One of the consequences of COVID-19 for Japanese art university students has been a narrowing of the educational experience. Study abroad programs have yet to be resumed and international exchange opportunities dramatically decreased. The risks to student well-being and need for a new direction in post-COVID education have been recognized. One positive outcome was an accelerated familiarity with remote communication tools. While presenting challenges, opportunities were also revealed for meaningful international exchange, unrestricted by the pandemic. This paper explores the benefits to COVID generation Japanese art university students of international online visual art projects. RE/CONNECT, an online exchange and art exhibition between UK and Japanese art university students, is discussed and qualitative data from pre and post student surveys is introduced. Now in its third consecutive year and with over 60 participants, the project aims to (1) utilize online communication tools for meaningful international exchange despite travel restrictions, and (2) encourage students to explore art creation to help process feelings related to the ongoing pandemic. Through regular video conferences, students share pandemic experiences and create an artistic brief. This is then used as a springboard from which they create individual artworks and accompanying descriptions. Finally, the works are introduced by the artists at a virtual opening party and displayed online in a public exhibition. Through this three-stage process (exchange, create, exhibit), it is hoped that students can benefit from rich and meaningful learning experiences, providing a framework for international exchange projects in other disciplines in the post-COVID educational landscape.
William Hall, Kyoto Saga University of Arts, Japan
About the Presenter(s)
Dr William Hall is a University Associate Professor/Senior Lecturer at Kyoto Saga University of Arts in Japan
See this presentation on the full schedule – Saturday Schedule