The Private Eye of Art Education
by Ryan Mario
The general consensus of the populace on art education falls somewhere between “impractical” and “idealistic”, often conveyed through accusatory bombardments of “paying too much for a hobby and not getting a proper job”. Of course, the presence of such notion is unmistakably more palpable in these Eastern regions of the world where Asian values and fast-paced capitalistic ideologies buffet individual freedoms while keeping society's stability and prosperity in check.
Even so, the years leading up to this new decade has been nothing short of pivotal in skewing the generation's take on art education. As we see a few of the nation's top art institutes brim with student enrolments, even more parents are equally engaged in providing their children with an early immersion into the arts. As stated emphatically by a mother of two, “parents are not reserved in spending on enrichment courses for the kids.” From sports to performing arts, the surge in demand for the acquisition of expertise outside academic performance sets a new trend in motion towards achieving the “jack-of-all-trades” status. So, how does visual arts fare amidst this pedagogical rat race? Art Herald speaks to one Christine Lok who has taken the reins to provide art education that is both easily accessible and attainable within the comforts of the home.
"Art trains the thought processes of the individuals and develops their personalities to be more appreciative of the things around them."
Christine Lok believes in the cruciality of being a practitioner before an educator. As an artist herself, the 25-year-old left her Malaysian hometown to pursue an education in Singapore’s Lasalle College of the Arts. To date, she has managed to clinch four exhibitions, including a solo one where her works were acquired into private collections. “Art trains the thought processes of the individuals and develops their personalities to be more appreciative of the things around them,” declares Christine. Furthermore, her stints in art centres and studios have primed her knowledge and experience of the sector, ultimately carving a path to holding her own as “Personal Art Tutor for Hire”.
Having noticed that courses conducted in a number of public studios were supposedly rigid and traditional, Christine was unable to turn a blind eye to the lack of freedom in expression. It was then that she took it upon herself, through her classes, to realign the very essence of art towards generating original and personal narratives within each individual.
Amidst the many facets of conducting private classes, one of Christine’s key considerations is ensuring that every session is a bespoke one. “According to each student’s learning capability, I will customise the classes to optimise their learning outcomes.” Taking it a step further, materials required for the classes are also provided by her to ensure that her students do not fret over trivialities and focus on only what is most important to them – their learning. Christine unveils that art has always revolutionised her perception of the world around her. Through education as a medium, she is able to dilute such perspectives at different experiential levels for the various age groups, thus allowing her students to look beyond their peripherals when tackling the uncertainties of life.
Indeed, art is an indispensable life skill. While the notion of accepting art studies within the academic rankings remains far-fetched for some, educators like Christine Lok who stand their ground at the front line are what nudges such acceptance towards a more desirable future for the art scene and its stakeholders.
Make an appointment for Christine's one-of-a-kind guided art jamming session through her page here: https://www.instagram.com/artlamaison.sg/