Academic Freedom -- Shirley's 331st Friendly Greeting, Dec 13, 2011

How are you? Have you started a good new week?

It has been the 10th week since I came to Chinese National Academy of Arts -- it should be the 12th week for my classmates. For avoiding the rush time that all students go back home for the winter holiday or Spring Festival, in CNAA, we are having our lessons intensively so that we can go back home earlier and more smoothly.

Every week, we have lessons for 12 to 15 hours; sometimes we have lessons on the weekends. Except the schoolmates in the second year, I am still the only fresh student who keeps staying in the flower and bird teaching and research section for about 12 hours every day.

Anyway, with the sickness, I do also feel a little bit difficult to live in Beijing in the cold winter, therefore, I have booked my airplane ticket to fly back Shenzhen as soon as the last lesson is finished. :-)

The good news is that I enjoy the study in Chinese National Academy of Arts more and more. It has opened my eyes and offered me so much new and helpful knowledge; it has also helped me feel a comfortable research atmosphere and the academic freedom here.

-- Every professor or instructor opens their mind and heart to the students, to speak out of their academic viewpoint openly.

-- Any different academic view can be talked and be discussed in our lessons freely.

-- Any academic or art authority can be commented and even be criticized or denied.

Very often, we hear some different and even totally opposite academic views about same artist or same art works. Just in the processes to touch, to study, to research and to analyze these different academic opinions, our eyes, thoughts and hands are improved gradually...

Instead of feeling astonishment as I did when I just came to the school, right now, I have become accustomed to listen to the different academic viewpoints already, even, I enjoy listening to as many as possible different views and thoughts. I have learned so much new knowledge and new skills via the comparative study.

For example, in the first lesson I attended, I heard some quite negative comments about a famous ancient literati painter, then on Wednesday, I heard many quite positive comments about the same artist. Then I took the Complete Works of this artist to the classroom on Friday, asked Dr. Liu Bo to explain something in it and to teach us how to enjoy the works of this artist…

Now I have become one of the students who has the most questions, to absorb the abundant academy nutrition from the study every day, so that some of my classmates in the second year thought that I would be the one who gets most in the short studying.

During the study in CNAA, I have also felt the huge progress of China -- It has really entered the best times to have the academic freedom. Artists and the scholars can really express their own academic viewpoints freely in China today.

China has had the ability that allows the different academic viewpoints are existed; China has entered in a greater and more open times.

How do you think of my idea? Do you have anything special to share this week?
I am just a student on Art of Painting, Music, English and Management, to work on the web site in my free time. I would really like to do a few things with what I have learned to make this little web site to be an Electronic Bridge of Inter-Art & Cross - Culture Exchange, Chinese Language Learning & Friendship Making. To help the others while to improve myself.

I would like to appreciate you for your understanding, directions, supports and help.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, you are welcome to write to or leave your message on Message Board.

Shirley Yiping Zhang
Dec 13, 2011(Chinese Time)

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