Best Decision Ever
My Watson Fellowship
A year of colorful adventure
In the summer of 2013, I made an important decision: to apply for Watson Fellowship. Watson fellowship is a fellowship that awards graduating seniors a year of independent research outside of the United States. What would you do if you have a one-year grant that supports all of your traveling and expenses, while the only condition is to remain outside of the U.S. and your home country? I thought of something artsy.
I didn’t expect myself to be an artist when I was young. I was never good at drawing throughout my childhood. Although I love crafting and reading comics, becoming an artist wasn’t an option for me. Freshman year in college, I didn’t get into Lit 101 as a major English student (lucky me), but instead, a photography course. I had the pleasure of working in the darkroom (mostly by myself), and spending hours on a single photo. Time flew in that dark room. One night I was making some prints. Before I realize it, it had stayed up the entire night. My roommate was very worried about my safety and left many phone calls and messages. It was at that moment when I realized that I had a thing for art.
With this realization, I have been trying to be true to my passion. Upon graduation, I was sure that creating art is all I want to do, so I applied to the Watson fellowship. I conducted a one-year independent study on “Natural Dye Production around the Globe.” I choose this topic because natural dye indicates a combination of traditional crafting and art. It is also an opening for culture and tech innovations.
The trip was amazing in many ways. I had the valuable experience of being a traveling artist, artist in residency, and, most proudly, a traditional art lover. I have done various projects in this trip, ranging from making my dye to experimenting with oil-based ink for mezzotint.
Here’s a list of countries that I have visited and some selected projects that I did in these countries:
Japan is one of the most impressive countries for traditional art preservation. I have the luxury of playing with various natural dye kits and going to workshops of related crafts.
South Korea is interesting in terms of its innovations in art. I did various illustrations in Korea:
I did an artist residency in Venice Italy. Also enjoyed Milan, Florence, and Rome.