I have been invited to teach at the Ewha womens university in South Korea this September. The invitation is for a year but my work schedules do not permit me the luxury of shutting shop in Baroda for twelve months, and relocating else where.
I am genuinely looking forward to teaching in an institution of repute once again. Most often my students (wherever I am a visiting faculty), are initially shell shocked by the discipline and raw vigour of my programs; but soon toe the line and recognise that it is in fact a devise that throws open there own worlds much wider for them to discover from.
For this project, I have designed a module that will condense three months teaching into one month. The reason that I prefer such a tight and tough agenda is that it forces an alertness and sharpness of responses; and equally demands that targets become real and immediate.
This will be my first venture at an all women's university, and as an artist engaged for much of my professional life with gender politics, I am keenly interested to work at a university that has been founded from feminist parameters and needs.
I am always excited to travel to Korea. My adopted granddaughter Aditi is half Korean. Teaching in another cultural context with certain limitations of fluency of English will provide the tension of challenge to provoke me to reinvent my methods of communication, and make them relevant and consequential to the context of this situation.
My nose is already to the grinding stone! I intend to present three of my lectures on Indian art that span from the 17th century to contemporary art of today. I need to work upon some areas of these written papers (to add and alter as I do each time I use them), and so my studio time is going to diminish in the build-up to me leaving for Korea.
Also with the digital era I have had to walk away from the comfort of "sorting through slides", that was the devise of documentation for so many years for artists of my generation. These days instead I have to scan visuals. I hate how the spines of my treasured books take a beating from being flatten on to the machines so that their innards can be stolen. Power point presentations are now the order of the day. The carousel ride is unfortunately forever over!!!! For a long while I resisted this shift in technology and would make people hunt down projectors like adventurers looking for dinosaur fossils! The pitying looks I received finally penetrated my senses and so I now march to the drums of change whenever required!! Laptop's are the new companion instead of lapdogs.....and so I will have mine in tow too!!!
I am excited but as always equally terrified too. This Siamese twin emotional tug of war inside of me is that necessary devise that helps me to be balanced. Teaching is a responsibility that involves others and so I choose to be accountable. So The next two months will fly by with tons of work to be done, and I can already hear the seconds ticking........
My skates are on and its that heady rush to beat the clock!!!!
As the McDonald's add says; "I am lovin' it!!!"