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Apr 12 2019


Greg Choi

And now, the end is near,
And so I face the final curtain,
My friend, I'll say it clear,
I'll state my case, of which I'm certain,

I've lived a life that's full,
I've traveled each and every highway,
And more, much more than this,
I did it my way.

When one chapter ends, another begins. When one era ends, another commences. With this firmly implanted in mind, this year's Grade 12 Visual Art Exhibition was held under the simple title of, "ERA." The name is quite fitting since this grand finale served as the perfect way to cap off the end of our seniors' artistic journey in high school. Although the exhibition marked the end of a special time in the lives of the eight IB DP Art students from the Class of 2019, it also marked a new beginning for them. The same can be said for BCIS founding member and MYP / DP Visual Arts Teacher Richard Todd, who will be moving on to new adventures abroad at the end of this academic year. During the opening ceremony, he gave a moving speech that mentioned the meaning and reasoning behind the exhibition's title, as well as its significance to all that were involved. He also stated how proud he was of the students that were part of his last group at BCIS for creating such amazing work.

Each year, art students are empowered to develop original pieces as part of their IB DP Art Class to share with our community. As Mr. Todd has stated before, these young creatives have "to step up to the challenge of making a collection of independently conceived, developed, and crafted artistic objects of meaning and worth" while juggling a very busy schedule. Even though they faced such adversity, the Class of 2019 Visual Art students truly outdid themselves by creating masterpieces full of meaning and life. More importantly, through these works, they revealed to the public pieces of their souls.

The artists focused on different themes and ideas, allowing for a diverse style of works on display. Themes ranged from religion, environmentally friendliness, youth, beauty, and ugliness to stress, abnormalities, surrealism, and much more. These topics were explored, analyzed, and deconstructed, meaning there was something for everyone to ponder about and explore themselves. Please read on for a glimpse into their minds and though process.


Not everyone has a religious belief, but everyone has beliefs over things happening around us. We believe in rightness and wrongness, freedom and human rights, love and beauty. On one hand, we, as individuals, are the summation of all the beliefs we have. Each piece of experience affects how we see our surroundings and ourselves. On the other hand, these beliefs do not always appear to be definite——people sometimes doubt the correctness of their own thoughts.


Nature is all the animals, plants, and other things that are not man-made. People don't cause events and processes, such as the weather, the sea, the mountains, and the growth and production of plants and animals. However, our ignorance and disregard for nature is affecting it terribly. As we harm the environment, chop down trees, litter, poach, manufacture, etc... pollution and extinction of animal species continue to worsen. We keep taking from our natural resources as they slowly diminish. Unaware of the consequences of our actions, we continue to be greedy and careless towards the environment.


I wanted to tell a story—a story about the time I am living in right now. Therefore, my exhibition explores the many aspects of youth: identity, freedom, fear, and even consumerism. It revolves around a central character—the clown—that I designed as a response to this theme. I believe the clown is a perfect symbol for youth: despite its naive appearance, it possesses rather complex associated meanings.


The theme of my artworks is stress. Stress is all around us. Stress could be a state of mind. It can be attained from the outside. It could be people, society, and mishaps. Stress can also be caused from the inside, from an illness, or from desire. Stress could be used to describe something that looks terribly shocking or so awful that out of expecting.


The idea of the "Surreal" can be interpreted either in a broad or narrow way. In the arts, "surreal" may be a term that stands for a specific style. Nevertheless, what I intended to express through my artworks are generally unnatural or irrational juxtapositions and combinations of imageries or symbols. This interpretation of surreal is more like a transcendent yet nihilistic dream, in which alternations of reality and chaotic, bloom and fade, life and death are always repeating toward infinity.


We are being watched every day and everywhere, just like the dystopian world in Orwell's 1984. Yet, we do not know who Big Brother is or they are. The series resembles the environment my "self" lives in. The eyes can be found even in the peaceful good. [Another topic I tackled was] the relationship between environment and people is bidirectional and can be considered as "the non-self" toward one's "self." It is arguable to say that "the self" is sensible and visible while "the non-self" isn't, when considering the latter as a sort of emotional condition or uncontrollable factor.

In addition, Grade 12 student Hedy tackled the realms of contradiction, controversy, and beauty through abstract self-portraits, Andy Warhol influenced paintings, and the clever use of contrasting colors. Grade 12 student Keer, on the other hand, used the basics of black and white in art forms such as film and drawings to create works that dealt with self (to be or not to be) and time to great effect.

Overall, the creative minds from this year's Grade 12 Visual Art Exhibition created visual art that was not just pleasing to the eyes, but provoked thinking and showed how lives can be transformed through art. Congratulations and job well done!