[留学生の藝大体験記12] 薛 暁誕(美術学部・芸術学科)[My Experience at GEIDAI 12] Xue Xiaodan (Graduate school of fine arts)

August 26, 2016


Name, Department, Home country and city, Duration

氏名:薛暁誕(せつ ぎょうたん)
出身国・都市:中国 蘇州市

Department: Aesthetics and Art History in the Faculty of Fine Arts (Undergraduate, third year)
Home country and city: Suzhou, China
Study period: April 2014 – March 2018

Why did you choose Geidai as your study abroad destination?


Since before coming to Japan, I had been hoping to study fine arts from a broad perspective and gain experience in painting/drawing while practicing my Japanese. I chose Geidai because the Department of Aesthetics and Art History would allow me to do just that. With its history and the environment where the music and fine arts faculties facing each other, Geidai seemed like the best place to study arts.

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


When I made my decision, I was working in China. So, I first sorted out my thoughts, talked to my parents to obtain their approval, and then quit my job. At the same time, I applied to a Japanese language school because I thought going to Japan sooner would help me prepare for the entrance examination.

What do you study at Geidai?


Through the practical courses that I took in my first two years, I have learned basic techniques of oil painting, Japanese painting, sculpture, and so on, and have come to know how challenging it is to create a piece of art, and how interesting it is at the same time to express myself through art. From lectures, I am currently learning a wide variety of things, including methodologies for examining artworks, ideologies associated with arts, knowledge of museums as organizations and their exhibition activities, and the French language to read foreign literature.


What do you like about Geidai?


Now I have Japanese friends. I sometimes feel a little overwhelmed by the depth of their knowledge, but I am learning many things from them in both daily and academic settings. Since we were born and raised in different countries, the vocabulary we use to discuss literature and the arts differ in many cases, but I am very happy to be able to share joy with my friends when encountering knowledge or beauty.

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


What I find most impressive is that Japan has a great cultural foundation. I realized it through my classes and ancient art research trip that allowed me to see firsthand Japanese arts from ancient to modern times. I am also impressed by the orderliness that can be found in every bit of a city life, as illustrated by people lining up everywhere and the transportation system that runs punctually to the minute.

What are your future goals?


My goal is to translate Japan’s excellent publications into Chinese and to draw illustrations. By utilizing all the expression techniques that I have learned so far, I would like to tell Chinese people about the Japan that I have experienced, while at the same time exploring where we stand in this world as the Chinese living today, and how we can regain spiritual richness.

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


I encourage prospective international students to achieve the N2 level in the Japanese Language Proficiency Test before coming to Japan. With sufficient knowledge of the language, they will be able to adjust to their new life in Japan more quickly, and enjoy Japanese culture more deeply. I also encourage them to pay more attention to Japan’s traditional culture. I know that Japanese animations and dramas are entertaining, but these have derived from traditional arts and music, so I hope they look at such aspects as well.