Location | Paris: Meet Field School Blogger Vivian Huang

Meet Vivian!
Tell us a little bit about yourself—school, background, major, reasons for taking this trip, anything else interesting you want to share.

Vivian's much loved clouds-- a group of us catching our breath on
a set of stairs near the Cinema Museum.
I am Vivian Huang and am from Emily Carr’s animation major. I just finished my 4th year and finishing this class would complete my credits requirement. When I first heard about the program I thought, “perfect! I can receive credits AND go to Paris with other students!” This is my second time coming to Paris. The last visit was with my family on a European trip-- we only stayed in Paris for two days and I could not wait to get back again. This time there will be more museums and galleries to visit and I can hardly contain myself. Another thing I am really looking forward to that other people might not understand are the clouds in Paris. I remembered I got so excited during the last visit by the clouds on sunny days. They were so defined and solid, exactly like the ones from classic landscape paintings. Right now I am just waiting for the rain clouds to move away. 

What has met or exceeded your expectations or surprised you about Paris so far? or stood out for you about your visit to Paris so far?

My last visit to Paris had been short, so I don’t remember much about the people and the city except how I loved the clouds. So this time, I noticed and remembered a lot of things like how the people have a mellow and relaxed life style but it turns intense and fast paced when they enter the underground metro. The mechanic doors of metro trains and elevators are harsh; they really give me a sense that they don’t give a shit about the passengers. Especially how the trains speed through the tunnels jerking at turns, the roughness of the underground system adds an edge to the elegant city of Paris.

Courtney and Charis catching a view of Paris rooftops from the Pompidou tube walkways.
Give us some insight into your assigned art work from for the Orsay Museum. After seeing the work in person, what struck you most about it and/or how did the art work’s form, content, and context shift for you when seeing it?

Henri Fantin Latour, Studio in the Batignolles (1870)
Henri Fantin Latour's painting A Studio in the Batignolles is located in the last room of the Impressionism section on the top floor of the museum, just before the souvenir shop. Finally got to the top floor and after walking through rooms filled with Manet, Monet, and Renoir’s artworks, I was exhausted and way too overwhelmed by all the paintings I recognized from my textbooks. I had been getting constant goose bumps throughout the museum. Although I had an idea of the painting’s size, I was still shocked to find it bigger than I thought. However, being in the same room as Manet’s Luncheon on the Grass has made the painting less striking even with it massive size. I sat there and watched the visitors as they entered the room and speculated on the paintings. When a group came in, they would all be heading towards Manet’s Luncheon on the Grass first. I have noticed some of the spectators of Fantin Latour’s painting would talk to each other and point toward the Luncheon painting; basically saying the figure in Fantin Latour’s painting is the artist of that famous painting on the adjacent wall, then they walk away.

Kyubo sketching Gerhard Richter's painted clouds in the Pompidou,
 providing yet another kind of perspective.
Today’s activity was at the Pompidou and Cinema Museums. What were your impressions? What will be your take away of the experience? Any memorable moments?

This is the second time I visited the Pompidou and this time I got to go inside (it was closed the last time)! The lobby reminded me of airport buildings with high ceilings and shops around the large open space. The escalator ride through the clear tubes was another form of sightseeing activity. I was looking forward to see more of Dali and Liechtenstein’s artwork but failed to even find Dali’s painting. The Cinema Museum was more interesting to me than the Pompidou. When I saw the section about Ivan the Terrible, my eyes lit up because I only know about this from this Internet famous artist I am currently obsessed over (know as Phobs). He did lots of fan art of the film and I just love his confidence in the strokes and colour. What I found more astonishing was how the concept art/ storyboard for the film are similar to his artwork. Seeing that had made my day.
Exterior shot of the French Cinema museum-- note the Muybridge sequence of man walking.
Vivian at the Architecture Museum (photo courtesy: Kyubo Yun)