The Importance of Transcultural Studies
跨文化學習的重要性


ART.ZIP: Will you say there are big differences in education model between China and the UK?

AS: I get the feeling that in some art schools in China – not all I’m sure – the focus on arrival at art school is that you have to acquire skills. I’m not saying which system is worse or better – it’s a different system. In China, there’s an emphasis on acquiring a level of skill before you decide what you want to do. But here, we provide the workshops for whatever you want to do. If you want to draw feet, we provide the model. If you want to make a video, we provide the video-editing workshop. It’s about servicing the student. As I said, experimentation is important at the Slade. I think the common thing between UK and China is all the teaching staffs are artists themselves; we all have our own practice and research.

ART.ZIP: 您覺得中英教育體制有什麼異同嗎?

AS: 對於中國藝術院校的情況我知道一些,中國的學生要進入藝術學校通常需要先掌握很多專業技能,當然也許並不是所有院校都這樣。我們并不會說英國或中國的體制更好,它們都很不同。在中國,學生必須掌握到一定程度的技術才開始決定自己要做什麼。但是在英國,在斯萊德,我們提供空間讓學生去做他們想做的。舉個例子,如果你想畫人體,我們就提供模特;如果你想做視頻,我們就提供視頻剪輯工作室,我們是服務于學生的。就像我剛才提到的,斯萊德十分重視實驗性。我想中國和英國相似的地方是,我們的教師自己都是藝術家,我們都有自己的藝術實踐和研究方向。

ART.ZIP: What differences do you see between Asian students and western students?

AS: I am against pigeonholing people due to nationality, but I do think some of my very best students have come from overseas. Students from China, or Korea, or Japan are often brilliant and very hardworking. Maybe partly it is because they know their parents have paid quite a lot of money for overseas tuition fees, so they are very focused, it is also I think that the fact that they are outside their usual cultural context gives them a freshness and ‘out of box’ approach to the subject, they have to deal with intercultural dialogue from the beginning. I think all my colleagues would echo that absolutely wonderful students/artists have come through here from outside the UK.

ART.ZIP: 亞洲學生和西方學生有什麼明顯的差別嗎?

AS: 我不贊成把學生按照國籍來分類,但我不得不承認最好的學生裡有相當大一部分是來自英國以外的學生,特別是中國、韓國和日本的學生通常都非常聰明和勤奮。或許是因為他們深知父母為他們的留學支付不菲的學費和生活費,所以他們學習特別專注。另外一點是,他們在脫離原來的文化氛圍下更能跳出原來的思維方式,以更獨特的角度來審視事物,所以說他們從一開始就必須面對這樣的跨文化對話,他們真的相當優秀。


ART.ZIP: What advice would you give to the oversea students if they want to apply for studying at the Slade?

AS: My suggestion for their application is that they should show us lots of work and a broad selection of the kind of artworks they are making. For the Slade, if they are not in the UK they should make a digital application. When we’re looking at portfolios, we’re not looking for evidence of any proof of skills in particular though it’s always good to see; we’re looking to be amazed or convinced by the work and to see applicants can really take initiative and benefit from the course. Sometimes people get set projects in foundation course; of course this can be interesting, but it can also be limiting for the portfolio. It’s very important for us to see self-initiated work. If we are interested in the work we always invite people to interview, but non-UK students always have the choice whether to come or not to interview if they are not in the UK. I think digital applications can sometimes be quite difficult to judge on their own. I advise people, if they are asked, to come to interview if they can. If they don’t come, we don’t exclude them, because it would be unfair; not everyone can easily afford to travel here for interviews. We consider people who attend the interview equally at the end of the process in just the same way as those who simply make the digital application but obviously we have much more to go on when we have met them.

ART.ZIP: 您會建議想要申請斯萊德藝術學院的學生一些什麼建議呢?

AS: 我的建議是他們在提交作品集的時候給我們盡可能多的、盡可能多樣化的、涉及不同領域的作品。如果申請人不在英國,那麼他們必須提交電子申請。我們看作品集的時候并不會特別留意某種特定的技術,技術功底好當然是加分的;我們尋找的是學生在日常生活或課程裡被激發的部分,我們要看到的是學生的自主性。有時候申請人在基礎課程的時候有很多命題作業,當然這些也是有趣的,但是這也可能侷限了作品集的多樣性。我們最關注的還是希望看到學生自發的項目。我們會邀請學生來面試,但是不在英國的申請人可以選擇是否來面試。因為有時候我們很難只靠電子申請來判斷學生。我會建議所有申請人都來參加我們的面試,如果他們無法參加,我們也不會自動排除他們,因為這樣很不公平,不是所有人都能負擔得起飛一趟英國來參加面試的。我們對來參加面試和無法出席面試的申請人一視同仁,當然,我們在面試的時候對學生的考量會更多。


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