19 November 2014 - I teach Creative Design Elements class this semester to a bunch of loud and rambunctious undergraduates (they are fun tho', but sometimes it seems they have too much fun and need a lot of prodding to get things done). Since they seem to have little connection to the creative side of multimedia, I'd thought to insert this trip as a way to instil their interest and appreciation in arts and culture. I had given out an assignment for them to carry out during the visit after the guide ends, and impressively, they managed to do it almost effortlessly. And they were quiet and respectful in the gallery, wow! I guess they are more creative and cultured than they gave themselves credit to. Certainly glad I had this trip with them. Worth the hassle and heat (one of the bus we booked turned up with a faulty air-conditioner. I'm just grateful nobody passed out!)
We first had a 1-hour guided tour, showing all the galleries and work displayed. The students then had to disperse in the group with their facilitator to start on their assignment. They needed to identify a piece which hit a chord with them, and write a review and their comment of the piece. Inpired by the piece, they are then asked to re-create the work, but under their own interpretation using any medium they felt comfortable using. and I was surprised at their level of participation (and cooperation to be honest). Some serious discussion going here. And even more serious drawing followed.
All in all, it was a successful event, I'd say. I'm glad to pressed on and pushed the students off their limits, because I saw slight improvements in them - they can explain, critic a piece and even suggest what / how to re-create a piece according to their interpretation.
PS: Huge thanks go to Anis Ramzi, my good friend when I was in Plymouth (she still is in the UK) for suggesting me to visit the National Visual Arts Gallery. A very talented artist herself, conversation with her on Malaysian arts has always been stimulating and her enthusiasm contagious. Miss you, Anis. When you guys get back here, let's go together. To see your piece in the gallery ;)
PSS: We have received permission to take photos on SOME of the displayed work today. There are others, for example, the entire collection on the second floor which had been prohibited from being recorded. The ones in this album are Okayed by the Gallery. If you choose to go and do the same, please write a request in a letter prior to your visit, and once approved, remember to set your camera to NO FLASH setting. <--- announcement="" from="" me.="" public="" service="" span="">--->