East meets West through arts partnership

Griffith art and design students are studying alongside their counterparts at Shandong University of Arts this month, as part of a 20-year partnership between the two universities.

Shandong University of Arts (SUA) in China is celebrating its 60th anniversary and also marking a two decade partnership with the Queensland College of Art and Griffith University.

Griffith Vice President (Global), Professor Sarah Todd, will be in Jinan for the celebrations. Professor Todd said the two-decade partnership was part of Griffith’s long and proud history of engaging in the Asia-Pacific.

“Griffith is proud to have had a strong partnership with SUA for 20 years, and it is fitting that we are able to provide QCA students an opportunity to travel to China as we join with SUA in celebrating their 60th anniversary.

“This opportunity is made possible by funding received through the Australian Government’s New Colombo Plan program, which supports Australian students traveling to the Asia Pacific region as part of their academic studies.

“Experiences such as this enable our students to gain a broader understanding of the region within which they live, while providing them with the skills and knowledge they will need to take their role as a global citizen when they graduate.”

Queensland College of Art with be represented at the celebrations by Dr Dominique Falla and Associate Professor Elisabeth Findlay.

Dr Falla has taught many SUA students over the past 15 years, and spent time in Jinan.

“It has been a fantastic collaboration for both groups of students,” she said.

“Students make life-long friends and the experience of working across cultures has a lasting impact.”

For the first time in the history of the collaboration Australian students are travelling to SUA and will be part of the milestone celebrations. The ten undergraduate students have been funded by New Colombo Plan grants.

SUA President, Professor Wang Like, will open an exhibition of work created by QCA faculty and students, featuring 3D printing, augmented reality and virtual reality scenes of Queensland. Many of these works were on display at Beijing Design Week, where Griffith showcased its design students earlier this month.