Information society. Ours is an age in which a constant stream of new technologies that stimulate our desires like the Internet and image-based media have become part of everyday life. And while information spreading indiscriminately to anyone in an instant makes life convenient, its excess is also beginning to give rise to a plethora of evils. As we go about our lives in the real world, the very nature of the times makes keeping sight of the essential qualities of human existence an important task. We want students to live within society as vibrant, valuable human beings. For this, the exploratory and individualistic creative act inherent in art can and should serve as a valuable tool.
The objective of the Japanese Painting course is to teach students the specialized techniques forming the basis of Japanese painting and to foster in them individual creativity as they learn to express the unique qualities of Japanese painting, transmitted through the ages as a reflection of Japanese culture, in contemporary forms. In the four-year undergraduate program, students study all aspects of Japanese painting, rendering as subjects flora, fauna, landscapes, and people. They also devote significant time to drawing the human figure as a fundamental form of representation to cultivate depictive strengths.
By painting, we confront the world around us, and in doing so, learn an attitude essential to the formative arts. This does not mean merely developing external depictive skills. It also refers to the pivotal process of probing our own expressive ideals, through the colors and forms of our surrounds. The Department of Painting offers the two disciplines of painting and printmaking where students basically engage in developing painting or print projects, but the course is also designed to encourage students to develop an awareness of the boundless potential of contemporary expression and to expand into the new spheres of installation and media expression where required.
The Department also has a painting-composition lab, conducting research in classical techniques and materials. Students can take classes in these as course options, or in conjunction with their regular studies.
Four years pass in the twinkling of an eye. When one considers the diverse landscape of contemporary art and the opaqueness of its values, four years may seem too short a runup for a professional art career. However, many past students of the Department have gone on to work as artists, and continue to do so today. There are many ways of relating to art, but in the Painting Department our aim is to produce as many artists as possible sincerely devoted to and seriously engaged in the arts.
Note: Painting materials and techniques is the study of the material aspects of painting. Classes make an organic connection between the various materials used for painting and the theories of technique that link these to different modes of expression. Studio work revolves mainly around copying, however the aim is not so much to reproduce well-known paintings as to gain a practical knowledge of the various techniques used in painting, including supports, pigment layers, underpainting and upper layer coloration, brushstrokes and glazes. Students study as techniques the intimate link between modes of expression and materials, including the progression from chiaroscuro to color, and the spatial construct of painting.
In the painting course, instructors offer subjects capitalizing on their individual areas of expertise, from painting to sculpture, installation and filmic art, from which students are free to choose. As they study these subjects, students gradually acquire greater depth in their own personal expression.
Amid a new appreciation of the unique nature of printmaking as part of an increasingly diverse array of artistic expression, the realm of printmaking is expanding and growing in importance. Following experience of printmaking in their first and second years, from the third year, classes concentrate on print production in a course consisting solely of printmaking. The curriculum allows students to select and major in one form of printmaking after trying their hand at four types: woodblock, lithograph, copperplate and silkscreen.