From Hong Kong to Brazil: Tiffany Bauman ’16 Examines Cultural Art Forms from Around the World

As a golden yellow sun sets, the light enhances the deep pink color of the lavenders in the garden. To the left, the silhouette of a lone tree contrasts with orange backdrop. This piece, titled “Lavender Garden,” was painted by Tiffany Bauman ’16 during a six-week trip to Hong Kong in the summer of 2014. During this trip, Bauman studied at the Jockey Club Creative Arts Center.

“[Going to] Hong Kong was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had just because we painted all day, every day seven days a week. I loved [exploring] Hong Kong, the food was amazing, and I met so many cool artists. And while I was there I not only improved my painting, but I also tried out different styles of art,” said Bauman.

In addition to painting, Bauman participated in many hands-on projects while in Hong Kong. She helped teach painting and art to elementary school kids and did face painting at a retirement home.

“I think [my instructor] took [my experience] to the next level and made it so I met a bunch of artists and became the teacher… It’s the little things, like workshops and teaching others, that make the experience even more than just practicing painting and furthering my painting career. It was so interesting learning new techniques and painting in a different environment and culture, as well as sharing it with others,” said Bauman.

Bauman’s passion for painting and art has brought her all over the world. In addition to Hong Kong, she has also travelled to Bolivia and Brazil to learn from and work with various artists on different mediums of visual art.

“For me, art is healing. It engages both my mind and body, and gives me time to reflect and express myself… Each new place I go, I escape into a different culture. I have to learn to adapt to a new lifestyle, and I see that reflected in my art. As I indulge into different cultures, my experiences come together as I search for myself. I am able to reflect in a way I couldn’t in my normal life routine,” said Bauman.

Last summer, Bauman visited Rio de Janeiro for two months to learn about graffiti painting. She took classes at Espaço Rabisco and worked mainly with Vinicius Nextwo. She also had the opportunity to meet many graffiti artists including Carlos Bobi, a well-known artist in Rio.

“I definitely feel like the world around me is my inspiration. I love to paint anything so I thought it was really interesting focusing primarily on portraits [in Brazil]. I would see the walls filled with graffiti with messages. It wasn’t always landscapes [but] you could see something important that the artist was trying to share with the community,” continued Bauman.

Brazil offered Bauman an opportunity to explore a new artform.

“[While I was in Brazil,] I learned how powerful art can be…. As I looked around and saw almost every wall filled with murals and tags, I learned that graffiti – an art form legal in Brazil – is a language of subversion, of the street, in hope of giving voice to the voiceless, a platform to express messages to an entire community and their government,” said Bauman.

Although her interests in painting are constantly evolving, Bauman recalls loving art from a young age. Bauman noticed her love for art when she consistently chose art courses over her other electives in middle school.
“You can blend the colors [when painting], whereas in drawing you can really only blend charcoal because when you get to colored pencils you can’t blend as well. I also love the fact that you can manipulate something so easily in painting, and how you can make something so precise or really abstract and people can look at them and still see something.” said Bauman.

Arriving at Andover allowed Bauman to pursue her passion for painting, especially after exhausting her art courses at her previous school. In addition to taking high level art courses, Bauman’s interest in art showed through her keen interest in attending arts events on campus.

“Loving art you see the world differently than others. I loved seeing the gallery openings and student artwork. The high level art exhibits on campus are the most awesome things ever. And I really value looking at other artist’s works, especially at [Andover] because [my peers are] so talented,” said Bauman.