Our IBDP Visual Arts Exhibition & Why Art Matters
On Friday, March 22 from 4-6 pm, Yew Chung International School of Beijing will hold our annual International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) Art Exhibition. This event provides YCIS Beijing students pursuing their IB Visual Diploma an opportunity to fulfil their final requirement for this qualification, which is to put on a self-curated exhibition of their work. While serving as a final exam for these students, The IBDP Art Exhibition will also provide them with an opportunity to share the very best of their work with the broader YCIS Beijing community.
We have three students participating this year: Jiatong (Sophie) Zhao, Kaneda (Johnny) Iles and Jiwon Baek. Ahead of the exhibition, we asked the IBDP candidates’ Art teacher, Allison Cusato, to share her thoughts on the artists and the visual arts more broadly, including a few tips for those considering a career in the Arts.
Meet the artists
Jiatong (Sophie) Zhao
Sophie most enjoys working in the mediums of photography, videography and painting. Her work is abstract, personal and very introspective. She explores identity in many of her pieces.
Kaneda Johnny Iles
Kaneda likes working with digital calligraphy. His work is heavily influenced by Japanese culture, and he does a lot with logo design as well.
Jiwon’s preferred medium is painting. She’s a very talented illustrator and tends toward slightly abstract, but very emotive portraiture. Her work tilts towards motifs of psychology and justice.
What’s the importance of art?
Visual Arts are crucial in so many ways, especially in schools. Visual arts teach creative thinking and problem-solving. It encourages experimentation. Art can also train the mind to focus. When you’re creating art, you cannot play with your phone or multi-task. Making art teaches students what it is to focus on something and how to block out the noise of distractions.
Making art teaches resilience too. It is often as much about failure as success, and that’s a good thing. By forcing students to face the fear of failure in a safe environment, where they will also be forced to get right back up and try again they can learn to cope with failure and operate in the face of fear. Those kinds of lessons in resilience can last a lifetime and translate across all aspects of life.
Visual arts can also be thought of as a language. By teaching visual communications, I’m teaching my students a visual language that can stretch beyond cultures, spoken languages and their individual verbal skills. Through visual arts, students can convey meaning effectively on multiple levels to people they otherwise might not have been able to communicate with.
Besides, visual arts can be used throughout a student’s life. Whether in their future careers, as a recreational pastime or stress relieving hobby.
Any advice for those seeking a career in the Arts?
Go see art! Visit museums, galleries, exhibitions. Get inspired! Don’t be afraid to experiment and take risks, but study business too. Understanding business is essential, and even professional artists do well to understand that side of things.