Students from Glasgow School of Art (GSA) exhibited work alongside Chinese contemporaries in the Central Academy of Fine Art (CAFA) in Beijing early this April.
The show comprised of 20 third year GSA students and 15 from the CAFA. Steve Rigley, visual communications lecturer and organiser of the venture, explained how the exhibition had been coordinated in spite of linguistic and cultural barriers: “We both tackled the same brief then we exhibited together in the CAFA in Beijing. The brief was centered on the theme of translation.
We had the opportunity to see what was going on at art schools in Beijing. It seems to have become a lot more commercialised in the past two or three years.”
The project was supported mostly by the fundraising efforts of students and received a £3,000 grant from the Scottish Government.
As well as receiving financial support, the exhibition was supported in person by members of the Scottish Government as Rigley described: “As luck would have it the exhibition coincided with the visit to China from Fiona Hyslop so she opened the exhibition.”
This news comes in the light of the Education Secretary, Fiona Hyslop’s announcement of two schemes to promote economic and cultural ties between Scottish and Chinese Universities, revealed during Hyslop’s same visit to Beijing.
The initiative aims to encourage exchange programmes for PhD students between nations. In addition a new programme of scholarships for Masters scholars from China, jointly funded by the Scottish Government and Scottish universities will provide one-off funding of £2,000 for 50 scholars from China who wish to come to study in Scotland later this year.
Hyslop claimed that these projects would develop Scotland’s potential as a strong economic force in the future.
“By encouraging the long-term exchange of education and knowledge between our two countries, these two new schemes will help our students, institutions and industry develop the knowledge they need to compete in today’s internationally competitive markets.”