Last term, as part of the Artist in Residence programme, Indonesian artist Ari Bayuaji was on Dover Campus working on a very special installation. His residency was supported by the Shripriya Mahesh Ramanan and Ramanan Raghavendran Artist-in-Residence Programme, part of a family endowment gift made through the UWCSEA Foundation.
Ari was inspired by the work that the students had done after seeing the work of Yayoi Kusama. He created a large installation in collaboration with the students. It is a visual delight and designed as a homage to a number of famous artists that the children can recognise. The work is housed in a large wooden structure that has become place to sit, reflect and enjoy the artwork.
The project evolved over the weeks. Ari included many pieces that the children had made together with his own drawings that were inspired by the children’s ideas and what he saw happening in the art room.
‘My drawings as part of the art installation created during the artist in residency at UWCSEA are inspired by the primary students’ artwork this term. I am really impressed by how the students reinterpreted some of Yayoi Kusama’s artworks in such a brave and honest manner, an attitude that is not always easy for adults in the creative process.
I always see Kusama’s works as a symbol of happiness and liberation. The polka dots, bold bright colours and infinity spaces she has created really are so contagious that the viewers just can’t take the images and the experience of witnessing the artworks out of their mind, maybe forever.
It has been a very good and interesting experience to see creative process taught by the art teachers in the primary class at UWCSEA. The creative process and teamwork exercises for the children in the class works really well in this school and I am using that strength to help me constructing the art project during my residency here. The students are helping to me make many small drawings to be applied in the interior of the black box.
The art installation work is using a big black black box with dimension 2.5 x 2.5 x 3 meters. The black box will be transformed into an ‘infinity room’, where the primary students can enter the space and experience the art installation in it. I am using many different kinds of drawing techniques in the space. Forms, repetition, colours and movement are dominating the whole space in a large abstraction form.
I hope that the art installation will trigger their imagination and creativity.’ Ari Bayuaji, March 2018.
This article was written by Siân Johns, Primary School Art Coordinator and originally appeared in Perspectives.