Trip of a lifetime for USQ filmmakers and ceramic artists

Pack the video cameras and artists’ smocks! USQ Creative Arts students are preparing for a study adventure to Japan.

Two Bachelor of Creative Arts groups, including Film & Animation and Visual Arts, will visit prestigious art schools in Japan for two weeks starting this Saturday (June 16).

Ten USQ film/animation students will join forces with Tokyo Polytechnic University’s (TPU) Department of Animation and Department of Manga to produce a short film and documentary.

The crew will spend five full days filming on the streets of Tokyo city, interspersed with classes at TPU. They’ll also make day trips to locations such as Kyoto and Hiroshima.

Lecturer (Media Production) Leonie Jones said the trip was an opportunity for her students to look beyond their immediate environment and gaze into the world.

“This cultural experience will enable them to broaden their horizons as to what kinds of stories they can tell,” Ms Jones said.

“By working in Japan with overseas students, they will experience their culture, their ways of living, and also their ways of making film and telling stories.”

Lecturer (Media and Multimedia) Dr Stuart Thorp said the aspiring filmmakers will face challenges, gaining valuable industry insight.

“They will contend with a language barrier. Film making is universal, so learning to overcome those kind of obstacles is important,” Dr Thorp said.

Also heading to Japan, five USQ ceramics students will attend Tama Art University, one of the top art schools in the country. They’ll produce artworks using Japanese materials and techniques in line with Tama Art University’s creative principles and development processes.

In addition to technical workshops at the university, the ceramics students will visit significant pottery locations around the country including Mashiko, Hamada Collection Museum, Tajimi Ceramics Research Institute, and Mino Ceramics Museum.

Lecturer (Ceramics) Alexis Tacey said Japan was the perfect location for her students to visit, given the long history of ceramics in the country.

“Japanese ceramics dates back about 10,000 years to the Jomon period, and Tama Art University has a remarkable reputation,” Ms Tacey said.

“This trip is not just about learning techniques, it’s the understanding of why we create in this way – where do the ideas come from and how we express them?”

The international study trip has been funded by the Federal Government’s New Colombo Plan Mobility Program, which aims to lift knowledge of the Indo Pacific in Australia by supporting undergraduates to study and undertake internships in the region.

It was organised by USQ’s Global Learning Programmes, which also arranges for international students to visit the University as part of study tours throughout the year, in combination with the USQ International Study Abroad office.

Four people, ceramics in background
Lecturer Alexis Tacey (left) with ceramics students Tamara Southee, Lauren Covey and Aurora Elwell.