Tag: unit one

My Reflective Writing – Unit One

Part One

Unit one is focused on researching Arts and Cultural Enterprise. The key is to grasp the fundamental skills in research, such as knowledge of the right resources for relevant articles and books, create research journal, write a literature review, and cite references, form research process and leverage tools to reach to conclusion.

I extremely enjoyed the process of learning, not only on the aspect of research, but on any relevant areas that were touched upon. Below are some of my reflective learnings:

Firstly, I have started building and enhancing my vocabulary of arts and culture.

As a new student in the Arts and Cultural fields, I was fascinated by all the artists (Keith Lam, Halley Cheng), art critics (Boris Groys, Marc Prensky), art businessman (Magnus Renfew), “starchitects” (Herzog & de Meuron, Rem Koolhaas, Kengo Kuma), whose names I have not heard before but mentioned by tutors and guest speakers during the course. I was intrigued since the first speaker Louis Yu mentioned Norman Foster, and his design concept. From that moment, I started a research journal using wordpress.com, capturing all the new things I’ve learned and found interesting from each session. And I will continue doing this throughout the course.

I believe it is essential to immerge into many different art works and equip myself with as much knowledge as possible. And by the way, although time consuming, it was extremely fulfilling and fun.

Secondly, I learned to develop an ability for abstract thinking.

It took me a while to read through the three articles assigned from Unit one, and I realize that my years of business world experience have given me a more pragmatic way of thinking, and now there is a need to develop a more theoretical and abstract mindset.

Examples of what I felt after reading the materials, and reflected questions:

  • Groys, B. (2012) Google: words beyond grammar.

This has become a rather philosophical question, I kept pondering after reading the article, what is the future of language. In one aspect, what Google has done was incredibly revolutionary, but on the other hand, words without context can also be easily manipulated. If as Eric mentioned during his lecture: “there is no jargons, but mis-use of words”, then with words out of context, how could we know whether it is mis-used or not?

  • Prensky, M (2001) Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants.

I think Prensky is using language as analogy here to describe the digital natives and the immigrants. How quickly the immigrants can adapt to the new language and minimize the influence of their accent, ie., their past. The fact that Prensky sharply pointed this out in 2001 was incredible. 16 years later, not much of us has realised the impact and the gaps.

  • Vermeulen, T. and Van der Akker, R (2010) “Notes on Meta-modernism’.

I was still baffled though about the motivation of people insisted on defining Modernism, post modernism and somewhere oscillating in between, ie., metamodernism. Is it really very significant to label every piece of art? I guess yes and I will find out.

Thirdly, I learned about the working style of each team member and how to collaborate to complete a group project.

It’s been a long time since I was in a study group, and this time the group is more delicate, as everyone has their day jobs, cannot necessarily provide instant feedback. It was indeed a miracle that we delivered the project purely through online communications.

For future references in group project work, it is key to have a fair divide of work, to encourage and give each other credit on their contribution, and stand firm on your own believe while listen to others opinions.  I image our future projects should be more complex and challenging, but with the understanding we established in the group and the experience from our first collaboration, we shall together achieve success.

(644 words)

— End —


  • Groys, B., 2011. Google: Words beyond grammar. Hatje Cantz.
  • Prensky (2001) “Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants Part 1”, On the Horizon, Vol. 9 Iss 5 pp. 1 – 6
  • Vermeulen, T. and Van der Akker, R (2010) “Notes on Meta-modernism’.


Group Project – Object Research

Group Project – Object Research

My angle of research is to explore the similar kind of “distorted’/’Collapsed’ art objects that exist in the market.

I found there are potentially two categories of such objects that may inspire and may be viewed as “art”.

  1. Intentional Deconstruction: One of the 10 Cool Trends in Contemporary Ceramic art

Research Method: Secondary research – desk top online search

Flattened, crumpled, and collapsed, these ceramic works squeeze out something new by crushing traditional forms. Chunky, un-useable, yet funky, Robert Chamberlain’s vases are created with cake-making equipment in an inventive marriage of domestic instruments. Work by Ulrika Strömbäck and Kathy Butterly toes the line between creation and destruction to thrilling effect.

2. Artistic manifestation through reinvention

Research Method: Through first hand research in M+ curator. Patricia from our group kindly shared a document curating a Fragments series from one of the M+ exhibition.

Latitude 22N

The Fragments series of vases continues McLin and Progin’s exploration of porcelain at Jingdezhen. During their frequent visits there, they took notice of the many heaps of broken and discarded plaster moulds that can be seen among the city’s workshops, waiting to be ground down to powder and recast as new moulds. The designers reassembled several of these found moulds, all bearing standard vase typologies, and created new vessels from them; by applying thin layers of coloured clay or gold glaze to individual fragments, they’ve “embedded” contrasting shards within the vases’ otherwise unglazed, white bodies. The final result expresses the cracks and broken pieces—or memory—of the moulds, thus placing the designer’s hand not in the form of the work, but in the process of its creation.

3. Wabi Sabi: Art of Imperfection

Research Method: Wikipedia

Wabi Sabi (?) represents Japanese aesthetics and a Japanese world view centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete”.[2] It is a concept derived from the Buddhist teaching of the three marks of existence (三法印 sanbōin?), specifically impermanence (無常 mujō?), suffering ( ku?) and emptiness or absence of self-nature ( ?).
Characteristics of the wabi-sabi aesthetic include asymmetry, roughness, simplicity, economy, austerity, modesty, intimacy, and appreciation of the ingenuous integrity of natural objects and processes.

4. Unique collectibles: Antiquey Defective

Research methodology: first hand research

From my wechat group, I’ve research how people think of the Vase object, and one of the friends mentioned she would be interested because she has a piece of antique bowl with cracks she took from her ancestral house in NanHai, Guangdong Province. And she likes it because it’s almost one of a kind. Hence even though the shape of the vase is deformed, she would also be interested to buy.

Further research needed on book << Valuing the Unique: Economics of Singularities>> by Kalpik Lucien