Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Visual Arts
Acting Programme Director: Mr BENZ, Peter
The BA (Hons) in Visual Arts programme at the Academy of Visual Arts is a professional degree that focuses on intensive practice-led work in the visual arts supported by a programme in General Education. It emphasises creativity, versatility, and intelligent articulation, thus enabling its graduates to enter professional, studio-based careers in such fields as studio arts, design, and/or craft after earning the degree.
The programme consists of a set of required courses and a number of elective courses to be taken from two concentrations: Studio and Media Arts, and Craft and Design. It provides students with solid foundations in their personal choice of areas including drawing, painting, Chinese arts, media arts, graphic arts, sculpture, glass, ceramics, object design, experience design, and is supported by required courses in art history and theory, visual and material culture.
The underlying philosophy of the programme is rooted in the idea of the ever-shifting climate of creative production in the context of society. Studio teaching is conducted through a combination of workshops, and individual and group tutorials, and is founded on the belief that art and design practice is fundamentally a social phenomenon. The aim of the staff and students is to participate in social interaction and discussion through visual arts.
In accordance with the institutional philosophy of the AVA the aims of the BA (Hons) in Visual Arts programme are:
- To nurture creative talents with new ideas, inspiration, and professionalism;
- To be an active part of the growing creative and cultural sectors in the region, through institutional participation as well as through the contributions of AVA’s graduates and students;
- To be and remain the best Visual Arts degree programme in the region; and
- To further extend AVA’s and HKBU’s international reputation by producing cutting-edge creative works and visual arts research.
Based on these aims the objectives of the BA (Hons) in Visual Arts programme are:
- To provide solid training in visual arts skills and techniques, and to familiarise AVA’s students with contemporary concepts and approaches of the field;
- To equip AVA’s students with scholarly skills and abilities at academic level, and thus enable them to seek further academic education in graduate and postgraduate studies;
- To lead our students to develop their own artistic profile according to their interests, enabling them to explore, develop and realise creative ideas in response to externally set, and self-generated projects; and
- To nurture well-balanced, confident graduate personalities, whose personal and professional conduct is based on the values of a civilized society, and the appreciation of culture as a major foundation of our way of living.
The Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Visual Arts programme is offered in two distinct modes: in the ‘professional mode’ as an undergraduate degree programme that enables graduates to enter professional careers in such fields as design, fine arts, and/or craft; or in ‘liberal arts mode’, which may or may not prepare them for careers as visual arts professionals, as career preparation is not a primary objective of liberal arts education.
The structure of the curriculum in Professional Mode is as follows:
|I)||Major Courses||75 units|
|II)||Honours Project||9 units|
|III)||University Core Courses||13 units|
|IV)||General Education Courses||18 units|
|V)||Free Electives#||13 units|
# Students may take additional Healthy Lifestyle courses and/or General Education (Level 1 or 2) courses in any categories, subject to a maximum of 6 units, to fulfil the Free Electives requirement.
In general, the BA (Hons) in Visual Arts programme (Professional Mode) requires all its students to attend four Required Courses (1000 level) during their first year at the Academy that provide all students with a comprehensive introduction into the practice and history of the visual arts. Students are required to take another two theory courses (2000 level) in their second year, as well as choose a selection of Elective Courses (2000 level) based on their personal interests to expand their practical knowledge and skills base. In their third and fourth years, the students are expected to develop more depth in three studio areas of their choice by selecting one Studio Course (3000 level) per term, to which the 2000 level courses they have taken before are pre-requisite. Their studies reach its peak in Year 4, when the students demonstrate their achievement of the graduate attributes in the Studio Honours Project (4000 level), which is supplemented by an interdisciplinary practice course and a professional practice course (both 4000 level) for added exit velocity.
Within this outlined structure the BA (Hons) in Visual Arts programme is offered in two concentrations differentiated as Studio and Media Arts, and Craft and Design.
Studio and Media Arts
A concentration in Studio and Media Arts allows the student to focus his/her endeavours in traditional studio arts and/or contemporary media arts, aiming to generate meaning through aesthetic and/or intellectual concepts, beyond a merely functional approach. It indicates the student’s ability to work in areas related to the fine arts—as a practising artist—to teach related areas or take on some administrative positions from the area.
Craft and Design
Craft and design both have the physical work-result at the centre of their disciplines. Be it a hand-made artefact or a mass-produced industry product, the essence of the result is in its physicality. Because of this, concepts of functionality, usability, sustainability, but also consideration of production processes, market-demand and/or general benefits play an increasingly important role to the visual artist. Completion of this concentration indicates the student’s ability to work as designer or artisan, to teach in this area, and/or to take on administrative positions related to the area.
(1) Students are required to achieve minimum 27 units of Level 3 studio courses.
