U2. Professional Skills

In this term, I participated in three exhibitions: the first curated exhibition, the second joint exhibition with my schoolmates, and finally our mid-term exhibition.

" we are curated "

Millbank Tower, 5-8 March 2024.

We experienced a quick day of curating at Millbank, which made me realise how hard it is to be a curator. As well as admiring the staff at our school. What surprised me about this exhibition was that when everyone put everything in this exhibition space in the morning, it was clueless for me at first. Then the staff asked each of us to say how we wanted our work to be displayed to make sure that all of us were happy, I think it was difficult to do that to make everyone happy, but they did it.

I also learnt a lot about the way of thinking about curating. Before I always thought that curating exhibitions was an easy job because I didn’t have an in-depth understanding of curating, so I thought about curating exhibitions as hanging the works on the wall or placing them on the floor, but later I found out that this is the most traditional way. Besides the traditional way, many new situations are more experimental.

Curators need to think about a lot of small details, for example, how to connect this work with another work so that it does not look out of place. Is the height of the work on the wall appropriate? Whether a work placed on the floor needs more space underneath, such as a small object to make it look more three-dimensional and more complete. And how can the viewers be attracted to the exhibits in the space, so that they will have the desire to look at the show.

This time I just used the most traditional way, fixing it on the wall with a magnet. The two works that surprised me most in this curated exhibition were a painting of a Snowy Mountain and another painting of two figures.

The painting of the snowy mountains was hung above with an angle I hadn’t thought of. And her work is next to a window, which allows people in the room to view the painting from the normal perspective of looking at Snowy Mountain from afar. It was even more immersive. It’s like creating a landscape in the middle of a concrete city that’s so refreshing, as if the real snowy mountains are right in front of your eyes.

The painting about two people is still curated in an unexpected way, the sofa is taken from the next room, the image of two people in a crowded space, or the two people sitting on a chair squeezing each other, making this image more full of story. It gives the 2D work a 3D effect and a sense of space. What I find more interesting is that behind this work are some photographs. These photographs, for me, turned the space into a scene that seemed to be in a submarine.

Opposite my work, on the floor, there are ceramics with natural elements, and I feel that there is a connection between her work on the floor and my work on the wall.

Overall I have learnt a lot from this curation and it has given me a new understanding of how to exhibit my work. This skill will help me to think about the best way to present and communicate my work to the audience.

" Impromptu Exhibition "

Espacio Gallery, London E2 7DG, 5-10 March 2024.

The Impromptu Exhibition was held in Shoreditch. It was a great opportunity for me to meet other students from my school and exchange ideas.
In this exhibition, I showed three of my works, two of them were digital prints and the other one was my print on fabric.
In this exhibition, I was not very satisfied with the size of my works, so I started to explore the scale of my works in my subsequent work.
The curation of this exhibition was held before Millbank, so at that time I didn’t have a lot of knowledge about the curation, and it was all presented in the simplest way.

" Where We' re Calling From "

Copeland Gallery, London SE15 3SN, 3-5 May 2024.

‘Where Were Calling From’ is the largest joint exhibition I have participated in so far. I participated in this exhibition with all fine art pathways students. But because of the different pathways, there were many ways to present the works. When I put my own works in a big space and put them together with works of different media, the effect is different from viewing them alone or putting them together with my classmates’ works.

I was happy with the scale of my work in this exhibition, but after the exhibition, I wanted some colour in my work. I think I wanted to have a bit of colour in my work because the wall was white as well.

I don’t know if it would have been better if it had been presented on a wall like Millbank. The wall is more natural like the uneven colour of tree bark.

I received a lot of feedback on this exhibition, for example when people viewed my work if without my explanation they would think I was drawing branches, but when I explained they were surprised. I heard one of the viewers say that he hadn’t realised that the shape of the fungus viewed at a microscopic angle was so much like a branch as well as like a new organism. Some suggestions encouraged me to try printing on different papers.

I would like to print all my works on very thin Japanese paper in the future, as I think the flow and colour of the paper and the texture of the paper will better highlight the presentation of the image and the feeling of viewing it.

Select my artwork
Installation of works
On-site photo
Surprises Hidden in the Corner
Before the exhibition, I tried to put all my prints on the wall to find their connection. Then I realised that I had to make some trade-offs. As well as I should continue to develop my drawing and try to make a series of them, instead of making a lot of different things and presenting a different feeling.
I think there are a lot of little surprises in this exhibition, which are hidden in the corners of the exhibition, such as ants, little figures and tongues, which allow the viewer to interactivity. This is a great idea. Due to the large number of works in our exhibition, we need to be very careful when looking at the artworks as it is very easy to bump into them.
I found the critique before the start of the exhibition very helpful, as it helped students understand each other’s work better with the artists’ explanations. Also in different pathway there will be different suggestions to develop the idea of your future works, you can get a lot of feedback. For example, there were two pieces of clothing hanging in the exhibition that were the result of the artist painting them with Cyanotype and standing and hugging her friend in the sunshine for hours. The reason for this was that she felt that there was very little physical affection in the environment she lived in, so she particularly craved hugs. After crit she might start trying to hug strangers in the future, all in all, I think it’s a very heartwarming project!