I am very passionate about working in the art field. The life of an artist can be very free and varied. But stable income is a problem that struggles artists, so finding a career related to art is my primary goal after graduation.
For the future, I have a strong idea of being an art teacher. In this way, I can not only explore my research question but also absorb the latest artistic ideas. And when I was working on the National Gallery and Tate Modern programs, I learned speech and teaching skills, which made me very confident in future teaching.
Before the lockdown in China, I had received invitations from two Chinese art institutions, one in Beijing and the other in my hometown, Qingdao. They invited me to be a teacher of art history and painting. I was very interested. but no contract was signed, so all of this has temporarily become unknown.
I will continue to run personal social media, including WeChat public account and Zhihu.com which are excellent platforms to share knowledge. I insist on sharing the latest exhibition resources and classic museum reports to Chinese readers, therefore I can stick to art writing as well.
For my art project, I hope to work with a team to develop new works. Through several experiments with VR works, I think that good online works require not only mature ideas but also the cooperation of team, especially programming and maintenance, which can improve efficiency. For virtual works, efficient updates and promotions are necessary. During MFA, I participated in some cooperative exhibitions and social practice. I realised that I am better at cooperating and communicating with others, which will keep me awake and improve efficiency. I would like to develop it. I am keeping in touch with technicians and might be involved in the construction of the VR online museum in the future.
Last but not least, I still love painting. During MFA, I did not create paintings because I hit a plateau and lost my direction. But fortunately, I was not too far away from the painting field. My social practice at the National Gallery and Tate Modern has kept me thinking about painting and understanding of art history for a long time. After two years, I have a new understanding of painting, so I plan to try painting again.
Ten Degree Plus
Ten Degree Plus is an exhibition organized and participated by 10 artists from MFA Wimbledon. The exhibition is located at the Sprout Gallery in Tooting, London. The gallery is a public welfare art space in a residential area. During the exhibition, we also held workshops and fairs to bring fresh artistic ideas to residents and students.
In this exhibition, I was responsible for the installation and promotion work. The exhibition hall is an open space of about 40 square meters. Most of the works exhibited were paintings. If the works are not arranged properly, they will easily affect each other. Fio and Anna Maria were responsible for the curation, and I carefully installed these works according to their command, adjusted the balance and the gap between the works.
The most important thing in the installation process is the lighting layout, which is a new skill I have learned. The seemingly simple work actually requires many considerations, because the position and intensity of the spotlight are important to the work. The position of the spotlight needs to highlight the center of the painting and the atmosphere of the three-dimensional work. The strength of the light source also needs to be considered, which affects the saturation and contrast of the painting. And the natural light in the daytime also needs to be considered, according to the light intensity of morning and evening, to increase or decrease the number of spotlights of a work.
The promotion work is relatively simple because there are not many exhibitors. I only need to count the basic information of the work and upload photos to social networking sites. I ran Instagram, Twitter, and Art Rabbit. Among them, I stumbled upon Art Rabbit, which contains a variety of exhibition information that provides convenience for me to study and learn later.
The Emergency is located at Platform 2 of South Wark, London, and is organised by 15 MFA Wimbledon artists, curated by Galina Hirstova. The gallery is a space transformed by an artist's studio. I was responsible for the installation part.
Most of the works in this exhibition are video, which requires a lot of power supply equipment. It is very important to arrange the wiring harness reasonably, which involves the beauty of the exhibition and the safety of the audience.
Therefore, the difficulty of the installation work is how to arrange the cable on the ceiling. First of all, according to the arrangement of the curator Galina, I will draw the location of the works on the map, calculate the number of power supplies for the works that need electricity, and finally calculate the best plan to save the budget.
According to the planned circuit diagram, I fixed the patch panel to the load-bearing wall in the space, so as to ensure maximum stability and not be obtrusive. Then according to the structure of the house, arrange the wires against the edge of the ceiling, and finally fix them with small nails. The final rendering effect is very good, almost no messy wiring, to ensure the cleanliness of the work.
We had considered sticking the wires with tape on the floor, but considering that the audience would trip and the tape would have footprints after being stepped on many times, this would affect the beauty of the exhibition, so this plan was cancelled.
Exhibition planning is the first step of curation, so I need to understand the type and size of each artist's work. I applied for an email to communicate with each artist. After obtaining this basic information, the curator team needs to review the theme and size of these works together. After everything was confirmed, we went to the exhibition hall for space measurement.
