Cecilia Jansson, artist and teacher of sculpture and sketching at Örebro Art College in Sweden, stayed in Kunming for three months, September – November 2009, as an Artist in Residence at TCG Nordica.
As a part of the ArtsNordica – Yunnan Art Institute (YAI) – Örebro Art College Artist in Residence Cooperation, she held a much appreciated three week workshop with the students from the YAI Sculpture Studio of Fine Art, ending with an open-studio exhibition on September 18.
Introduction to the Exhibition
All human are not artists but all artists are human. That is maybe the only thing artists through history have in common.
There are no such things as famous animal artists or art exhibitions for cats. Why? Because art is depending on the ability, and will, to understand symbols. I am fascinated by how we give different values to symbols to be able to communicate. All human societies are depending on these common symbols. Some symbols have become universal. We have for example given gold a high value compared to iron. That is something we learn to understand, an animal does not.
The focus in this workshop has been to explore some of these symbols and use them to describe ourselves. One of the tasks I gave my students was to make a self portrait without drawing their face. From these self portraits they took some symbols and put them together in an enormous drawing. Their drawings began to communicate with the symbols surrounding them and their value changed. The following days, we continued to draw, putting in pictures that we thought should be there for different reasons. We had to “read” the drawing to be able to develop it.
The choice of material and scale is of big importance in all artworks. I choose the cheapest paper and charcoal and a monumental scale. Change one of these conditions to something else, and the reading of the work would be completely different.
I hope you will enjoy this exhibition and I want to encourage you to talk to the students or the other visitors about the drawing and give them your personal interpretation, and listen to their, that is the purpose of this show!
I want to thank Yunnan Arts Institute and TCG Nordica for making this workshop possible. And of course, thank all the students, you have been working hard and it has been a pleasure to see your development.
– Cecilia Jansson