“Come Find Us”is the final and required exhibition for IB Diploma Programme Visual Arts students. This exhibition was scheduled from March 29 to April 1, but due to popular demand from faculty, staff, and students, these thirty-four works of art, produced by five graduating students, remained on display for an additional week. “Come Find Us,”features cohesive and theme-oriented bodies of work from Anantha Krishnan, Boting (Alex) Ren, Natsumi Ishikawa, Roxy Ready, and Roy Larmour. These students pushed the parameters of both technique and content, using scale and space in new and experimental ways. Those that had the opportunity to tour this exhibition were moved by the intimate nature of the students’work and their willingness to express unique characteristics and personal experiences about themselves through a range of media from traditional painting to video installation.
It took over a full hour to tour the entire show, which charted new territories to display artwork in unconventional spaces across the XLIS campus. “Come Find Us,” also challenged the preconceptions of where art can be displayed. The departments of Resources and ICT were instrumental in the show’s set-up and worked alongside the students in order for them to realize their creative visions.
While working collaboratively to integrate their work into an experiential “walk-about,” each student portrayed their own personal treks and had distinct, individual epiphanies.
Anantha’s work explores dual personalities, and his challenge was to move from cinematic, narrative filmmaking to visual art. He made a critical break through by researching video and installation art. He used projectors, large screens and even iPads to depict a series of intimate stories for the viewer to uncover.
Alex worked across media and deconstructed his own life, soul, and future to express his view of both the physical world and the spiritual.
Natsumi’s body of art is autobiographical, recording her creative evolution as she struggles to keep hold of her core values. She shares her experiences with the viewer as she attempts to locate her future-self.
Roxy is intrigued how an audience can find new and different meanings in paintings, photographs, and sculpture. She battled to develop a cohesive body of work and eventually united her exhibited pieces together with themes of equality, family, and otherness.
Roy’s artwork explores relationships and human interaction. His large-scale installations demand that the viewer take an active role. His final piece was also the very last work of the DP2 art exhibition and involved being left alone by friends, in a lonely Xi’an city neighborhood by himself, late at night. This was a fitting and bittersweet conclusion for this cohort of five graduating XLIS students who head toward new challenges and uncertainty as they prepare to enter university this fall.
“Come Find Us,” enticed the audience to be more than just a viewer, but a participant, taking a special and heart-felt journey with these students, as they attempted to locate themselves through the artwork they spent two years of their lives creating. Each student’s curatorial rationale intertwined with one another’s as the viewer’s physical act of walking from piece to piece provided a link connecting the artwork together.
This exhibition utilized both traditional and sophisticated technologies, including a website and a QR code to a digital map of the show and where to find the work, all held together by a constant theme established by the students.“Come Find Us,” will long be remembered as more than just an exhibit, but as an experience, and as a testimony to the innovation, care, and hard work of these young artists.
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Author: Scott Ramon (MYP/DP Visual Arts Teacher, Arts, Music and Design Subject Leader)