(2) A concentration is achieved by completing 18 units of Level 3 studio courses and 9 units of Studio Honours Project (total: 27 units) in the same division (Craft and Design or Studio and Media Arts). The remaining 9 units of required Level 3 studio course may be taken in the other practice division. If a student completed more than 27 units of Level 3 studio courses, the concentration would be established through the division from which the majority of units completed from the studio courses.
(3) Students of the professional mode are required to complete a self-organised non-credit bearing work experience (internship, work placement, or similar) in a company or institution of relevance by the end of Year 2, otherwise students usually may not progress to Year 3.
(4) Students are required to take 18 units of General Education (GE) courses, including 9 units in Level 1 Foundational Courses, 6 units in Level 2 Interdisciplinary Thematic Courses and 3 units in GE Capstone. [Check http://handbook.ar.hkbu.edu.hk/2020-2021/general-education-programme.]
(5) Students are required to take a total of 13 units of Free Elective courses, which may include a maximum of 6 units of GE/IGE courses in any Distribution areas of learning.
(6) As a graduation requirement, students are required to complete a minimum of 36 units of courses at the upper levels (levels 3 or 4). These upper level courses include major courses (e.g. VART4035 Interdisciplinary Practice in Visual Artists, VART4036 Professional Practice for Visual Artists and VART4056 Studio Honours Project) and non-major courses alike.
(7) To fulfil graduation requirements, students are required to attain foundation Putonghua proficiency recognised by the University.
|I.||Major Courses||75 units|
|Major Required Courses (24 units)|
|VART1005 Visual Arts Practice I||3 units|
|VART1006 Visual Arts Practice II||3 units|
|VART1305 Arts and Its Histories I||3 units|
|VART1306 Arts and Its Histories II||3 units|
|VART2305 Art in the 20th Century I||3 units|
|VART2306 Art in the 20th Century II||3 units|
|VART2337 Visual Arts Work Experience||0 units|
|VART4035 Interdisciplinary Practice for Visual Artists||3 units|
|VART4036 Professional Practice for Visual Artists||3 units|
|Major Elective Courses (51 units)|
|Cluster Elective Courses|
|1. Studio and Media Arts Concentration|
|1.1 Drawing and Painting|
|VART3377 Studio: Drawing and Painting||9 units|
|VART4065 Further Studies in Studio and Media Arts (Drawing)||3 units|
|VART4066 Further Studies in Studio and Media Arts (Painting)||3 units|
|1.2 Chinese Arts|
|VART3385 Studio: Chinese Arts||9 units|
|VART4067 Further Studies in Studio and Media Arts (Chinese Arts)||3 units|
|1.3 Media Arts|
|VART3386 Studio: Media Arts||9 units|
|VART4075 Further Studies in Studio and Media Arts (Media Arts)||3 units|
|VART4076 Further Studies in Studio and Media Arts (Lens-based Media)||3 units|
|VART3387 Studio: Sculpture||9 units|
|VART3435 Studio: Spatial Practice||9 units|
|VART4077 Further Studies in Studio and Media Arts (Sculpture)||3 units|
|VART4085 Further Studies in Studio and Media Arts (Performance Studies)||3 units|
|VART4086 Further Studies in Studio and Media Arts (Installation Art)||3 units|
|2. Craft and Design Concentration|
|2.1 Graphic Arts|
|VART3395 Studio: Graphic Arts||9 units|
|VART4087 Further Studies in Craft and Design (Graphic Arts)||3 units|
|VART4095 Further Studies in Craft and Design (Printmaking)||3 units|
|2.2 Glass and Ceramics|
|VART3396 Studio: Glass||9 units|
|VART3427 Studio: Ceramics||9 units|
|VART4096 Further Studies in Craft and Design (Ceramics)||3 units|
|VART4107 Further Studies in Craft and Design (Glass)||3 units|
|2.3 Object Design|
|VART3397 Studio: Object Design||9 units|
|VART4097 Further Studies in Craft and Design (Wearables)||3 units|
|VART4105 Further Studies in Craft and Design (Object Design)||3 units|
|2.4 Experience Design|
|VART3405 Studio: Experience Design||9 units|
|VART4106 Further Studies in Craft and Design (Experience Design)||3 units|
|Non-Cluster Elective Courses|
|1. Studio and Media Arts Concentration|
|VART2405 Drawing: Mark Making and Collage||1.5 units|
|VART2406 Drawing: On Location||1.5 units|
|VART2407 Life Drawing||1.5 units|
|VART2415 Painting: Materials and Techniques||1.5 units|
|VART2416 Painting: Approaches to Observation||1.5 units|
|VART2417 Chinese Calligraphy: Seal and Clerical Scripts||1.5 units|
|VART2425 Chinese Calligraphy: Standard and Semi-cursive Scripts||1.5 units|
