BUSAN, South Korea – Being an international school student is a unique experience in a country like South Korea, where multiculturalism is perceptibly a slow, yet gradual process. To express and celebrate their individual differences with the public of Busan, seven students of Busan Foreign School have created an exhibit titled 'Our School, Our Art', for which they reflected on their own experiences as international school students in South Korea.
The exhibit will be on display at the Suyeong Station Art Mediate Space (SSAM), a government-funded, cultural space developed as a part of the Busan Transportation and Art Program, which can be found at exit four of Suyeong subway station.
These seven students, Emily Allen, Hidaya Mansour, Jenny Bae, Ash Wood, Sunny Kim, Ryan Ro and CJ Cruz, have created work that is hinged by a pre-occupation with identity and distinctiveness. Their cultural identification, sense of belonging, perception of place, and past memories are recurring themes across the 14 pieces of art that complete this exhibit. As more than half of these young artists are still in elementary school, they have demonstrated through their work and dedication that artists of all ages are capable of representing challenging and complex ideas.
Emily Allen’s bright blue eyes at the center of her piece, “A Classroom of Eyes” represents her own distinctive characteristics within her class, while Hidaya Mansour’s “Tiger” honors a part of her unique cultural background. Jenny Bae mixed media in her piece “Busan Foreign School” as she glued her pencil and charcoal drawing of her school onto a boldly painted mountain landscape, inspired by traditional Korean art. Ash Wood’s painting “The World Tree of Life”, is sophisticated in its symbolism, as Ash considered the unity of Busan Foreign School’s students, though they come from countries around the globe.
They come to Busan from all over the world (as you can see!)
Some students took a more literal approach to this theme, which is evident in Sunny Kim’s “3rd Grade”, which is a self-portrait with her American teacher. Ryan Ro represents in “Knott’s Berry Farm”, a before and after scene of a farm that was local to Ryan when he lived in California. Finally, CJ Cruz considered life as an international school student in the bigger picture in his clay sculpture “BFS World”, where all the countries staff and students have come from is flagged and strung to their one common place, Busan Foreign School.
The Busan Foreign School Art Club will celebrate and welcome the Busan public to the opening of 'Our School, Our Art' on Friday, April 30th, 2010 with a wine and cheese party from 6-8pm. This exhibit will be on display at SSAM (in the Suyeong Subway Station) until Friday, May 14th, 2010.