HERE...THERE was a gathering of artists and academics from Asian diasporas in Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific. It provided opportunities to present and discuss recent or current projects, including a 15-minute slot for my ongoing accumulation series.
The short presentation was useful in developing professional skills including public speaking, research and slide preparation. It also helped illuminate certain aspects of the current practice by encouraging self-reflection and offering feedback, in addition to hearing inspirational talks from established artists.
Following brief conversations with Erika Tan, organiser and lecturer at Central Saint Martins, I was encouraged to join student presentations in search of constructive feedback on an ongoing project, particularly regarding specific materials relating to Asian identity and culture.
I was unsure how to use these archived materials, primarily raw video footage from previous news work, or if the current practice even had room for such themes which are minor concerns at this time. And yet I felt they may have potential in my exploration of accumulations.
My involvement in this event encouraged me to look into these materials and forced a reflection on its contents as I prepared a 10-minute slide show. The presentation itself was intimidating in front of accomplished artists and academics, but it nevertheless provided an opportunity to help develop my communication skills.
The feedback and discussion that followed was also useful, highlighting various points for consideration including: crafting alternative terminologies to better convey the intentions of the work; and the significance of allowing personal experiences to inform some work in the service of wider social issues regarding representation and diversity.
I am yet to find the right balance, approach and tone in this area, but this event raised my awareness on its potential relevance within my practice. It also illuminated the need to continue development of current ideas alongside improving technique.