My Watson Fellowship

When you have a year of freedom, what would you do?






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 with 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 really flied in that dark room. One night I was making some prints. Before I realize, 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 done in this trip, ranging from making my own dye to experimenting oil-based ink for mezzotint.

Here's a list of countries that I have visited, as well as some selected projects that I did in these countries:

Best Decision Ever

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.

  • Deer World : a fabric printing experiment with natural dye and stencils.
  • Japan

    South Korea is interesting in terms of its innovations in art. I did various illustrations in Korea:

  • Traveling Sculpture
  • South Korea

    I did an artist residency in Venice Italy. Also enjoyed Milan, Florence, and Rome.

  • Face the Reality: mezzotint prints
  • Italy

    Spain, Germany, Netherlands

    Australia, Nepal, Thailand, Singapore