Note: Occasionally we have overseas students joining local students at the Twin Bridget Studio. International student admission is decided on a case by case basis depending on student needs and studio capacity. We recently had Aqeel from India and Osamu from Japan joining us. Below is a blog post written by Aqeel sharing his experience studying in Taipei. Aqeel studied at the Twin Bridge Studio in Taipei in August 2017.
Being an engineer in the software industry, I spend more time in front of the computer than drawing or painting. Most of my art education has also been through online resources. It was during one such session of online research that I came across Mr Yim Mau Kun’s works. It immediately caught my attention, and for the next few months I would constantly spend time admiring his work.
Because of the fact that Mr Yim was based out of Taipei, it never occurred to me that it would be possible for me to study with him. But eventually the idea struck my mind, and after thinking about it for couple of months, I finally wrote to his daughter Iris Yim, asking if he would take me as as a student? Soon she confirmed that I could indeed visit Taipei and study with the master! Finally at the end of July 2017, I booked my tickets: 4 weeks of studying in Taipei!
The first week in Taipei was really hard. The food, the air, the language, was all different. To add to the trouble the Airbnb apartment that I booked turned out to be a scam, and I had to find a different one after arriving in Taipei. Plus without any friend or family I was quite lonely.
But once I was inside Yim’s studio, it was a different world to me. I had never formally learned art before. This was my first experience learning art from a teacher, and that too one of the best in world!
Mr Yim was very gentle and generous to me. Every day in class he would demonstrate how he saw his subjects and what his thought process. He took the trouble to explain concepts and make sure I understood. The other students too were very helpful trying to translate what he said, when necessary.
Apart from the regular classes he held twice in a week, he was kind enough to let me practice at the atelier during the rest of the week. I spend some good time practicing what he taught with another international student Osamu Tanimoto during these practice sessions. Couple of days I also went plein air painting with him. We also visited Mr Yim’s private studio, where I saw many of his narrative master pieces in real! They were huge and gorgeous. It was a real honour.
During the short 4-week period I was in Taipei, there was only enough time to learn basic concepts on drawing. Most of my time was spent drawing classical busts that he had lit up wonderfully in the studio. I was also able to draw from the model twice.
He taught me the importance of ‘seeing’ planes in drawing, and told me that if I could understand this concept then I could call my trip successful.
I’m now back home in Bangalore, India. I try to put into practice what he taught into my drawings. When I compare my drawings these days to the ones I did before studying with Mr Yim, I can myself see the improvement. But of course there is still a very long journey before I could reach a place I hope to in my works.
Visiting Taipei was a difficult decision for me. But in the end it was worth every effort. Hopefully I can plan another trip to Taipei in the future. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the studio. I envy his students in Taipei. I hope they realise how lucky they are to learn from him regularly.
Thank you Mr Yim for accepting me as a student; thank you for sharing your wisdom.
And thanks to Iris Yim, who helped me at all stages of my trip. I couldn’t have done this without her help.