Friday, September 5, 2008

Begin: Semester.

HKU (pronounced haa-kaa-yueuw) so far seems to be similar to SAIC, mainly in its approach of the artist as an interdisciplinary individual. I was assigned my studio today in a crazy warehouse, some ways out of the centre, named Tractieweg (pronounced traquesiveg) after the street it's on. It houses about 90 artist from the Fine Arts program at HKU, which includes both 3rd and 4th year students, on three floors. 
I will work independently for the majority of my studies here. Teachers come once a week and we are able to sign up to meet with them; there is one for most mediums, including an "intermedia" teacher who I'll meet for things such as my bookbinding. They come around to our studios (I was under the impression we would have to run around looking for them!) and discuss our work with us, and we can sign up for meetings as frequently as we desire. I will share the studio with Marit (pronounced Maareet) who is here from Norway. She is interested in found sculpture and installation, with a focus at her home institute in Art Education. All we need is a table. I can't wait to begin working. 
The exchange students also have access to the facilities of the IBB (pronounced ee-beh-beh) building, which is on the other side of the centre; as far as the Fine Art program goes, this has the 1st and 2nd year courses, 2nd year studios. It reminds me a lot of the Columbus and Sharp buildings put together. All the mediums are in this building, including painting, printing and sculpture dept, a small photo and fashion dept, an even smaller video dept, and a wonderful bookbinding room with an abundance of letter presses (something SAIC sorely lacks) as well as a cafeteria, a library, a "Service Bureau"-like place and an art supply store. All the other concentrations are in other parts of the building (Art Education, Graphic Design etc) but I do not know anything about those areas. 
We also have, every other week, a Cultural Theory class discussion. It is lead by a man named Klaas Hoek (pronounced Hoouk) who I can already tell is going to be a great mentor. Today in class, we watched a video on the architecture in Las Vegas. So far, I've noticed Dutch people seem to have a pretty stereotypical view of Americans; those kitschy Las Vegas-going-Americans. I guess this is a large majority of our population, however, it's interesting to be outside of that national-demographic yet experience the prejudice towards it first hand. To hear people tell me that I don't seem like an American, or that they hadn't met an American before but I seem different/different from what they thought, etc, etc. 

Something I found out today; It takes 4-6 days for a priority letter to get to the States. That's sweet. 

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