Millie Macdonald holds private viewing of Chāi Nà

Last week, Upper Sixth student, Millie Macdonald, held a private viewing and reception to celebrate the opening night of her art installation, Chāi Nà.

The art installation, which is part of Millie’s Extended Project Qualification, explores China’s infrastructure and politics.

Successfully bringing together insightful elements, the installation questions and challenges the viewer’s perceptions whilst stimulating the senses to provide a physical and conceptual experience.

Talking about her installation, Millie said:

“The Installation is very personal to me as it represents my observations during my childhood growing up in Beijing. China’s capital city has a unique ambience, where ancient imperial temples and pagodas sit among glistening high-rise office blocks.”

She continued,

“China’s traditional heritage juxtaposed with a desire for modernisation sparked controversy when Beijing hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics. The dichotomy between the idealism of the Beijing Olympics as portrayed in the official media materials, and the untold reality of Hutong demolitions, is explored through my exhibition.”

As well as the Extended Project Qualification, Millie is studying Chemistry, Biology and Geology for her A Levels. Speaking about her decision to take the EPQ, Millie commented,

“The EPQ has allowed me to pursue my passion for Installation Art and my interest in the Chinese Political Artist Ai Weiwei.”

Sixth Form student, Max, interviewed some of the attendees on the night, here are their comments:

“The level of detail that went in to it was incredible. She used real bamboo scaffolding within her exhibition, in the actual way it would’ve been constructed.”  

 “It’s a fascinating insight into the dichotomy between Chinese tradition and the government, done with a distinct but innovative flair.” 

“It’s an immersive experience, really cool!” 

After completing her A-Levels, Millie hopes to study Geology at Durham University in addition to continuing her Mandarin studies and interest in Chinese art and culture.

The Extended Project Qualification is provided as an option for Sixth Form students to study any subject or topic of their choosing in order to gain a recognised qualification. Students’ final projects have included exhibitions, dissertations, performances and artefacts.

Students who complete an Extended Project have the opportunity to develop and demonstrate a wide range of transferable skills and it is highly regarded by universities.

Chāi Nà will be exhibiting from 24 January to the 7 February in Truro School’s Heseltine Gallery.

Photo credits: Meg and Tulip