Meet Yalan Chan
NAS Bachelor of Fine Art student
Briefly describe your practice
I am a Bachelor of Fine Art student at NAS, majoring in painting. I just finished four weeks of making assemblage art, sourcing materials from our surroundings, such as garden beds, second-hand stores and Reverse Garbage, assembling them with tools from the NAS workshop. My favourite piece, called Nature, uses alpaca wool, autumn leaves, sacking, brown paper and palm tree fibre. I really enjoyed walking around Darlinghurst tuning into the essence of nature – listening to the rustling of fallen leaves on the ground and feeling the winter breeze while picking up dry leaves from the roadside. The final work expresses the feelings from this experience. I am currently working towards my independent project in painting, exploring contemporary art settings with traditional methods.
Describe your experience at NAS and in your NAS studio
So far my experience here has been really wonderful. In first year, I got to try different disciplines including ceramics, photography, printmaking, sculpture and painting, which broadened my artistic knowledge. I am now majoring in painting, but I appreciate the skills learnt from printmaking which can also be applied in painting. The teaching staff and student services are extremely helpful and supportive. I always feel I am in a great positive learning place and I was impressed by the encouragement and extremely organised teaching in Semester 1 in response to Covid-19.
Having my own studio at NAS helps me get used to working in this environment, an essential step to becoming an independent artist in the future. The NAS studio set up is great, airy and light with my own display wall and essential studio furniture such easel, colour mixing trolley, study desk and chair. Easy access to power point in the studio means I can use tools such as a glue gun to help with artwork making. My computer and phones can be charged as well for research studies. During Covid-19, the studios are a safe environment because each of us have our own space. I could easily spend the whole day there making art and not worry about anything.
The Parkers art supply store in NAS provides really great range selection of art material at discount rate. There are nice cafés around NAS, and I often enjoy my lunch break on the grass baking in the sunshine with my peers.
I often stay back late – we can work in the NAS studios until 9pm with security on campus and locked gates. I feel safe and enjoy the peace working after hours in my studio.
Why did you choose to study at the National Art School?
Because it is a studio-based art school focusing on one-to-one teaching under the guidance of established, practicing artists. The study schedule here is well-balanced with a mixture of observational and general drawing classes, art theory and painting. I really enjoy art theory classes, the lecturers are very knowledgeable and it gives us a solid theory foundation for art practices. All the other classes are hands-on art practice – I chose NAS because it is an authentic fine art school all about art making. Also because NAS is very active in updating art news, prizes and student opportunities. I feel like attending NAS gives me the opportunity to connect to the real art world out there.
What is the most precious item in your studio?
The oil painting I made from observing my Nature assemblage piece. I am very satisfied with this painting, it is colourful, energetic, cheerful and brings me joy when I look at it. During this Covid-19 period, everything is little isolated, depressing and boring. This painting reminds me of the colourful and joyful world we have. Having this work hung in my studio brings positive energy to me and people walking by. I have been quite productive after returning to my NAS studio, and I really appreciate having a such great and safe environment to make art during this strange time in our universe.