Spring Semester Student Excels in Personal and Academic Awards at DIS

Spring 2016 student Chau, Bryn Mawr College, won two awards at DIS: one for her exhibit in the DIS Student Art Space and the second, the Academic Excellence Award for the Gender & Sexuality Studies program.

Chau describes herself as a bilingual genderqueer Vietnamese, who is currently a double major in Fine Arts and Art History with a concentration in Gender and Sexuality Studies. At DIS, she took the LGBTQ in Europe: Theories, Communities, and Spaces core course, and at the end of the semester participated in the Student Art Space Exhibition, where students shared their personal arts exhibitions from the semester.

Chau’s art installation, titled ‘Synthesis,’ is about states of in-between in developing or deconstructing identities. Themes such as gender, sexuality, mental and physical illnesses, transnationality, love, and more were touched upon through pictures and poetry. Chau worked closely with DIS staff and faculty to make her dream a reality at the Exhibition.

“I didn’t think Synthesis would be exhibited when we started out. The opportunity [DIS faculty member] Andrea and [European Humanities Program Assistant] Edward, the curators of the Art Space, gave me proved to be hugely beneficial. I had a lot of fun preparing the exhibition with them, and getting to know them as people.”

Andrea Homann, who taught Chau in her Women, Art, and Identity course, described her as an exceptional student who brought unique and well thought-out perspectives to the class.

“Chau’s enthusiasm and vast knowledge of historical and theoretical contexts has lifted the class discourse in Women, Art, and Identity to a higher level. She has certainly inspired her fellow students to also contribute with well-argued and critical points of view. What is most unique about her is the ability to express her creativity and multiple identities in her artwork. Chau was chosen as the main artist for the DIS Student Art Space and her artwork offers personal expression and solid use of techniques to her audience.”

When asked what she learned from her semester with DIS and how she will apply her experience back home, Chau responded by saying,

“My semester at DIS has given me a lot of things, and for academics, it means a broader viewpoint that encapsulates European perspectives. I learned about gender and sexuality in Europe and female European artists that I never came across in my academic endeavor, watched excellent films, and more. I will definitely take my knowledge of Kierkegaard, Lars von Trier, Ingmar Bergman, Anna Ancher, and many others with me to the U.S. My professors were also incredibly understanding and resourceful. I really appreciate that DIS has professors who are actually involved in the fields they are teaching, because I also learned a lot from them in and outside of class.”

DIS is incredibly proud of students who push themselves personally and academically while abroad, and Chau is an example of one who utilized DIS resources to pursue her artistic passion. Congratulations Chau!


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