As part of our ongoing Life At Chelsea series we interviewed Yu Ting Hsu, who completed her MA Fine Art course this September. Yu talked to us about her practice and time at Chelsea.
“During my studies at Chelsea, I have learned to express my ideas more accurately. Through continuous practicing, I found a way of expressing my ideas that is more suitable for me and that helped me to realise my artistic philosophy in the long run.
“For the summer show my work was a site-specific photography installation, where I transfered photography to create an abstract immersive scene.
“My work is defined between photography, painting and space installation. I regard photography as a spiritual painting process, using it to find the meaning of time, space and existence. In my work, the abstract images I shoot are deconstructed and reorganized into another independent scene. The symbols of images are used to imply elements such as light, speed, and space, just like the conditions of photography itself.
“Photography is a process for me, not a result. Each step of selecting and framing is like taking a picture of itself. What I am thinking about is the essence of life, by constantly looking at photos, people attempt to confirm their relationship with the world. This behaviour is like gazing at the evidence of our own existence. Photographs are like interceptions in a continuous life experience. The photos isolate the fragments of time. However, through my work I question if the essence of life is an independent moment, or a picture that is maintained by many moments.
“Chelsea’s workshops provided me with more possibilities for practice. All the staff here are artists. Students can freely ask any questions and discuss our ideas with them and our tutors. The exhibition spaces are also very diverse. In addition to the large space, I also often use the small gallery spaces to experiment and document my work. Chelsea helped me a lot in practice, experimentation, and presentation.
“In addition to the work I did at the college, I also actively participated in off campus exhibitions and my work has been published in an interview in Thepolysh an online magazine. This year I had a joint exhibition, with another artist, at London College of Fashion (LCF) and was selected to participate in the LoosenArt Photography Exhibition in Rome.
“I was very impressed by my joint exhibition at LCF in June. I think this is the ideal state of cooperation. From writing plans, making works to exhibitions, I spent a lot of time discussing the show with my partner and we helped one another. We also went to see exhibitions and discuss other people’s work, to make our own goals clear. We wanted the curation between the space and the work to be unified, so the arrangement of the work would set off the space, in order for the space to become a narrative.
“What I’ve enjoyed most about studying in London is that it has a wider acceptance of the artistic profession. From people going to see exhibitions to their love of art, it is a natural and regular activity. The education style in Asia is stricter and they are afraid of making mistakes. In an atmosphere like London, I feel more relaxed and bolder with my artistic choices.
“In addition to the learning from the resources mentioned above, my classmates greatly influenced me. The students on my course were all excellent, from different countries and different ages, and many are very successful artists. Their work attitude has become my role model and urged me to raise my standards. Everyone is very friendly, and I got a lot of good advice from the conversations.
“Chelsea is very international. Based on the environmental atmosphere and the design of the course, we are able to practice all artistic possibilities very freely. The students chosen by Chelsea will not be biased towards a certain style, but will widely accept people from different professional backgrounds. I think this is where the development is. Chelsea is not just a school that teaches art, but also looks forward to the experimental development of the future of art.
“I organised a group exhibition this October where I am be the curator and invited 14 artists to participate. In addition, I am also preparing for my first solo exhibition in London. Then I’m returning to Taiwan to use my studies to bring a good influence to the art field there. I hope in the future I can publish my work regularly. Step by step, I will get closer to my ideal creative state. Art is a long-term practice.
“My advice to any new students is don’t carry any preconceptions or expectations. Instead, enjoy and work hard in the present.
“Chelsea in three words? Internationalisation, freedom, specialisation.“
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