Class Year: 2016
Internship Placement: This summer, I’m work with Leo Xu Projects, a contemporary art gallery located in Shanghai’s previous French concession. The gallery exhibits young Chinese and international artists, and is dedicated to responding to ideas reflecting visual culture in modern china. Some projects also respond to the social and political climate of the century. The gallery is a rather small space, thus I have the opportunity to be hands on in every aspect of the work I need to know, large and trivial, expected and unexpected.
What’s happening? We’d love to hear how your internship is going!
I had the opportunity to help curate a show featuring Hong Kong-base artist Zheng Bo, with a focus on the narrative of weed. The artist examines and reflects the history, existence of wild plants in the transformation of the modern society of China. I feel very lucky that I could have this chance to be there with the artist at the very beginning and experience the progress, from thoughts to works. As a Fine Arts major myself, I liked working with the artist a lot, we both value the freedom one could enjoy while creating art works. In addition, Zheng’s art works opened up my view of arts. For some reason before this, I focused a lot on “traditional” art forms and medium, like painting, drawing, photography, and sculpture etc. Through this experience, I realized that there are actually a lot more ways of expression in arts, such as sounds, videos, objects, texts, etc. Zheng’s reflection on social politics also touched me and reminded me of the liberal education I am receiving in Bryn Mawr.
The exhibition includes a lot about reshaping the gallery space. Thus I also worked a lot with constructions. It was a lot of fun, as I take this field useful to my Cities major. I am learning a lot about theories and creative ideas about designing architecture from school. It was amazing to learn how people actually build things together, and make walls stand and safe.
Besides reflecting on the interesting and valuable experiences I have at work, I also think about what this summer means to my self-improvement, my academics, and my life. My works are not always adventurous. Although sometimes repetitive, I understand its necessity. Sometimes I work more hours and days. The boss sometimes requires me to work overtime and takes it for granted, such as having dinner with gallery clients, or going to construction sites at night. Even during the days I work “regularly,” it’s hard to have time and energy to do my own research, do my arts, or even read books or watch an interesting movie. Together with the words that I read in Springfield chapters, I do not think this kind of work atmosphere or routine would motivate me to get up from bed every morning. This might be one of the setbacks I am having this summer, and I would like to turn this into a lesson to pursuit a suitable goal in the future career.