Tokyo Tech News

Art with an Artist Fall 2022


Published: January 16, 2023

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. On November 16, the fall art event attracted 26 students, many of whom were international students, to Ookayama Campus for the bilingual session with painter and poet Zuse Meyer.

Meyer speaking about sketches of Albrecht Durer

Meyer speaking about sketches of Albrecht Durer

Artist Zuse Meyer

A native of Wuppertal, Germany and a graduate of the Berlin University of the Arts, Meyer was a lecturer at Tokyo Tech from 2008 to 2016. In 2016, she was also a visiting professor at Tongji University in Shanghai, and has been a visiting associate professor at National Tainan University of the Arts in Taiwan since 2012. Meyer is currently based in both Berlin and Tokyo, and runs an art school and art workshops in both Europe and Asia.

As always, the artist drew in her students from the very start of her seminar and provided informative guidance as needed.

Lecture: The Secret of Drawing

This fall's lecture by Meyer was entitled "The Secret of Drawing." During the talk, participants studied how lifelike drawings are created, and learned about line drawing by examining the footsteps of famous artists such as Albrecht Durer of Germany and Leonardo da Vinci of Italy. Meyer stressed the importance of not only focusing on drawing technique, but also creating lines with enthusiasm and trying to draw out the truth.

Warm-up activity: Single-stroke sketching

Participants began their drawing with single-stroke sketching, a warm-up activity that has become a trademark of this Tokyo Tech seminar. The task was to draw a cloth, and each participant devised their own unique way of expressing the crumpled shape of the fabric.

Next, the students drew the same cloth with their non-dominant hand, which produced completely different results.

Participants working on their drawings

Participants working on their drawings

Main challenge: Drawing our hands

The main task in this seminar was to draw one's own hands. Using pencils and graphite, the students drew each of their hands — first with the dominant hand and then with the non-dominant hand. As was the case during the warm-up session, the two results were very different, and many participants were visibly inspired by the unusual way they were using their hands.

Towards the end of the session, the students laid out their finished works on desks in the form of an impromptu exhibition, and Meyer commented individually on each piece. Students were also invited to critique and comment on their peers' works, and many encouraged each other to further express their imagination and individuality.

Meyer offering her critique of each drawing
Meyer offering her critique of each drawing

Participants viewing each other's creations
Participants viewing each other's creations

Meyer left her audience with some final words of encouragement, stating that she was impressed by the expressive abilities and creative power of everyone in the room.

Comments from participating students

  • Ms. Meyer's thoughts about art were full of freedom and beauty, and they made me want to understand and feel the touch of art more deeply.
  • I really enjoyed the opportunity to try drawing, which I usually want to do but just can't get around to. Thank you very much.
  • It was a great opportunity to meet new friends. Also, the seminar was quite easy to follow even though I didn't have much basic knowledge.
  • Zuse Meyer did a great job in explaining her opinions on art. It was very inspiring.
  • The most impressive thing was that "drawing is drawing the truth of things," I think I have learned a lot!
  • Although I am not used to learning in English, the communication in this event occurred through the art works, and I had a good time.
  • I was very impressed by this seminar. The presenter inspired me a lot. For example, I learned that using our non-dominant hand can break the limitations of our mind.
  • This was my first time to participate in an art class. I was very impressed, thank you for this opportunity.


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