Field modules are all about going beyond the boundaries of our discipline and taking us outside of our usual environment to inspire us and give us a new perspective, making connections between these modules and my subject, making it key in the development of my skills, context and ideas.
Field this year has been such an exciting experience, especially coming from last year, where we felt as a whole that field was a bit disjointed from us and subject and although we didn’t have the field festival last year I feel I made the right decisions for my modules this year and began to take snippets of inspiration from both into my subject.
I chose both the Global Perspectives: South Korea and the Wunderkammer road trip, which basically gave me the opportunity to travel both internationally and nationally. I chose South Korea, as that felt like the biggest adventure. I didn’t know much about the country culturally, so I figured it would be an amazing opportunity to get first-hand experience of its cuisine, music, architecture, monuments, traditions, people and history and to experience art and design in a place where traditions are very different to the Western world. On other hand, I decided to get in a minivan with Duncan on a road trip for the exploration of a range of institutions which are packed with stuff and which are basically on our door step.South Korea was not simply a “holiday”, but a great opportunity to immerse myself into the creative life in Korea and questioning, comparing, contrasting, thinking and acting on cultural differences, similarities, and opportunities that these experiences provoked within my subject area.
The clash and harmony between the local and the international is a common issue in non-Western countries. But when multiculturalism happens, is there loss of identity. Do things stop having a sense of identity? I began to identify that the Korean culture has values in terms of tradition and community where as in a Western culture, looking at the art & design context we are more concern with the idea of self and the individual. Internationalization of the individual developing respect and understanding for others interacting and engaging with ‘cultural others’ prepares us for global work and leadership developing inter-cultural competencies.
In addition, I found it valuable to immerse myself within the culture, its education, its traditions and observing my surroundings. Visiting exhibitions like Craft Narrative: The Place, Process, Perspective at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art has been a great inspiration, especially the work by the astonishing KiHo Kang. His work relies completely on the potential and possibility of clay. Through craft, objects are invited to return to the human life where they belong, where they can provide the psychological foundation for us to realize humanity and establish bonds and exchanges with each other.
Going to an Eastern culture has made me aware of my own culture as well as ‘cultural others’ and I’m beginning to question my prepossessions of culture and identity and how I see my self as a maker and an artist. For the Wunderkammer Road Trip module the immersiveness in the vast number of art galleries and museum collections across the length and breadth of the country was immense. It was a great opportunity to engage with and reflect upon my engagement and encounters with artifacts, their curation and the contexts that I experienced within these institutions. The connections between objects and their context was within the core of this module.
The links and the aims between our Subject “Connections and Object(tions)” and this Field module were so intertwined that I felt by exploring these collections it expanded my contextual research and therefore creating a breadth of understanding and knowledge in terms of how different methods of interpretation can enhance their function or meaning and how their venue can inform that interpretation, from the white gallery space to the domestic through the urban.
Taking the curation of “Night in the Museum” by leading British artist Ryan Gander as an example, in presenting two pieces of work one of which gazes at another, this unusual way, Gander disrupts the role of the curator as a mediator between art and the public. He invites us to look beyond traditional themes and histories and to consider new narratives and relationships, for which the single pieces initially were intended.
How we perceive things is totally depended in our senses, our consciousness and unconsciousness, which has been a theme that has interested me. The encounters we went through has allowed each single of us to reflect and perceive a range of stuff differently independently of their context or initial ideas.
Conclusively, Field might feel a bit dislocative for many, but I feel it is what we take out of it that is important. It is there as a source of inspiration and as an expansion of possibilities rather than a reliability on the singularity of our Subject.