Dr Bepen Bhana




Manukau School Of Visual Arts, University Of Auckland, New Zealand


Bepen Bhana (DocFA, MFA(1st Class Honours), MDINZ, BFA) is an artist, designer, researcher and writer who has worked in range of creative art industries before embarking on his doctoral studies at the Elam School of Fine Arts, at The University of Auckland where he was the recipient of The Ryoichi Sasakawa Young Leader_s Doctoral Fellowship which enabled him to successfully complete his DocFA in 2008.

His research interests include contemporary creative art and design pedagogy, while his interdisciplinary research practice encompasses a range of art and design subjects, but primarily involves critical investigations that examine integral components of Popular Culture such as the significance and impact of consumption, branding, commercial consumer culture, celebrity culture, and the fluid parameters between high and low cultures.

Dr Bhana is a Senior Lecturer who teaches in the interdisciplinary programme delivered through the Manukau School of Visual Arts (MSVA), in the Faculty of Creative Arts at The Manukau Institute of Technology in Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand.


InterdisciPRINTarity: Exploring Print Pedagogy Within An Interdisciplinary Framework


InterdisciPRINTarity involves an examination into the challenges and consequences for print educators who are now progressively compelled to operate in an interdisciplinary environment where the parameters of previously discipline specific academic programmes have been theoretically liberated, restructured and realigned for studio outputs to potentially transcend disciplinary boundaries.
While interdisciplinarity or an 'open' studio mode of teaching delivery is a product of rapidly advancing digital technologies, as well as intended to better reflect what is occurring in professional contemporary practice beyond academia; in an endeavor to determine the role of print within such an integrative environment, this paper embarks to elicit an evaluation of some of the rationales of such an evolving paradigm.
This appraisal includes a discussion of how print has effectively been relocated as a catalyst for educators to initiate opportunities for potentially new processes, knowledge and modes of practice. Further issues that arise and are discussed include art education institutes grappling to balance the demands of both generalisation and specialisation. The paper then advances to elucidate what appears to be a perceptible 'trade-off' between students developing a broad perspective, but at the expense of highly developed specialised craft and technical skills. InterdisciPRINTarity then continues to contemplate how such skills by their very nature are difficult to teach and attain conventionally, as they are forms of knowledge that need to be acquired through physically making and doing. The challenge for educators is to assist students to become the masters, not the slaves of technology.
To finish the paper concludes with a reflection of the quandary for contemporary print educators being the need to seek a balance between theory and practice, to better enable students to negotiate the ever-evolving definitions and parameters of the fields of practice, for which they prepare their students for.


Friday 30 September


11:00am - 12.30pm






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