Lingnan Stories

Flora Chen
Programme pursued at Lingnan University: Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Visual Studies 2016
Further studies: Master’s Programme in Film Studies, Columbia University, US

Flora Chen

Learning how to appreciate films during my undergraduate studies, I gained a precious global perspective on film.

Flora Chen

For most people, going overseas to pursue a career in the movie industry is a dream. But for Flora Chen, a graduate of the Department of Visual Studies, that dream has come true with her admission to a master’s programme in film studies at Columbia University in New York.

A cinephile inspired at Lingnan

"It could never have happened, if I hadn’t studied at Lingnan," says Chen, who grew up in Hangzhou and has been a fan of both Hollywood and Asian movies for as long as she can remember. It was during her undergraduate course, though, that she really began to understand the vast extent of the world of film, in particular the cinema of small nations and low-budget independent releases, which are often neglected despite their artistic and cultural value.

Chen notes that the professors at Lingnan University’s Department of Visual Studies brought strong influence on her, cultivating a greater sense of appreciation and broader artistic tastes. "Learning how to appreciate films during my undergraduate studies, I gained a precious global perspective on film."

Holistic programmes

Visual studies students at Lingnan are fortunate in having a well-designed interdisciplinary course. It includes everything from art theory and history to lighting and production, philosophy, sociology, and film studies. There are also invaluable co-curricular learning opportunities. Under the guidance of faculty members with an extensive international network, students can develop a global mindset by participating in summer programmes on filmmaking in Ireland or volunteering at the Cannes Film Festival. They also have opportunities for overseas exchanges at Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver, the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, and other institutions.

For professors, seeing the transformation of students is definitely a source of pride. Over the years, they have sent graduates on to prestigious schools including the Huston School of Film and Digital Media at the National University of Ireland, the University of Geneva, and Central St Martins College of Art and Design in London. Other graduates have established their own businesses or joined companies where aesthetic concepts are important, in fields such as fashion, jewellery and gourmet food.

Pursuing dreams

Chen’s professors believe the course at Columbia will present the chance to define her own values and find her niche in life.

"I know the comparatively tough academic environment at Columbia University will pose extra challenges, but I love challenges and am ready for that," Chen said.

Such self-confidence is not unusual among Visual Studies students. It comes from having wide exposure to different cultures and environments during their course. The perspectives they acquire allow them to study, work and live anywhere they choose. They will change the world with their positive outlook and their wonderful grasp of who they are and what they want.