MA students from the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies invited visitors to ‘Step Into China’ at the Business Confucius Institute offices on Wednesday 11 and Thursday 12 December.
The Institute was one of various sites around campus hosting student-curated exhibitions based on collections held at the University.
The temporary exhibition was created by four students for their MA Interpretations module in response to a professional brief. They delved into the Business Confucius Institute (BCI) storeroom and spoke to staff to inform the development, design, marketing and installation of their exhibition.
The mix of nationalities in the group was perfectly suited to this project, with two students from China working with two non-Chinese students (from Greece and the UK). They are:
- Maxine Smith – Art Gallery and Museum Studies
- Pinelopi Tsaknaki – Arts Management and Heritage Studies
- Huimin Xi – Arts Management and Heritage Studies
- Yujie Wei – Arts Management and Heritage Studies
The language classroom setting and interactive elements created a unique experience for attendees, who were able to try their hand at calligraphy, enjoy some Chinese tea and strum on the strings of the guzheng. The students had also prepared zines for people to discover and learn more about their Chinese zodiac animal. Hanging from a lantern in the corner of the room were a selection of riddles, inspired by the Chinese traditional game of ‘guessing lantern riddles’ (猜灯谜).
In addition to displaying a range of beautiful traditional Chinese objects, the group also demonstrated the BCI’s work with local businesses. BCI videos Why paying attention to Chinese visitors is good for business and Improving the customer experience for Chinese visitors played on the screen.
Reflecting on the project, Pinelopi, said:
The most rewarding part has been working with my group members; the theme of the exhibition inspired us to talk and share interesting aspects from our cultures and I learned a lot. I even picked up some Chinese words.