SAS Puxi welcomed its first visiting artist of the year, mixed media artist Mr. Hanoch Piven. Known for his quirky celebrity caricatures assembled with common everyday objects and scraps of materials, Mr. Piven spent a week working with pre-k, kindergarten and elementary classes to create a series of self-portraits put together with materials like buttons, bottle caps and costume jewelry.
“The purpose was to help the older kids explore who they were, the meaning of different objects, and using those meaning to say something about themselves,” said Mr. Piven. As elementary students sorted through the materials they wanted to work with, they spent a lot of time reflecting on themselves and on making decisions. “There was a lot of introspection in there.”
The younger students, on the other hand, learnt to understand that art allows flexibility. “We created basic facial expressions out of objects – not gluing them, just moving them around – which helped them understand that there is no one way of doing something,” Mr. Piven explained. “Just by being able to move things around helped them understand the diversity of possibilities and the flexibility of moving from a happy face, to a sad face, to an angry face.”
It’s an interesting, and to Mr. Piven, an important way of creating. “Moving objects is another way of drawing. We find shapes instead of create shapes,” he said. “Children can do it easily and it helps solve the issue of the technique barrier. At a certain point, some kids might start to feel like they cannot draw well enough. They stop because they feel that they cannot create something realistic. But with objects, suddenly anybody can create art.”
Mr. Piven likens this process as enlightening children to the fact that there is no IKEA manual to creativity. “To me, art allows you to be in a space of experimentation, of trying things and failing but not feeling too bad about it. It’s not the real world, it’s a protected space that allows you to practice for reality – all the failures and problems, the trial and error, the coincidences and happy accidents – you find them and you explore them, which is useful to young children as they move from the art space to the real space of life.”
INTROSPECTION. EVERY DAY AT SAS.
Founded in 1912, Shanghai American School (SAS) is the largest and most established international school in China. In short, it's the kind of school you wish you would've attended when you were a kid. 创建于1912年，上海美国学校是中国最大的也是历史最悠久的国际学校。简而言之，如果你能回到小的时候，这会是一所你想要去的学校。
Founded in 1912, Shanghai American School (SAS) is the largest and most established international school in China. In short, it's the kind of school you wish you would've attended when you were a kid.