Tokyo Tech News
Tokyo Tech hosts the Art with an Artist seminar twice a year with the aim of inspiring its science and technology students through the arts. This spring, the event was held on Suzukakedai Campus on May 18. Seven of the fifteen students who joined the bilingual session were international students, creating a particularly diverse environment at the event.
The lecture, hands-on practice sessions, and final critique were once again led by Zuse Meyer, a painter and poet with long-lasting ties to the Institute.
A graduate of the Berlin University of the Arts, Meyer is a former lecturer at Tokyo Tech. She is currently based in both Berlin and Tokyo, and runs an art school and art workshops in both Europe and Asia.
As is always the case in her seminars, Meyer once again drew in her students from the very start and provided informative guidance throughout the seminar.
This spring's lecture was entitled "The Power of Color and Henri Matisse." The talk introduced the works of Matisse in chronological order and showed how he gradually shifted from realistic paintings using traditional techniques to a more abstract style. Meyer also explained how, in his later years, Matisse created many works using the cut-out method in which lines and colors were further simplified.
To warm up, students were asked to create a sketch using only one ongoing single line. A black-and-white, realistic still-life painting was projected onto the screen, which the students were then asked to reproduce. While working in their own sketchbooks, the participants took their time viewing the projected still life, at times looking slightly troubled. In the end, each student managed to express their individual creativity and style — some simply drew the outlines, while others aimed for a more complex result.
In the next activity, students created paper cut-outs inspired by the color still-life painting projected onto the screen. The aim was to represent the displayed painting while freely expressing individual feelings and perception in color, form, and space by using scissors, paper, and glue. The finished works of the students were each so unique that it was hard to believe that they were created while looking at the same painting.
The second part of the cut-out challenge was to freely create artwork using the leftover colored paper from the previous assignment. By combining paper with holes and sheets that had been cut into odd shapes, the students embraced the challenge. "There are no wrong or right answers, " said Meyer as she encouraged and guided the students. Once again, each participant completed a unique work of art.
As in previous seminars, Meyer concluded with some passionate critique to each student individually.
Based on student responses during the session and the feedback that was provided after the seminar, many of the participants had once again discovered new sides to themselves. Year after year, events such as Art with an Artist continue to broaden the horizons of Tokyo Tech students while providing them with inspiration for their studies and research.
The next Art with an Artist seminar is being planned for Ookayama Campus in November.