The annual exhibition of Ewha’s College of Art & Design, MAYDAY, celebrated the school’s 136th anniversary from May 24 to 29.
MAYDAY is joined mainly by seniors from the College of Art & Design. The event displayed creative works by 212 students from seven majors in the College of Art & Design: Korean Painting, Ceramics, Painting, Division of Design, Sculpture, Fiber Arts, and Fashion Design.
This year’s exhibition was held at the ECC’s Daesan Gallery and Art & Design Buildings A, B, and C. Unlike last year’s exhibition which required a reservation when visiting due to COVID-19, this year's MAYDAY was fully open to the public.
The poster for the exhibition was selected through a contest among undergraduates. The main theme of the poster was gemstones, which refers to the flexible potential of all students who took part in the exhibition.
Jeong Jae-yi, a senior majoring in ceramics, explained the preparation process for the exhibition as the co-president of the Emergency Committee of College of Art & Design.
Although the exact process may vary depending on majors, Jeong started by sketching out ideas for her artwork. Students share their sketches with professors and other students to establish a general plan for their artwork. Then, the students start molding and focus on touching up the details until the last second of the creation process.
Jeong displayed three works at the MAYDAY exhibition: “Don’t go,” “Come here,” and “a suit.” Jeong without hesitation chose “Don’t go” as her most meaningful artwork as she molded it in a way she had never tried before.
Jeong explained that she articulated her personal emotions through shaping ceramics in the past. Negative emotions were what inspired her to create artworks, and she used dark shaded colors to express her abstract feelings. As she continued to deal with negative emotions while working, Jeong felt the negativity swallow her up, and she eventually hit a slump.
For this year’s MAYDAY exhibition, Jeong decided to tell a story about herself rather than just her gloomy emotions. The monster-like child who is white and slimy in Jeong’s work “Don’t go” represents herself and the red and feeble-looking child shows Jeong’s obsessions.
When asked if she had any advice to offer to underclassmen for next year’s MAYDAY, Jeong emphasized that they should not feel burdened by having to display their works to the public. Rather, they should think of the exhibition as an opportunity to raise their capabilities as artists during the two months of preparation.
“When I explained the stories of my artworks to the audience, my heart was healed, and I felt grateful to be an art major,” Jeong said. “I hope that MAYDAY visitors see not just the outcome that is displayed at the exhibition but the artist’s hardships and efforts that were involved in the process through this article.”
Choi Da-hyung, another co-president of the committee, shared her impressions of both managing and participating in the exhibition. She presented two sculptures, “Meanwhile” and “LAB: Biodegradation.”
Through “Meanwhile,” Choi criticizes the gap between the relatively improved social perception and status of women and yet remaining absurdities that women face. She depicted a woman who drifts between two conflicting situations and cannot settle down.
“LAB: Biodegradation,” was created to raise awareness about the properties used in sculptures which are mostly destructive to the environment. Choi tried to portray the laboratory to invent eco-friendly bio-plastic.
Choi put in greater effort to complete her pieces in two months since she worked at the Central Election Administration Commission, preparing for two by-elections. Knowing that all students endeavored as much as she did, Choi feels proud when visitors express their admiration for the pieces, even those of other students.
Choi respected the efforts of members of the committee which consists of presidents of each department in the College of Art & Design. The committee had strived to manage the exhibition successfully without the aid of the official student council.
Choi also noted the contribution of the school’s sanitation workers for maintaining a pleasant environment for the exhibition. She asked Ewha students for their attention to ongoing demonstrations led by sanitation workers for better working conditions.
“Above all, I wish all the visitors the best of luck and hope they enjoy the exhibition that students prepared with all their might,” Choi said.