Internship reflections: Tsen-Yu Wang, University of Leicester – Art Museum and Gallery Studies 2018/19

This is the first of two blog posts from our summer interns from the University of Leicester Art Museum and Gallery Studies 2018/19 course. Tsen-yu Wang joined us in July for an 8 week placement and worked with both Learning and Curatorial teams on a number of projects. She contributed a huge amount of energy, enthusiasm and research into a busy time at the gallery so we are incredibly grateful for all the work she did and going to miss her and Qiwei, her fellow intern.  We asked her to write a short blog post reflecting on her time and are posting it here to share.

Internship reflections: Tsen-Yu Wang, University of Leicester – Art Museum and Gallery Studies 2018/19

It has been wonderful to have my placement in GoMA and have the opportunity to participate in the different, intersecting aspects of the work in the museum. It has been a unique experience that I have never had the opportunity to do before. My fellow intern, Qiwei Deng, and I participated in many different meetings, such as the Acquisitions meeting, the Curatorial Forum…etc, which allowed me to have a deeper understanding about the how the museum works as a venue within a busy local authority service. Through these meetings, I recognize that there are many different professionals and roles, as well as a highly cooperative relationship with other institutions. I was impressed by the high level of professionalism, which helped me to connect to our course in practical ways.

My main job was to assist the Summer Family Workshop programme which related to the current exhibition in Gallery One, Fiona Tan: Disorient. Using Marco Polo’s diary as a monologue, the work explores the different views on issues related to colonialism, identity, human history, mythology and war. The learning team developed the programme through a series of activities to explore the route followed by Marco Polo. We travelled through three different countries, namely Iran, China and India. It was an enjoyable experience creating with the children, and I have learned a lot of skills which cannot be learned from just academic research, such as communication skills, problem solving and organizational skills.

I enjoyed it so much that I proposed an idea where I could organize a workshop by myself. I combined my research from another job GoMA had given me – writing the interpretation for works in Glasgow Museums’ collection. I chose Niki de Saint Phalle as my research artist, who created the work on the Tympanum on the outside of the gallery using a mirrored mosaic pattern with coloured symbols and figures based on the story of St. Mungo and a ‘mirrored room’ within the entrance hall. She is also renowned for her work – the Tarot Garden, which is a large sculpture garden in Italy. Based on these experiences and research, I developed a workshop for families in order to promote de Saint Phalle’s works. The workshop was divided into two parts, a small book made using mosaic that introduces the story of St. Mungo and a big map drawn by everyone which aimed to create a magical garden to include everyone’s own monster. Through the experience here, I realised I am now more interested in public engagement. It offers a sense of achievement, while people and children are enjoying the process and sharing their artworks with others. It also helped me to develop many different skills and explore my interests in my future career.

Another special experience is that we had the opportunity to visit the Glasgow Museums Resource Centre, which holds a rich variety of collections. This visit allowed me to see the work behind the scenes, such as the workshop for conservation activities. In addition, we assisted in cataloguing and marking the objects in a recent acquisition of objects from Pride 2018 for the social history collection in Glasgow Museums. This was my first time participating in collection management and I recognized that this is a job which required a high concentration and patience.


Finally, I would like to thank Katie, the Learning and Access team and all the staff in GoMA. Thank you for guiding me and I learned a lot of practical skills from this experience. It makes me more certain about my interests and future career.

Tsen-Yu Wang, September 2019

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