Part II – What is Contemporary Art Education? Differences, Challenges, and Breakthroughs
Time: 15：20－19：20, 21 May, 2006
Venue: Yan’an Kangda Hotel
Wang Nanming: In terms of creative education, I support intellectual education not education about what kind of concrete work should be made. Holding a finished proposal, students often ask, “Teacher, can I do this?” My answer is always that “First you should not ask me, actually the question should be reversed, “Teacher, why couldn’t I do this?”
Liu Dahong: Our studio’s curriculum is setup in this manner: the emphasis is on society and not the individual. We emphasize orders not freedom. We emphasize universalism and not individualism, collective and not individual. The more we attempt to cultivate individuality, the less individual the students become. Therefore we start from universalism in order to create real individuality.
Qiu Zhijie: I am excited by what Liu Dahong has said especially his view on individuality. The situation is similar in my classroom, I won’t tolerate anyone in my classroom talking about ego or individuality.
Lu Jie: What we want to discuss now is whether or not the current tools we have are better than those from before. To have such an outline is already an open and democratic movement. Therefore, teachers should act as parents for students, in order to realize a systematized, open, and experimental ideal. However, it seems like those of us present here today were all formed by pressure and restrictions. Where would we be without these experiences? I cannot think of a Qiu Zhijie emerging without his “anti-tradition” stance. Today, to take a high position with students, to have them act in such and such way is still different from Liu Dahong’s practice. Just a reminder.
Qiu Zhijie: One should be flexible When constructing the overall system, but the curriculum for each course must be stringent. In terms of strategy, the more flexible the better. In terms of technique, precision is key. A solid curriculum is much like training an athlete, if you continuously train one set of muscles, then they will naturally develop.
Wang Nanming: Teachers can also work according to their own style. It is perhaps better to say that this forum lets us each see the advantages of each teacher’s method, rather than to say that this forum brings together the different styles of many teachers. And then identifying where our own advantages may be. For me, the key it not to reach a consensus, But to pursue differences.
Gao Shiming: I agree with what was just said. Freedom is very hard to achieve because it is not about opening up possibility. How can a possibility become a possibility in art history, is different from saying anything goes. There are conditions which creativity is limited by.
Feng Mengbo: Truly, new media and multimedia art education is difficult. The entire world is currently searching for methods. Everyone is talking about art education, but we should expand it some more to include more than students who entered into the academy. The next generation is also key to produce a constructive value.
Liu Dahong: We are talking too much B.S. I feel that for us to be in Yan’an, we should talk about Mao’s practical methods, and develop from the real conditions facing China. In China, we still need to act through the system, and write proposals within the system.
Liu Yonghua: A good art education system must have a flexible method and an open environment.
Wang Mingxian: Is it possible that this flexibility will result in a homogenization of art academies?
Miao Xiaochun: International art education focuses on cultural development, there is a strong focus on individual accomplishment. Education is not just about finding a job after graduation, so there is a big difference here. These are two interesting developments in the past decade.
Fei Dawei: Art education is about providing conditions but simply having these conditions does not ensure success.
Lu Jie: Guo Fengyi has not attended art academy, she has not received any formal art training, but her personal experiences should be inspiring.
Guo Fengyi: I have been drawing for 17 years now. I have always been struggling. I don’t want to become a master, nor is it about making money. I just feel happy. Having good health is enough. Listening to everyone today, I believe that you are all very luck and great great people.
The Main venue of Yan’an Forum on Art and Education
Luo Zhongli giving a speech
Fan Di’an giving a speech
Xu Jiang giving a speech