|VART2426 Chinese Seal Engraving: Seals with Chinese Characters||1.5 units|
|VART2427 Chinese Seal Engraving: Pictorial Seals and New Materials||1.5 units|
|VART2435 Chinese Painting: Gongbi||1.5 units|
|VART2436 Chinese Painting: Experimental Expression||1.5 units|
|VART2437 Chinese Painting: Xieyi||1.5 units|
|VART2445 Chinese Painting: Landscape||1.5 units|
|VART2446 Analogue Photography||1.5 units|
|VART2447 Digital Photography||1.5 units|
|VART2455 Video Basics||1.5 units|
|VART2456 Video Studio||1.5 units|
|VART2457 Sound Basics||1.5 units|
|VART2465 Video and Sound Editing||1.5 units|
|VART2466 Media Arts: Multimedia Authoring||1.5 units|
|VART2467 Media Arts: Physical Media||1.5 units|
|VART2475 Additive Sculpture: Clay and Plaster||1.5 units|
|VART2476 Additive Sculpture: Bronze Casting||1.5 units|
|VART2477 Subtractive Sculpture: Wood||1.5 units|
|VART2485 Subtractive Sculpture: Stone||1.5 units|
|VART2596 Observational Drawing||1.5 units|
|VART2597 Digital Tools: Hypermedia Design||1.5 units|
|VART2605 Digital Tools: Web Design with Content Management System (CMS)||1.5 units|
|VART2606 Sculpture: 3D Technology for Sculpture||1.5 units|
|VART2607 Fibreglass Sculpture||1.5 units|
|VART2615 Photographic Lighting||1.5 units|
|VART2616 Alternative Photographic Processes||1.5 units|
|2. Craft and Design Concentration|
|VART2486 Woodworking||1.5 units|
|VART2487 Metalworking||1.5 units|
|VART2495 Digital Tools: Graphics Software||1.5 units|
|VART2496 Digital Tools: Desktop Publishing||1.5 units|
|VART2497 Basic Illustration||1.5 units|
|VART2505 Experimental Illustration||1.5 units|
|VART2506 Typography||1.5 units|
|VART2507 Type Design||1.5 units|
|VART2515 Graphic Design||1.5 units|
|VART2516 Editorial Design||1.5 units|
|VART2517 Screen Printing Basics||1.5 units|
|VART2525 Advanced Screen Printing||1.5 units|
|VART2526 Relief Printing||1.5 units|
|VART2527 Intaglio Printing: Etching||1.5 units|
|VART2535 Glass Blowing: Vessels||1.5 units|
|VART2536 Glass Blowing: Basics||1.5 units|
|VART2537 Glass Kiln-Forming||1.5 units|
|VART2545 Glass Casting||1.5 units|
|VART2546 Ceramics: Hand-building Techniques||1.5 units|
|VART2547 Ceramics: Alternative Techniques||1.5 units|
|VART2555 Ceramics: Wheel-throwing Techniques||1.5 units|
|VART2556 Ceramics: Surface Treatments||1.5 units|
|VART2557 Small Metal Jewellery: Cold||1.5 units|
|VART2565 Small Metal Jewellery: Hot||1.5 units|
|VART2566 Wearables: Pattern Making||1.5 units|
|VART2567 Wearables: Dyeing and Decorating||1.5 units|
|VART2575 Digital Tools: 3D-Software||1.5 units|
|VART2576 Digital Tools: Prototyping||1.5 units|
|VART2577 Hong Kong Crafts: Traditional Techniques||1.5 units|
|VART2585 Hong Kong Crafts: Space-Saving Objects||1.5 units|
|VART2586 Space and Site||1.5 units|
|VART2587 Space and Display||1.5 units|
|3. Visual Arts Studies|
|VART4115 Special Topics in Visual Arts Studies||3 units|
|II.||Studio Honours Project||9 units|
|III.||University Core Courses||13 units|
|IV.||General Education Courses||18 units|
|V.||Free Electives||13 units|
Towards the end of their first year of studies students may declare their choice of study mode for their continuing studies as either professional mode or liberal arts mode. All choices need to be submitted to the Programme Management Committee before the beginning of the next academic year. The Programme Management Committee will consider all submissions based on the study plan as proposed by the student (incl. intended minor), the suitability of the student for the desired studies, the availability of courses, and other issues, and will recommend the students’ admission into one of the available modes. If no choice is formally declared, students will be placed in the ‘professional mode’ as it is assumed that the majority of students intend their undergraduate studies to be for the purpose of career preparation.
Students who choose the Bachelor of Art (Honours) in Visual Arts programme in ‘liberal arts mode’, will take a reduced study load in Visual Arts-related units, thus will not be able to obtain a concentration. In liberal arts mode, the educational content of the programme is also 128 units in total, with 60 units dedicated to the major in Visual Arts, 13 units assigned to the University Core and 18 units assigned to the General Education programme of the university. Of the remaining 37 units, students are required to commit 15 units towards a set of courses in cognate disciplines (e.g. a Minor) as approved by the Programme Director, while they may choose further 22 units as Free Electives.