Master Fine Arts (MFA) Programme 2022 - SNU

MFA in Fine Arts

Each student is guided through the programme by a committee of Faculty Mentors in accordance with the thrust and nuances of their individual practice, to help chart a course of study in keeping with their individual methods, media, and work preferences. The mentor team will comprise of an allotted  mentor (Studio Practice) and a chosen  Mentor ( Studio Practice/Art Theoretician ) Each student would be encouraged in the direction that her/his work, research and methods might dictate. Experimentation and research within one’s own practice, along with reading into the practice and work of other artists and theorists will be an essential part of the program and courses.  The MFA will integrate a taught program delivered through lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops. An interdisciplinary approach would be adopted towards nurturing individual and collaborative practices.  In the fourth semester, the students complete their Master’s project with a solo presentation of their work in the Fine Art Graduate Thesis Exhibition

Key Information

Art, Media and Performance
School of Humanities and Social Sciences (SHSS)
Total Credits
Core Credits 
Major Electives 

The  Department of Art and Performing Art offers one of the most dynamic, intensive and interdisciplinary courses on art theory, visual studies and art history. The theoretical modules complement fine art practice and encourage students to pursue further research. Students are introduced to a range of frameworks, from survey level courses on Global Art and Architecture to advanced full-fledged courses such as Interactive Art, Approaches to Art, Reading Art, Modern and Contemporary Art Theories, Post-War Art and Post-Independent Art in India, Curation, etc. The department aspires towards the unity of theory and practice and therefore allows for periodic revisions within the curriculum to suit the requirements of the students. 

These courses blend together projects, seminars and written presentations which generate an environment for extending concerns related to contemporary art practice.  They are also intended to provide the methodological framework for the final year dissertation. An interdisciplinary theory-practice based structure enables students to develop a critical reflection on their practice and the art field.

The MFA graduates would be capable of producing a substantial and confident body of work suitable for pursuing further research in their chosen field. They would gain experience in utilizing and integrating numerous creative platforms in making their work meaningful. They will have the ability to make work of a high professional standard, with in-depth application, grasp and perception of their specialization and with an advanced level of individual responsibility towards creative, technical and organizational skills. The students will have the intellectual capacity to research, plan, design, fabricate, and complete work using a variety of processes and settings.

Management and communication skills: Students will learn to work with a high level of responsibility towards themselves and others, especially when working with communities outside of the art field. They would be in a position to understand and be sensitive to their ethos and beliefs. They will learn to respond to problems by autonomously amalgamating data and communicating the information positively in order to find solutions. They will learn to successfully work within groups towards set goals. Through the community projects and collaborative practices that they will be introduced to, they will develop the ability to motivate others, negotiate outcomes in professional and academic situations and work towards creating change.

Following are the theoretical courses that we offer:

Interactive Art is a hybrid discipline that engages students of art with a diverse assembly of art practices pivoted on interactivity. The course traces the genealogy of interactive art, and introduces students to artists and artworks which have investigated interactivity in different mediums, including paintings, sculptures, video, performance art, public art, and software/code/internet art. Students are introduced to relevant topics including the purpose and language of interactive art, creative practices, the appropriation of new technologies, social relevance, common artistic themes, and the response and involvement of viewers. Finally, students are provided with hands-on experience with electronics, circuits, sensors, & programming to gain understanding of the general usages of equipments involved in building interactive systems.'

Modernity, Modernism, Modernization is a graduate seminar course which aims to unpack Eurocentrism in the conception of Modernism with readings on alternative trajectories of Modernism from Asia, Africa and Latin America. Art after World War II is a graduate seminar course that looks at the Cold war period, the emergence of post conceptual art and neoliberalism, with special emphasis to the biennale circuit. 

Art after Independence is a graduate seminar course that looks at recent scholarship on the Partition and the influence of postcolonial theory in reading visual modernism in the subcontinent. It institutes an enquiry into the crisis in secularism in the wake of liberalization as the immanent moment of the emergence of contemporary Indian art.

Reading Art will introduce students to the seminal theoretical texts of art history which are usually not dealt in great detail in other courses. Through this course students will familiarise themselves with a range of art historians, theoreticians, and art critics. The attempt is to develop a historical approach to art and critical writings on arts and aesthetics. Students will engage in a close intensive reading of the texts which will be followed by a discussion. This course will provide students with critical tools to question and evaluate the texts that they will read. This will enable a crucial foundation in terms of their understanding of art history and aesthetics. 

Approaches to Art is an introductory course which combines a brief recapitulation of pre-twentieth century visual art with an initiation into cultural theory. Divided into two parts, the course will begin with a survey module that frames art from around the world in terms of significant art historical themes that highlight the varied functions and contexts of art-making and reception across cultures, and exposes students to diverse approaches to interpreting art works. 

Modernity, Modernization and Modernisms offers a critical introduction to the concepts of modernity, modernization and modernism. It explores the emergence of modern subjectivities and multiple manifestations of modernism in various parts of the world. Considering the extent to which all modernisms can be viewed as part of a network of alternatives to tradition, realism, representation, mass culture, and even each other, this course will introduce recent theories and approaches for studying modernisms. Part I of the course traces the origins of modernism in Western society, examining some seminal texts and artist manifestoes that shaped this discourse and surveying the major ‘isms’ and defining moments between the late 19th Century and the mid-20th Century.