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Life at Chelsea: Midori Arai – Graduate Diploma Fine Art

image-2018-06-11 (3)
image-2018-06-11 (3)

Written by
Natalie Anastasiou
Published date
11 June 2018

In the lead up to the 2018 Undergraduate Summer Show, we interview graduating students about their life at Chelsea and how their learning experience has shaped their practice. Originally from Japan, Graduate Diploma Fine Art student Midori Arai’s project for the degree show was inspired by Penguin Books and is to create an installation made entirely of paper.

Describe your time at Chelsea in 3 words

International, friendly, freedom

Please tell us how your work has developed during your time at UAL

I always try to put my ideas into a sketchbook and show it to my peers and tutors. Then I can see my work more objectively,

What are you working on for the degree show?

I am going to create an installation using paper based materials.

What have your influences / inspiration been for your work for the degree show?

My inspiration comes from my work I did for the Penguin Book Competition earlier in the year.

A shredded text paper installation

In what ways has the studio / workshop environment informed your practice during your time at Chelsea?

The studio has allowed me to put my ideas onto the wall, so I can see them clearer.

Tell us about any external projects you have worked on during your time at Chelsea? (i.e. internships, exhibitions, placements, voluntary work etc.) How has this informed your practice?

I worked for a Japanese ceramic artist as their assistant for an internship. I was able to see lots of different art by many artists and I used this as inspiration.

What have you enjoyed the most about studying and living in London?

I have enjoyed connecting with international people and exchanging cultures. I’ve also enjoyed seeing historical architecture around the city and spending cosy days in the park with coffee!

Who or what has been your biggest influence during your time at Chelsea?

Of course my friends! Also, I often get lots of influence from what I read in the library.

A string of paper objects hanging from the ceiling

What are your ambitions following graduation?

I want to be an international designer and come back to London again! I hope I can work with my Chelsea friends someday!

What makes your proud to be a Chelsea student?

The beautiful architecture and the international environment.

What would you say to anyone thinking of doing your course? Any advice for new students?

I felt that the Graduate Diploma Fine Art course provided me with the freedom to create anything and explore other opportunities in my free time. For example, collaborating with external companies, applying for art competitions, internships and organising group exhibitions!

Click here to find out more about Graduate Diploma Fine Art

For information on the Undergraduate Summer Show opening on 15 June – 23 June, click here

To see more work from our graduating students, head to