Samstag, 10. Oktober 2015

the actual reason I'm here

The main purpose I came to Seoul for is to study. I find myself to ignore this fact from time to time, because if it wasn't for the Creditpoints and the fact that I need them to enter my last semester in my home university next year, I would take more time to explore this place not only on weekends but also during the week. But I guess I will have some less busy times somewhen and still be able to see places in the next three months that I'm here. By the way, I already booked my flight to Bangkok over Christmas, which I'm superexcited about! It will be my first time spending Christmas not only in another country, but also in the heat and probably sipping fresh coconutwater at the beach during my breaks from scuba-diving in the sea! Woohoo! 
But let's get back to my main reason why I'm here. Yes I do have school: I booked 6 courses, of which only one is not being taught in korean. The courses that I chose are (1) Printmaking Workshop, (2) Techniques of Basic Printmaking, (3) Design Research, (4) Dyeing Practice, (5) Claywork and (6) Basic Korean. In total i will be making 12 ECTS Points here, which is around 28 ECTS in Zurich.
I'm gonna show you some impressions of practical courses I just mentioned.

Printmaking Workshop and Techniques are pretty much the same. In those two classes we get to work very independently. The professors would make and introduction to the printmaking techniques like collagraph, intaglio + relief print and linocut at the beginning of the class and the rest of the time we get to try out and experiment with the techniques. This is what I love about these two courses! I feel no pressure at all and it feels like art foundation all over again! I'm so happy I chose these two courses. It's the very first time I'm doing printmaking and I really enjoy doing it. It's very oldschool, no technology envolved, everything done by hand! Some of you might know that I'm very into working this way.

Technique of Collagraphing: Collecting different textured items and glueing them on a cardboard plate

Here I tried creating a pattern and more textures by peeling the cardboard
this is how a room in the printmaking department looks like. We use the barrel to make the print.
Using papers with different thicknesses and surfaces to create the pattern 
the result after printing a relief

 In Dyeing class we are looking at Screenprinting right now. I've done it before, and I remember that I didn't really like it, because it involves so many smalls steps and I remembered how impatient I was. However I feel like I had to give it another go. For the motif we had to decide for a trend, I decided to look at korean girls hairstyles, because they are so easy to illustrate. So far I've done the pattern and transferred it to the tracing paper, which we will use to transfer the print onto the silkscreen. The course involves a lot of waiting, because we are a big class. Yesterday I basically went to class for nothing. I was just waiting the whole three hours and in the end I didn't even get to use the machine to prepare the frame.

first sketches of the most popular korean hairstyles

the silkscreens

trying out different color combinations on photoshop whilst eating Gimbap

the two layers which will be two different colors

Claywork is the most demanding Course that I chose. Firstly because I have never done Claywork before (except for once in Drawing Class in High School, but that doesn't really count), second of all because I'm the only exchange student in that course (everyone is so skilled, it scares me) and lastly because I have to get work done besides class (which is kinda annoying, but I should've expected it). Our first assignment was to paint a dish with special ceramic colors, which once dried, you can scratch it off with tools and create an image/pattern. The second assignment was to make a sculpture with coiling technique and then paint it with those colors. When deciding for what kind of sculpture I wanted to make, I just wanted to find the most simple shape possible. So I decided to make a fat Figure that is wearing a facekini and bathing suit with half of her body in the water. I saw this photo spread of Chinese Woman by the seaside and got inspired by it.

Randomnly applying layers of color

After Scratching a random pattern

After firing the plate and before it fell on the ground and broke in two pieces (so sad)
sketch that I did last minute before class

Oh hi there

After it spent some time in the kiln

Now I'm ready to paint my sculpture and I really hope I can make it look more professional and not like an elementary school bricolage. If you could see what my other classmates made you would laugh at my silly sculpture. You might be laughing already. 
My professor sad it's too tiny, she wanted us to make a sculpture of 20 - 30 centimetres height, and mine is like 15 cm lol. My excuse was that I want to be able to take it back to Switzerland (I don't plan on taking it back home though, it's just gonna take up so much weight, which I really need for clothing shopping). She didn't really understand and told me I should do something additionally, to make it bigger, that's why I decided to make an umbrella. My plan is to paint the umbrella and all and then just accidentally drop it so I don't have to glue it on to the sculpture. 

The Design Research Course is very theoretical and a bit practical. It's mostly group work and listening to the English Professor talk about how to go about finding solutions to a design problem, how the importance of a designer has changed over the years and so on. I wish I didn't take this course, even though I find it quite interesting, but I really don't enjoy group works and I should have rather opted for another practical course like printmaking instead. But well, it's too late now.

Basic Korean is so fun. The teacher doesn't speak English at all and she tries to teach us Korean using Korean only (almost). She knows like very very little English but somehow it works out, for me at least. I feel like you have to be very interested and motivated to learn the language, otherwise it's almost impossible or just very frustrating to keep up with her pace. Korean is not an easy language, but because I know Chinese, I feel like it's easier for me to understand her. We learned the Korean Alphabet which is called Hangeul. You have consonants and vowels and in order to write words you have to join them to several syllables. It's a lot of fun reading Korean once you studied all the characters. Also it's funny how some korean words are directly derived from English, for example Tomato which is literally to-ma-to in korean, or Television, that is tel-le-bi-jion. Most important for me is to learn to say and read korean dishes, so I know how to read the menus in restaurants hehe. 

All in all I'm superhappy with the courses that I have picked. I seldomnly wake up in the morning and don't feel like going to School. Sometimes I wish I had more time to go travelling and exploring places but I also appreciate having the opportunity to study at Hongik University and the chance to attend these great courses. I'm really happy that I'm in Seoul right now and I'm enjoying my time here.

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