This summer we hosted three brilliant interns from the Museums Studies Department at the University of Leicester (Bo Yang, Siqi Yang and Alejandra López-Oliveros). It was a busy time with a number of projects and events in and outside the gallery and they often took leaps into the unknown to support the work we were doing. Everyone at the gallery was hugely impressed by the enthusiasm, questions and hands on approach they took to getting involved while they were with us. We asked each of them to write a blog post on their experiences and this post is the first of them by Bo.
Internship reflections – Bo Yang
The two months at GoMA passed quickly, it’s been a memorable experience for me to practice after one year academic learning about Art Museum Studies at Leicester University. Being on the internship in GOMA was a truly perfect opportunity for me to explore how the art institution worked.
Participating Monster Chetwynd’s artwork Face Cream for European Championship 2018 was the first time I have witnessed the of creating an art project. When the organic face cream workshop took place at St Nicolas Garden, I felt like I was really involved in the creation of a work of art. Coincidentally, I and my internship mates played a role in the final work, which makes it an interesting and memorable time for me.
The experience of “Queer Times School” was another different experience. The whole recording process took a week. It is an intensive but totally amazing week. I had seen the performance art form before. But when I really became the witness, it made me feel more real. Having experienced at Burgh Court Hall, Glasgow Women’s Library, Kelvinhall and Scotland Street School Museum, I was both a witness to record the participants’ voice and witness them to express ideas. After several presentations of different speakers and the participants’ discussion, it gave me a deeper understanding of LGBTQ and Queer theme. Another part of my job was assisting the “Summer Holiday Programme” including several workshops for children such as “potion making”, which was connected to the magical theme in Monster Chetwynd’s work for GoMA. I helped to prepare the essential material called “mysterious ingredients”, encouraged the children to create their own magical potions. Looking at their smiling faces after they got their potions, I felt much happier. It’s a creative process, not only providing an opportunity for those children to make good use of their summer holiday, but also inspiring them to contact and understand closely with art. It is exactly as GOMA’s mission: connecting people, objects and place. The creative making process of workshops encourages younger visitors to experience authentically and create art by themselves.
On the other hand, what I enjoyed was every free Friday afternoon was art-viewing time. I and my internship mates visited Glasgow Print Studio, The Modern Institute, Mary Mary Gallery and Riverside Museum. I especially enjoyed the collections of GMRC, it contains a huge amount of objects and it has been a precious opportunity for me to explore other art institutions. Although they have differences with GOMA, they inform Glasgow’s cultural system.
In addition, I still remember the moment when I joined the Curatorial Forum at Riverside Museum. Although I am a novice in curating, one of our group member introduced and guided me patiently when the group discussed. As he said, “the discussion on the Forum is a collaborative process”. The words have made an impression on me even now. Working in an art institution like GOMA, each member is like a cog in machine. Operation and implementation of a project need collective crystallisation of wisdom. Every member who develops needs to exchange thought and sharing unceasingly. As weekly program meetings and team meetings I joined at GOMA, every staff expressed their views clearly from different roles. They contributed to every exhibitions and projects to make sure it has been completed step by step. In a word, the two-month internship experience made me more aware of the practical challenges of working in an art institution.
Thanks for help and guidance of Katie, Martin and all the staff in GOMA. The two-month internship would be my most memorable experience. Additionally, thanks for GOMA and Museum Studies Department of University of Leicester giving this precious opportunity for me. It’s my honour to work in such an excellent team.