Art School Alliance for Incomings
The ASA programme in Hamburg
In 2010 started, on the initiative of the Hochschule für bildende Künste and the Alfred Toepfer Stiftung F.V.S., the international exchange program Art School Alliance with the goal of intensifying links and exchange with famous art universities all over the world.
The HFBK provides the scholarship students from the ASA partner institutions who are visiting Hamburg with a furnished apartment free of charge for the duration of the scholarship. Students share a fully equipped kitchen, bathroom and studio space. The four studio apartments – for two to four – are located in a factory building in the Karolinenstrasse between St. Pauli and the Schanzenviertel district, at the heart of Hamburg’s cultural scene.
The scholarship students will each be assigned an HFBK student mentor who is to study as a scholarship student at the home university of the guest student in the following semester.
During this semester, at HFBK Hamburg, the international exchange students and their mentors will constitute an international class. The study programme consists of regular tutorials given onsite by a succession of HFBK professors. In addition to this, scholarship students have the option of taking part in the classes of their student mentors.
In addition to English-language seminars on the theory and history of art, the HFBK offers a special programme of excursions in order to allow the scholarship students to become acquainted with other German cities and with their museums. At the end of their stay, the scholarship students and their mentors will hold a farewell exhibition entitled Open Studios.
During their stay, the scholarship students are considered to be guest HFBK students. As guest students, they are not expected to pay fees. The HFBK will also bear their costs for their semester contribution to the student union, the AStA general student committee, the hardship fund and the Semesterticket (ticket permitting use of Hamburg’s public transport during the semester).
Impressions of ASA Incomings
Bruno Brichetti (Universidad del Cine, Buenos Aires, ASA student April-September 2022)
I saw the exchange as a way of developing my own view of filmmaking. I wanted to forget what I had learned at my university. I wanted to see things again for the first time and think about them freely and critically. [...] I thought that this was a great opportunity to do that, and I am extremely grateful that I was able to do it.
I come from a film “bubble,” so it was interesting to see how different disciplines stand in relation to one another. I think the main difference is that the HFBK Hamburg gives a lot of freedom to the student, pushing for an education that is almost entirely based on doing and self-management. [...]
Olivia Maday (School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Tufts University, Boston, ASA student April - September 2022)
My motivation to apply for the exchange program at HFBK Hamburg stemmed from my artistic focus on the historical portrayals of women in film and media. Throughout my research journey there has been a great emphasis on Germany, known for its early contributions by women in dance, stage performance, and film, among other mediums. By applying to this exchange program, I planned to immerse myself in an environment that would foster further research opportunities and allow me to engage directly with a culture that has exerted such significant influence over the historical portrayals of women in art.
I found the transition from a university in Boston to the HFBK Hamburg a refreshing experience that allows me to truly focus on my personal artistic pursuits. One notable aspect is the abundance of gallery openings and student events, which have provided me with valuable opportunities to immerse myself in the vibrant art scene. The freedom offered at the HFBK Hamburg is a strong contrast to the more structured schedule typically found in US universities, where time is often dedicated to class curriculum rather than individual artistic practice. [...]
Damilola Edubiyi (University of Lagos, ASA student October 2022-March 2023)
Several motivating factors made me apply for this international art school exchange program.
First and foremost, the opportunity to learn from a different educational system and culture was the major motivation. The exchange program offers me the chance to study under new professors, alongside different students, and within a new curriculum. This also exposed me to different techniques, approaches, and mediums, as well as provide a fresh perspective on my own work. [...]
The HFBK Hamburg is a leading art school in Germany. The university offers a range of programs across various fields of art, including visual arts, design, and media. The curriculum is based on a traditional academic approach, with a focus on art history, theory, and technical skills. HFBK Hamburg strongly emphasizes individualized instruction and encourages students to develop their own artistic vision and voice.
[...] I have expanded my horizons, develop my skills, and expand my network of connections, all of which can contribute to my growth and development as an artist.
Dor Marcus (Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, ASA student April - September 2023)
My motivation to go on an exchange was to observe a different way of studying and a different culture. And of course, there is a big difference in the learning method and most of all in the conditions, the class, and in the manner of working in the school. I was surprised that every class has a studio to work in and people come there every day; it took me at least a month to grasp that. Secondly, the level of freedom in choosing the courses and arranging the schedule confused me very much. I wanted to do a lot and in almost every department, but it was a bit overwhelming for me. Another thing that pleasantly surprised me is the level of internationality at the school and the variety of people who study in the class from the first semester (3/4) to the completion of the Master's degree. [...]
Sayako Hiroi (School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Tufts University, Boston, ASA student April - September 2023)
The reason for this exchange program is to expand my concept of works by observing the difference between Europe, the US, and Japan. The central theme of my works deals with unspoken and invisible depression and suppression in materially wealthy modern society. I grew up in Tokyo so I would like to search for the reasons and factors from different perspectives by living in each country. Germany in particular has many similarities with Japan such as its history, temperament, industry, and other aspects compared to other countries. Therefore, I believed that it would be a great opportunity to delve deeper into my theme in terms of conceptual aspects and also with regard to specific art scenes in Germany compared to the United States.
[...] By contrast, the HFBK Hamburg seems more accessible and gives students more discretion. Students choose one professor and have closer conversations with them about their work over the long term. When it comes to critiques, I could say that students at HFBK Hamburg express broader opinions, both positive and negative, to pursue better work. [...] Therefore, there are many pros and cons and differences between them, which is exciting for me. [...]
All unabridged impressions appeared in Lerchenfeld Magazine No. 67.