[留学生の藝大体験記18] Sabrina Horak(美術研究科・油画専攻)



Name, Department, Home country and city, Duration

My name is Sabrina Horak. I am from Vienna, Austria and I came to Japan in 2013. I am now in my third and last year of the PhD Program for Oil Painting.


Why did you choose Geidai as your study abroad destination?

I was an exchange student in Japan for three semesters at Tokyo Zokei University from 2005-07. This time had a strong impact on my artistic work, so I always wanted to come back here. I chose Geidai for its high reputation among Japanese Art universities, the convenient location of the Ueno Campus, but mainly, because I wanted to study under O Jun, a Japanese painter who`s artistic work I have high respect for.

2005年から2007年まで、交換留学生として東京造形大学で3セメスターを過ごしました。この経験が、自分の作品制作に強い影響を与えたので、いつも日本に戻ってきたいと考えていました。藝大を選んだ理由としては、日本の芸術大学の中での評判の高さと上野キャンパスの立地の利便性などが挙げられますが、とりわけ、O JUN 先生の下で学びたかったというのが主な理由です。O JUN先生は日本人画家で、私は彼の作品に対して深い敬意を覚えます。


What did you do to prepare yourself for studying abroad in Japan?

While studying painting at Academy of fine Arts Vienna, I also studied Japanese studies at the University of Vienna for 4 years, to learn the language properly.


What do you study at Geidai?

My major is Oil painting.


What do you like about Geidai?

Ueno Campus is easily accessible, and adjacent to the peaceful Yanesen Area, that has some nice cafes and shops, while also being close to the hustle and bustle of Ueno Station. Also, we have spacious studios in the Oil painting department, and a well equipped wood workshop that I use often. Also, I am thankful for having been given the opportunity to work as a teaching assistant in Oil painting department for the third year now. I enjoy being involved in Geidai in this way too.


What are the things that impressed you or surprised you in Japan?

For me it’s interesting how the different mentality influences the art education and the art scene. It’s not that hard to get a gallery show, but selling your work is a lot more difficult than in my homecountry. There are several factors for that, for example, people simply don’t have much space in their homes to store or hang works. Also, due to the group-oriented society, people tend to be much more interested in the works of artists who are established already. They go to big museum shows of Murakami Takashi or Van Gogh, but would never buy a painting from a younger, unknown artist.


What are your future goals?

Continuing making exhibitions and developing my artistic work. I am planning to stay in Japan after graduating in March 2017.


Please write a message for students wishing to study in Japan.

The longer you are planning to stay in Japan, the more emphasis you should put on learning the language. I don’t think it’s that necessary to study this complex language if you are staying here for only one semester, but if you enroll in the PhD program here, you’ll have to submit a thesis paper and make several presentations about both thesis paper and artistic work in Japanese.