Drawing the map is the second step of the curation. The floor plan given by the crypt gallery is not clear, which affects the curator's judgment on the space. Therefore, we went there to measure each room, like data of length, width, and height. We also need to mark the location, quantity and damage of the socket. Special shape rooms need to be marked, such as stairs, outdoor light, and grooves or protrusions on the wall. These unconventional spaces can provide a special atmosphere or interesting connection for some works.
Based on the collected data and the artist's proposal, we simulated the exhibition on the map, so that the plan can be unified quickly and effectively, and the works can be moved as few as possible on the day of the exhibition to prevent damage.
The day before the exhibition is the most important part of curation. The curation team needs to coordinate with other departments to install works, print exhibition maps, adjust lighting, etc.
The Immurement is one of the MFA course projects, with the participation of all students. This exhibition is located at the Crypt Art gallery, Euston, London. I was working on the curation team of this exhibition. I learned how to curate, and cooperated with other groups to complete the installation and coordination work.
As one of the most important activities in the MFA course, each artist must participate and undertake part of the exhibiting work.
This is a theme exhibition, so artists need to create related works based on the theme 'Immurement'. As one of the curators, I need to communicate with the artist at all times to avoid the work deviating from the theme or not being delivered in time. So I created a brochure that contains exhibition information, timetables, maps, budgets, and staff tables, which can help each participating artist plan their own schedule and create reasonably.
Laid Back is an exhibition involving students from three colleges of UAL. (Artists are from the Wimbledon and the CSM students )curated by Chelsea students. The exhibition is located in the biscuit factory in Bermondsey. This is the first time I collaborated with students from other colleges
Compared with the simple exhibition process in China (mostly curated, transported, installed, and publicized by the organizer), the exhibition in London needs to be experienced. Because the prices of labor, spaces, and materials are very high, I need to complete them myself.
Artists and curators are from UAL, so this is a good opportunity for communication. I not only exchanged work with Fine Art students of CSM, but also discussed the school's curriculum, which gave me more understanding of the later courses. Working with Chelsea's curation students lets me to systematically understand the curator's work, and laid the foundation for the subsequent exhibition curation.
Personal Column on Wechat and Zhihu.com
Skills: Writing skills
From the beginning of the MFA course to now, I have written more than 40 articles, totaling 100,000 Chinese characters. This mainly includes information on contemporary art exhibitions, introduction to museum collections, and artist analysis. For example, I have shared the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of New York, the British Museum, the Louvre Museum, the National Gallery London, and the Tate Modern in order of chronicle to Chinese readers.
My column on Zhihu.com ( Chinese)
WeChat is currently the most popular application in China. It includes functions such as social networking, payment, and cultural communication. Its public account function can share articles and Vlog to every user, similar to the combination of Instagram and Twitter. Zhihu.com is China's largest knowledge-sharing website. There are many art lovers there. I have established my own personal column on Zhihu.com.
I used to study painting in my undergraduate degree, and I love it very much. I am longing for many excellent art galleries in London. As soon as I arrived here, I started my journey to museums. During the exhibition, I found that the original work is completely different from what I saw in the book, and the official interpretation below the work is not the same as what I learned in China. At that time, I had a strong desire to shoot in person, translate the exhibition sign, and share it with readers in China. Bring them closer to excellent works and better understand Western culture.
At the same time, I consult relevant materials when writing articles, especially art history. This allows me to have a deeper understanding of the development of Western culture, and to clearly know the direction and position of my current work.
National Gallery and TATE Modern Program
From 2019 to the present, I have participated in UCL's entrepreneurial projects, as a museum guide at TATE Modern and National Gallery. The audience is from various industries, including entrepreneurs, broadcasters, and local students from London.
During this period, I did a lot of research about the history of art, the history of art museums, and artists' cases. In my work, I practiced presentation and teaching skills for different audiences.
After writing about half a year, I received an invitation from UCL entrepreneurship students and joined the museum explanation team. I am responsible for the content of the National Art Museum and Tate Modern Art Museum. I used the exhibits in the two museums to introduce the art history from the Middle Ages to the twentieth century to the audience, so that they could clearly find the context and development of art history. I love and enjoy this profession very much, because I met audiences from various industries, including angel investors, broadcast hosts, designers, musicians, etc. They gave me valuable feedback based on their experience and understanding. I also met many children who came to study in London. I tried to explain art in simple and clear language, which tested the ability to summarize art history and the ability to express language.