New Online Exhibition Created by School of Art Students Now Available

Laurel Lamb

School of Art visiting assistant professor Oh Mee Lee taught the course Materials Across Asia this spring in collaboration with the University of Arkansas Museum.

The course incorporated hands-on experiences for students through study and analysis of a selection of cultural materials in the collections. These efforts led to the creation of their new Materials Across Asia online exhibition.

The exhibition features a varied selection of objects, such as Ming porcelain, Shang dynasty bronze, Korean and Chinese textiles, and an album of richly-colored Japanese prints. Much of the exhibition focuses on individual artistic expression versus mass production and explores the intense specialized processes and significance each medium, form and decoration involved.

Originally, the class was tasked to create a physical exhibition in Old Main. But with the nationwide quarantine restrictions, these plans were disrupted and students shifted their focus online.

"For having little expertise in the arts of Asia, let alone exhibition design, the students impressively honed in on their unique skills — in web, zine, and display design, writing and research, and close looking and analyzing, to present this exhibition online, in zine format, and eventually physically in Old Main," said Oh Mee Lee.

Beyond not being able to physically view the objects the last month and a half of the semester, the class also had to complete the ambitious team project remotely.

"Having classes virtually has not made research and communication that goes into such a project any easier, but as long as the goal to share and educate others about a set of objects and artifacts that have a rich history perseveres, we will be able to give our audience the tools to become more knowledgeable on what could be a new and exciting subject," said Selin Nelson, a student in 'Materials Across Asia.'

Another student, Alexis Tucker, shared how studying these objects have the ability inspire artists and provide knowledge about cultural beliefs, environment and customs.

When campus guidelines allows, the class will create the original plan of an exhibition in Old Main. Until then, students, Oh Mee Lee and the University of Arkansas Museum invite everyone to experience Materials Across Asia online exhibition.


Laurel Lamb, curator of education and engagement
University of Arkansas Museum


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