Above are the art students I am working with at Xiamen University who are creating short video works that include hybrid forms of time-based media; i.e., animations, stop-motion and motion graphics.
On the far right in the classroom panoramic image is Melody 阳, currently a X.U. graduate student assisting with translation and assisting me with the course. She has been essential on many levels and is most open to how to best manage the students. I think this is a very interesting model to have professors visit a foreign university and to teach a research based course in a condensed manner– offering students a unique experience besides for the faculty. This experience has been most useful in my own practice as an artist/educator.
Needless to say, I can no longer complain about crowded classrooms in America. The oddest discovery was that half of the machines have windows installed and they do not seem to be functioning well or at all. Part of the problem is the lack of technical support. However, the Apple OS iMacs are the more stable — just saying!
The students have a great attitude about working and are most creative. They are open to criticism and other ideas. The US and Chinese students are similar in some respects regarding their work ethic and the typical distractions, such as the smart phone and just being young. I will post one or two of the best films on my YouTube channel and share in the near future. Today was our last class until the critique on Wed, July 1st.Some of their storyboards were very detailed and professional. This is from two days ago before editing. The next version, will be one with notes and changes as they completely the editing process. The story is about a young man who is hit with a very low score for his grades and so he climbs to the highest point in the building to jump off – to end it all. One of his friends tries to stop him, after a few minutes of struggling his friend — he gives up and just pushes him over the edge where he lands on a grassy lawn far below. Miraculously, he is still alive, expectedly shaken up, his friend reaches down and assists him to his feet, then they both in a dream like state dance to the beach to do exercises to work off the stress from the day. When accidentally while exercising the one character who jumped off the building kicks over a child’s sand castle. The character knows this is very bad and will result in years of martial punishment from the Chinese Police — the film ends with him getting his mug shots at police headquarters. So it goes good intentions do not go without server punishment, particularly in China.