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Moon from Korea, Master’s in Fine Art

Art student Moon Lee, from Korea, on campus in Reading, Berkshire

Moon Lee
From: Republic of Korea
Studying: MFA (Master of Fine Arts) postgraduate degree at the University of Reading

‘My number one memory in Reading is a party with fellow students at my dormitory. I have never seen so many students from different countries in one small kitchen before!'

Why did you choose a UK qualification?

‘I was always longing for a new artistic experience in the UK, which I feel is the centre of contemporary art. I was convinced that I could develop my practical and theoretical technique through the UK’s artists, galleries and art education, which is world-renowned.’

What did you find most inspiring about your course and your institution?

‘I think the University of Reading has many advantages, like the great professors and tutors who are active in the professional world, and the spacious studio that’s available 24 hours a day for students.

‘Many universities and colleges in UK have a one-year diploma course in fine art (and most Master’s degrees in the UK take one year, if you study full-time), but I felt that just one year would not be enough for me, so I chose this MFA course – at Reading, this is a 21-month course.

‘Also, other reasons why I chose this university are that it takes only 30 minutes to get to London from Reading by train, and there is a small number of students per professor so we get a lot of individual attention.’

How did your perception of fine art, as a subject, change after starting your studies?

‘When I studied fine art in Korea, I was not interested in art theory (either Western or Eastern) and even thought it was boring and unnecessary for my own work. However, since I encountered the MFA course in the UK, my perception of theoretical study has been totally changed. Now, I am trying to broaden my aesthetic awareness through my ongoing study of art theory and philosophers.’

What did you like the most about the teaching methods and styles you experienced?

‘Above all, I think the primary difference in the UK curriculum from Korea is that students and tutors can make their classes together. In my case, in the last class of each term, my tutor talks to me and my classmates about what we are going to study in the next term; we discuss it and set the plan together. And in every class, tutors always listen to students’ opinions and welcome questions.’

Moon with her classmates and tutor at the University of Reading (All photos ©Moon Lee)

What does being ‘creative’ mean to you?

‘I think “creative” comes from the effort to see the world in a different and unique way.’

Study art in the UK:

What advice would you give to future students applying to your course?

‘I suggest future students set up a specific plan and make clear why you
are going to study in the UK. It will be much easier for you to settle in after you’ve learned some information about the university you’re going to study in, and about the UK. Above all, the more confidence you have, the better.’

Is there a memory of a trip, a workshop, a course or a speech that you attended that really stands out?

‘I am really happy that I and my fellow classmates can visit London to see many exhibitions frequently, and every trip to galleries in London really inspires my art work.

‘Also, my MFA course gives students several opportunities to meet UK-based artists and go to artists’ talks. Students here can obtain helpful advice from successful artists who are active in the professional world.’

What’s your number one memory from your time as a student in the UK? The one you’d tell your grandchildren about?

‘I have been making many precious memories with my friends, hanging out, going to Halloween parties (pictured below!) and dormitory parties, travelling and so on.

‘My number one memory in Reading is a party with fellow students at my dormitory. I have never seen so many students from different countries in one small kitchen before! It was an amazing experience as I could hang out with many students who all have different cultural backgrounds.’

What are your ambitions for the future?

‘As a short-term plan, I would like to keep doing well with the practice and the theory of art through my studies in the UK. Then my goal after graduation is to become a worldwide artist who is active and successful professionally!’

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