This semester, the students in the AFK Studio Art Academy along with those from Britannia, Jules Verne and King George Secondary Schools had a remarkable opportunity to meet a renowned artist Takashi Murakami, explore Japanese symbolism and create an expression of their world in a mural. The student art is on display at the Vancouver Art Gallery Annex through Sunday, April 22, 2018.
The Think Tank for Youth on Art and Ideas facilitate interactions with the Vancouver Art Gallery's exhibitions by encouraging students to think creatively and independently, while developing visual responses to their world. The project was three months in the making.
At the end of January, the students met the artist Takashi Murakami. His exhibition, The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg is the first solo presentation of this Japanese artist's work in Canada, and is at the Vancouver Art Gallery through May 6, 2018.
In early February, the students spent an afternoon with the artist, accompanied by their teachers and local interdisciplinary artist Cindy Moshizuki.
Cindy developed a workshop for the students, spending an afternoon at each school exploring representation in Japanese art, traditional Japanese Noh theatre symbolism, and Buddhist arhat meaning and representation.
In late February, the students returned to the Vancouver Art Gallery for a second visit to the exhibition, taking in the art through the insight gained in Cindy's workshop.
Then, on April 12 and 13, the students worked with the Vancouver Art Gallery education staff to collectively create the mural, which is now on display in the Annex Workshop. The result is a visual expression of the students' contemporary world, through the symbolism, inspiration and understanding of the renowned Takashi Murakami and Cindy Moshizuki.
"When I first started, I was worried about how I would feel about the end product. Everyone's different styles working together in one piece seemed far-fetched. I think now that it looks better with all the diversity. It's chaotic and I love it," says one of the Studio Art Academy students.
The mural is on display at the Vancouver Art Gallery Annex through this Sunday, April 22, 2018. We encourage you to visit the remarkable expression of student perspective.