Visual Arts Department Hosts Professor Zhong from China

By Allison Gallucci, '13

The University of Dayton Department of Visual Arts had a very special visitor this week all the way from Nanjing, China. Professor Zhong is a photography professor and came to speak to University of Dayton art students. Last Tuesday night, Professor Zhong gave a lecture on photography in China and the influence the Cultural Revolution in China had on photography.

To me, the most interesting part of Professor Zhong’s visit was having him critique my work. Over a pizza lunch, the senior photography students and arts faculty spoke through a translator to discuss photography education in China with Professor Zhong. After lunch, each senior presented our work to Professor Zhong and received feedback, criticism, and encouragement from him. This was the most unique critique I have ever been a part of because Professor Zhong does not speak any English, so all communication relied on his translator. However, the feedback and insight that Professor Zhong provided made the experience worthwhile.

It was during my critique that Professor Zhong made a statement that stuck with me; he said that art is often seen as the only aspect that has no barriers from one culture to the next, but the truth is, art is just as unique to one culture as language. My photographs are very specific to my experience and growing up in Western culture and may not be understood by other cultures, such as Eastern culture. However, Professor Zhong concluded the afternoon of critiques by saying that each of us students are unique and we need to continue to embrace our individuality because that is how we will succeed in the art world. What an encouraging discussion!

Allison Gallucci is a senior photography major at the University of Dayton. She is Lead Photographer at ArtStreet, Vice President of Navigators Christian Ministry, Secretary of Life Itself Dance Club, and a member of Ebony Heritage Singers.

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