In 1999, I enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts (Fine Art) programme jointly presented by the School and the RMIT University, with a major in painting. During my studies, I crossed path with a number of great teachers, such as Terry BATT, Francis YU , Jerry KWAN and Stella TANG. Their teaching broadened my artistic vision and led me through the threshold of painting. Later on, I was given the opportunity to become a teacher here. Entering the same studio yet with a new role, I was able to reinterpret the nature of painting, the idea of passing on the painting tradition and the position of an art school.
Great paintings allow us to see the world differently and rediscover issues in daily life that we have normally not been paying attention to. Apart from delivering painting techniques, the School also guides students to observe and to explore their own thoughts. Through the process of researching and art-making, as well as the experimental learning approach, students are able to go into depth of the painting medium. At the same time, students can also go beyond painting and try other forms of expression when they are working on different topics and concepts. Starting with the colours, the layers and strokes on two-dimensional surfaces; and then, transforming them into the different materials and images required in three-dimensional installations. Painting is the starting-point and works that are splendidly presented in diverse forms is the end-point. This also shows how painting can penetrate into and intertwine with other art forms, like prints, installations, photography, videos, and animations, etc.
There are countless ways of interpreting painting, in terms of pictorial or abstract context, techniques or concepts, as well as narration, documentation and emotional expression, etc. It seems that painting is not just a medium, but also a thinking process; it is a way to see the world, a window, a mirror, and a language that are constructed by eyes and hands. When we are not able to express something clearly with words, we paint it with brush.
Perhaps, whenever we pick up a paintbrush, we are responding to a fundamental question – What is painting? When we open an art history book, we see Edward HOPPER connecting lonesome with mid-night cafes, Pablo PICASSO disassembling the three-dimensional world and reassembling it on two-dimensional surface, and Rene MAGRITTE removing the equal sign between images and texts while disrupting the concept of time and space. These artists were responding to the world in their own ways. As an Art School, we are not just teaching students about the masters’ ways, but also guiding them to explore possibilities from their own perspectives, and to develop their own ways, techniques and languages throughout the process of study and retrospection.
也許，當我們每次拿起畫筆創作時，都在回應一個根本的問題——什麼是繪畫？打開厚厚的藝術史書，會見到霍普 (Edward HOPPER) 把深宵的咖啡店連繫上寂莫的符號，畢加索（Pablo PICASSO）把立體世界拆開再重組在平面上的遊戲，馬格利特（Rene MAGRITTE）在擾亂時空概念的同時並拆去影像與文字之間的等號，不同的藝術家用他們的方法去回應各自對世界和繪畫的看法，作為一間藝術學院，我們的重點不只在教授這些偉大前人的方法，而是引導同學用自己的角度去嘗試探索不同的可能性，在不斷研究與反思中開拓屬於他們自己的創作形式、技巧和語言。
WORDS FROM CURATORS 策展人語