The student-curated exhibit Draw Yourself In is on display in the College of East Asian Studies’ gallery through Dec. 9. Featuring some of the Mansfield Freeman Center’s finest works, Draw Yourself In is an audience-participation exhibit and gallery-goers are encouraged to reimagine the exhibited works in new forms and mediums.
During the exhibit’s opening, guests used colored pencils and paper to draw sections of— or draw themselves into — the artwork.
“We’d like you to put away your cameras and phones and look closely at the details in this exhibit,” said Mansfield Freeman Center Curator Patrick Dowdey. “But please draw. Drawing something lets you interact with a work more closely and allows you to see things you might miss. And if you don’t want to draw, write a poem, or a story, or make up movements. React to the artwork.”
Student curator Walker Reiss ’17 spoke about a photograph titled “Lotus Pond, Tsurumai Park, Nagoya (1996).” While living in Nagoya, the photographer, Wesleyan’s Bill Johnston, would spend his mornings photographing various parts of the city. Johnston is professor of history, professor of East Asian studies, professor of environmental studied and professor of science in society.
Student curator Lucia Wang ’17 spoke about a photograph titled “Man and Boy with Donkey (2001) by Gay Dillon. The image provides a glimpse of classic Chinese rural society. A man, his son and their family’s donkey stand in the vast landscape of north China. Vast, dry fields are set off by the mountains that rise beyond them. The donkey and the cattle shed in the background suggest the significance of farming and the value of the soil to Chinese rural society.
Student curator Erin Deleon ’17 spoke about an aluminum lithograph titled “Carry the Stars (2013).” The artist, Ryoji Suzuki, is known for his beautiful line work combined with stark, unsettling imagery. Riyu “Andrew” Ling ’18 and Tiffany Liang ’17 also helped curate the exhibit.
Several pieces of art are displayed in Draw Yourself In including a doll representing a Noh play, Hagoromo (A Heavenly Robe) believed to have been written by Zeami (1363-1443).
The illustration “Lady Murasaki (1928)” depicts Lady Murasaki Shikibu, one of the key literary figures during the Heian period (794-1185), a time of great literary accomplishment in Japanese history. The artist has depicted Lady Murasaki at a writing desk with her colorful court costume spread around her with misty mountains in the background.
Clare Rogan, curator of the Davison Art Center, and Patrick Dowdey stand near a silk embroidery titled “Peony (pre-1925)” from Southeast China. The artwork is framed in hardwood with a mother of pearl inlay. It was donated by David Jones ’51, P’83, P’86 and his wife Ann.
Draw Yourself In will be on exhibit through Dec. 9.
Follow Draw Yourself In on Instagram with #drawyourselfinwes.