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Lum, Chee Hoo
Tan, Leonard Yuh Chaur
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This research study aims to examine the current pedagogical approach to color theory for visual art students at local tertiary art institutions. The study was initiated because of my observation that current training at most art institutions locally and internationally was not aligned with industrial practice. A scan of the literature revealed that current industry practice adopts a three dimensional and asymmetrical system developed by Professor Albert Munsell – the Munsell Color System (1912). Local tertiary art institutions utilize and adopt the Itten Color System, a two-dimensional color wheel developed by Professor Johannes Itten at the Bauhaus (Itten, 1970), the school that represents the most rigorous development of abstract art concepts. Color theory was one of the main topics at Bauhaus during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The theory was brought to the United States by Professor Itten’s student, Josef Albers. Major art institutions, like the art school at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Dourmashkin, 2005) and the California State University at Northridge (CSU-Northridge, 2015), have utilized the Itten Color System till today. Similarly, local art institutions refer to the Itten Color System. The research gap identified speaks to the difference between industrial practice and pedagogical approach in tertiary settings, examining the issues surrounding color theory training and its possible alignment with current industrial needs.

The research was carried out using qualitative interviews of artists working in various visual art fields and art educators. Graduate students who have experience with both color systems were also interviewed. The results gathered informed the subsequent construction of two workshops conducted with tertiary students, one focused on the Itten Color System while the other on the Munsell Color System. A quantitative survey was then utilized as pre- and post-tests for the two workshops to gather students’ test scores in color theory and self-report measures of adaptive dispositions (flow, grit and commitment). Participating students were also invited for qualitative interviews. The analysis of both the qualitative and quantitative components speak to the possible development of a new pedagogical approach that could have the advantage of both models.
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ND1488 Ng
Appears in Collections:Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

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