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05 • 04 • 2017
ACG Strathallan

Sean Chen

Sean Chen is still in a daze.

The 18-year-old has just received the news that he will realise his childhood dream to study art at one of the world’s top art universities – University of Arts, London (UAL).

“It’s a feeling I cannot fully describe in words,” he said. “I discovered I loved art when I was around four years old, colouring in my colouring book or scribbling and drawing with my box of crayons, felt tips and colouring pencils. Ever since the beginning of Year 12, my goal was to get into a top art university and it still has not fully sunk in yet that it’s happened,” he said.

Having just graduated from our school, with an ‘A’ in Painting in his Cambridge examination, he will head off in September to start a Foundation Diploma Course at the university’s Camberwell College of Arts.

“I’ll be studying in a diagnostic mode, which will allow me to experiment with different areas of art and design such as fine arts, photography, graphic design and illustration before I make a final decision about what I want to do. My current aim is to do photography and still continue on with drawing and painting as hobby,” he explained.

He said the art programme at our college had played a large part in his journey to art school.

“The thing that appeals to me most about art and photography is the freedom to express myself, and to do things how I want, in my own style. Strathallan allowed me to discover that style. I don’t think I would have produced the work I produce today if it weren’t for my art teacher Mrs Manuel, who taught me and provided me with a lot of valuable advice and guidance over all these years.”

Two of his art teachers have already commissioned personal works from him.

One of them, our Art teacher Gaelene Manuel, started teaching Sean when he was in Year 9 Art. She says he is one to watch.

“His worked impressed me even then. It always sparks interest, makes you ask is this a drawing or a photograph? He has such a natural flair for realism and capturing emotion within his compositions. He is very talented and he will go far.”

So where does the boy from Karaka see himself in ten years’ time? “It would be awesome if I were able to make a name for myself in the art or photography industry in London,” he says. “But I’m sure this aim will change the more I explore and experiment with all the different types of art and design.”

UAL is a world Top 5 university for art and design according to the QS World University Rankings and Europe’s largest specialist university for art and design.