseph Beuys and concept art, Takashi Murakami, Rose Wylie, and Olafur Eliasson influenced me the most. Reading books in modern art and contemporary art made me realize that my artwork is not isolated but connected closely with society, my previous working experience as a global citizen is a great topic for me to discover, but disruptive technology, science, and politics are something missing in my art practice.

Working on 6 projects in 7 months was highly intensive for me,  it’s surprising to see my artworks changed from canvas painting to spatial installations, I realized that art is closely connected with philosophy, social science, and natural science, I enjoyed being a multidisciplinary artist and look for deeper experiments with these subjects.

However, working at school and studio for 7 months made me stuck into the issue of self, looking back, my artworks were too personal and all about my personal feeling, I’m a person who needs to travel to different places,  research through experience and create artworks based on my experience. What’s more, looking back to my previous global working experience, I realized that I’m not content with just being a painter or a costume designer, but an innovation leader who takes art and design as powerful tools to work on world issues and create positive impact globally.

Many thanks to my tutors, and I’m grateful for meeting many interesting classmates and learn from them, we may never meet again, but I do wish your dreams come true.

Mowen 

Royal College of Art, London
1st Feb 2019

 

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