I.M (Student Staff Leader)
This is the second time we held the Art Museum Visit. This time we visited the Tokyo Photographic Art Museum (“TOP Museum”). In general, the program follows the regular program the TOP Museum already has. But, it was the first time for them to hold such a program for participants mostly composed of international students. The event was divided into two parts, ice-breaker and tour. The ice-breaker involves a game developed by the museum to allow the participants get used to expressing their opinions freely. After that, the participants were divided into two groups and each group got to see two photographs. During this guided tour each participants expressed their opinions about what they see, what they feel, etc. in relation to the photos in front of them. After that, they got to freely explore the exhibition again.
Majority of the participants seems to be satisfied with the event, and the event can be said to have proceeded smoothly in overall. However, I think it will be much better if we had limited the ice-breaker time. Communication was a huge problem during the ice-breaker game as many participants were not able to speak Japanese and the volunteers were not able to speak English. The ice-breaker game then became too long. At the end, we had to cut the free time shorter, which was unfortunate, but unavoidable considering the language barrier mentioned above. Regardless, I think the program went well and achieved the purpose intended. During the guided tour, it was clear that each participant have different things in mind when they looked at the photographs. One participant would mention one thing, and the other would notice another thing. Sometimes they would notice the same thing, but have a different opinion of what that thing would mean. It was a little bit awkward at first, but it seems that it became easier for them to express themselves as time goes, and they ended up learning and laughing together. I am really happy to see that the idea behind the event can be realized at the end. I look forward to make another museum visit event again, with the TOP Museum, or with another museum.