Artists' groups in Japan and the UK and their impact on the creative individual

Oshima, Hiroko (2010) Artists' groups in Japan and the UK and their impact on the creative individual. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

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The aim of this thesis is to give an alternative insight to the existing concept of individuality in visual art through an examination of the meaning of being individual for visual art practitioners, particularly for those who operate in an artists’ group setting. This research project is a critique of the seemingly unchallenged emphasis on the individuality and its strong association with creativity in the current British art schools. Cultivating individuality is one of the most important aims in both British and Japanese institutions where I have trained as an artist. Nevertheless, my group-oriented cultural background and my membership of an artists’ group studying in an individually-oriented environment raise questions challenging the meaning of being an individual itself. This thesis has no methodology set up at the beginning, which would usually be the case in a conventional academic thesis. Instead, the thesis develops thought experiments to examine what ‘individual’ means in order to arrive at methodology towards the end. Moreover, this piece of practiceled research is not about the contents of my practice but about the group feeling underlying my practice as an individual fine art practitioner. The investigation into the relational idea of the self of Zen, followed by Charles Sanders Peirce’s semiotics of the Universe of Three Categories, provide the research with a useful visual thinking tool: the triadic diagram. The investigation into the meaning of the individual develops further through an exploration of the concept of ‘groupness’. Definitions of the term are carefully unfolded until the terminology allows us to contemplate different senses of the individual: singularity- and groupness- oriented individual. As a result of the thought experiments examining different ideas of one’s individuality, there emerge several action research practice-led methodologies for the fine art practitioner working in a group situation. One methodology brings groupness into my individual practice, and another introduces groupness situations to other practitioners. The contribution of this thesis is to provide a basis for fine art practitioners like myself to revalue their individuality in harmony with their group membership.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: W100 Fine Art
W200 Design studies
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Arts
University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
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Depositing User: EPrint Services
Date Deposited: 03 Nov 2010 12:11
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2023 13:31

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