(An In-depth) Introduction to the Arts (Modules)
story Justin Ong, Staff Writer
With the semester coming to a close, we can look forward not just to the winter break, but also the exciting arts electives on offer for the next semester. Some of the instructors in charge give us insight into their courses, beyond the little paragraphs on the course introduction pages. Below are summarized descriptions of the courses based on interviews held with the instructors.
Film and the Other Arts (YHU2237)
Instructor: Brigitte Peucker
One of the primary foci of this module is “intermediality”, a study of the relations of the arts to one another. When film language was being developed it was based heavily on both literature (plot) and art historical models (aesthetic). This course will include less of literature, but places emphasis on the relation to other art forms such as theatre and visual arts. Technical aspects such as how we look at motion and space will also be uncovered throughout the span of the semester.
Films tell stories through images, camerawork and editing procedures; color, sound and music, the composition of the frame, and other issues of space. These formal aspects are central to the narrative. Something that the instructor hopes the students will take away from the course is the ability to analyze and appreciate these formal aspects of film through close study of the medium.
Introduction to 2D Animation (YHU2248)
Instructor: Chen Yanyun
Any form of animation is a narrative, and 2D animation is no different. Every animation tells a story, one made possible by careful attention to timing and aesthetics. Apart from class discussions, a lot of time will be devoted to watching animations as well as hands on exercises in hand-drawn and paper cut animation.
The most important takeaway for the students, in the instructor’s opinion, is for them to have fun while formulating new ideas, and enjoy the process of creating something amidst the material limitations of the medium. By watching various animations and hands on projects, students will figure out creative ways of approaching problems, and perhaps carry this skill through different disciplines.
Introduction to Photojournalism (YHU3216)
Instructor: Tom White
What makes photography so special is that almost anyone can do it. We all know how to pick up a camera and take a picture. There isn’t a direct language barrier as we observe in the wider sphere of literature or film, and this accessibility and ease of communication lends especial importance to the field of visual literacy. In the sphere of photojournalism, this literacy is crucial. Who is your audience? What is the message of your photo? This course will help students answer these questions, as well as explore the potential behind photography as a means of visual representation.
Photojournalism is interdisciplinary; you learn not just to take photos, but also delve into the different issues and controversies surrounding the image and the context of it. White hopes that this course will give students the practical knowledge of how to go about photojournalism, as well as give them a deeper appreciation of this art form through the possibilities it presents as a means of media representation.
Introduction to the Arts (YHU1209)
Instructors: Mark Joyce, Sarah Weiss
The first thing that this course will focus on is how art manifests, discovering the physical and intellectual backdrop that makes an artwork. The course will also delve into the reasons why art springs up in different societies and the form that it takes with regards to a specific historical and philosophical backdrop. It is thus the convergence of various art forms and disciplines that will help students understand what exactly constitutes “art”.
More than that, this course also uncovers the rationale of art; whether art serves a higher social function and whether art is a practical pursuit. The focus on ‘Urban Spaces-Urban Sounds’ will delve into the role of art in the cityscape, focusing on large-scale art forms such as architecture and art movements within cities, as well as the way in which city spaces are used for art. Are museums and performance halls necessarily the most effective avenue for art to manifest? Ultimately the course serves to answer larger questions. What is the role of art in our lives? Is art, perhaps, essential?