Alumni Perspectives: Chester Huang (2010, YCIS Shanghai)

Mr. Huang is a graduate of Yew Chung International School of Shanghai, class of 2010. He is now studying Fine Arts at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. See his experience below.                                          

Name: Chester Huang

Year of Graduation/Year left YC: 2010, YCIS Shanghai

Number of years spent in YC: 7 years

Major and University: Fine Arts, The School of The Art Institute of Chicago Current

Occupation: Artist/Graphic Designer

1. Were there any specific teachers, friends, or members of staff that have influenced you in some significant way during your time at Yew Chung?

Wow, I don’t really know where to start on this, I have so many feelings towards Yew Chung, it’s definitely one of the important journeys in my life. I guess I want to start this off by talking about coming to Shanghai around 2003 I believe. My life with YCIS started since Year 7, that seems like such a long time ago, I am originally from Taiwan and I didn’t know how to speak any English so I was in ESP class for two years, I met some of my best friends during those two years and I still keep in touch with them. So that was the beginning of my journey with Yew Chung. I had a lot of great teachers during those 7 years in Yew Chung; some of them have made a significant impact on my life. 7 years in an international school really changed my life in so many ways, one of them was that I got to interact with all kinds of people from different places, I was exposed to this multi-cultured community and I truly love it. This helped me broaden my view when it comes to art making and other areas.

I would love to acknowledge some of them, I don’t want to go in and start talking about all the teachers that will just make this to be 5000 words essay like Extended Essay right? Haha, best part for sure. Mr. Michael Johnson was one of the teachers I had back in Year 8 and he’s probably the best English teacher I have so far, because I knew teaching English with pupils whose English isn’t their first language can be a little challenging, but he made the learning process as easy and fun for sure. The second teacher that I would like to acknowledge is Mr. Wilfred Mclean. He was my art teacher for IGCSE and it was then that I started to focus on my art and develop some skills. Language wasn’t my strongest area, so I sort of shifted my focus towards art class. He taught me skills in drawing, painting and sketching. He taught me some of the aspects in art making and possible ways to enrich my work, great teacher. Last teacher that I need to acknowledge is Ms. Daun Yorke, she was the teacher that really helped me throughout my two years of IB. Before starting my first class in IB art, I thought art was mostly drawings and paintings and really nothing else, more like I couldn’t see anything else “art” besides painting and drawing. I still can’t really figure out what I was thinking back then, just ridiculous. She introduced me to all kinds of artwork, different mediums and ways to make art, how concept was important to an artwork. We had sketchbooks acting like our side projects; they were used to document all the thought process behind the artwork, artists’ research and gallery visits. I am glad that developed this habit of making documentations and preparations throughout my projects it really helped me in my college life. I thought about giving up art during the beginning of IB but she really talked me through and gave me a lot of support to keep going and eventually made me who I am today.

2. Which would be the most important years during your time at Yew Chung and why?

I would say the most important years during my time in YCIS were the years of IB. Everyone was so involved in the activities such as the Thailand trip, graduation art show, rock concert, chamber choir, charity work, fashion show and so many more, I won’t name all of them, oh I almost forgot, morning assemblies for sure was the best. It would literally take me hours. All of the activities really bonded all of us as a group (class of 2010), because we went through so much. I got to edit our promo video for 2010 graduation art show, now I looked at the videos it looks like some amateur-ish looking video but it was one of my best memories.

I still have a lot more that I want to share about my experience with YCIS but then again, I don’t want to make this to be another extended essay. I am just really glad that I went to YCIS in the first place. Good luck with all the current IB students, this should be the best part of your lives, so enjoy! I really miss it to be honest. Hope to visit some of the teachers when I get back to Shanghai next time!