Art History

May 2024

Next stop, Dhoby Ghaut! A place of many intersecting mrt lines and a bustling place for interchange. Our next artwork reference is also called 'Interchange' which is a perfect example of collaboration by husband and wife duo, Delia and Milenko Prvacki. Inspired by the mosaic style, we had a go at our own mosaic tiles using coloured paper!

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April 2024

Let's now head over to Clarke Quay station! This station showcases the artwork, "The Reflection" by Chua Ek Kay. The Reflection is a two-part artwork which includes a 60m wall mural digitalised Chinese Ink painting as well as an acid-etched brass panel artwork at Clarke Quay MRT. Both artworks use the power of visual storytelling to depict the history of the Singapore River.

Inspired by Chua's Chinese Ink landscape artwork, we had a second go at Chinese ink, painting a landscape instead of Chinese characters we learned last month! It was a fun experience getting a second go at chinese ink.

Reflecting on the past two projects, we also shared our experience and preference of either painting landscapes or words with chinese ink. 

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March 2024

Next stop... Chinatown MRT! This station showcases the artwork, "The Phoenix's - Eye Domain" by Tan Swie Hian. The Phoenix's Eye Domain is a two-part artwork which includes a wall mural as well as Chinese Calligraphy engraving on the floor tiles at Chinatown MRT. Inspired by Tan Swie Hian's artwork, we had a go at Chinese Calligraphy, writing the words, Fortune, Spring and Luck!

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February 2024

In our second Art History session, we dived into the artistic expressions found within Singapore's Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) platforms such as Outram Park Station.

The station showcases "Commuters" by Teo Eng Seng. The artwork includes 69 concrete impressions of people that seems to be moving in and out of the walls. These huge impressions spanning across the platform invites us commuters to stop & ponder the meaning of the artwork. Teo Eng Seng is also known for his invention of the paperdyesculp (dyed papier mache) technique.

Taking inspiration from Teo's works and use of materials, our students use paper clay to create the city skyline. Not forgetting to add a burst of colour by painting the buildings as well as the sky, clouds and ground! 

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January 2024

This year in Art History, we will delve into the artistic expressions found within Singapore's Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) platforms. Integrated with pieces by the country's prominent artists, these artworks aim to cultivate appreciation among the general public. Our exploration for January focuses on the Harbourfront station, which stands as the southernmost point of the North East Line.

The station showcases "Enigmatic Appearances" by Dr. Ian Woo, reflecting its maritime theme and port location. The artwork features abstract shapes that evoke the essence of the sea, including sea creatures. Dr. Woo utilized enameling techniques to safeguard his creations on the wall.

But what exactly is enameling? It is a traditional decorative method involving the application of a vitreous (glassy) coating to a metal surface, often copper, silver, or gold. This process not only enhances the metal's appearance but also adds color, durability, and a glossy finish.

In our artistic pursuits, students used mod podge to emulate the outcomes achieved through enameling techniques.

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December 2023

Folk art refers to traditional art created by people from a specific cultural group or community, typically reflecting the cultural identity and heritage of that group. It is often produced by individuals who may not have formal training in art and is passed down through generations.

In Singapore, we have the Peranakan culture. It is a unique blend of Chinese, Malay and Indonesian influences, reflecting the intermarriage and cultural exchanges. They are known for their vibrant and colorful traditions as well as their peranakan pattern! Our students learn more on how and where the Peranakan used these patterns on. They also learnt a method called "print making" to achieve this craft!

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November 2023

Illustration has bee around for centuries, transforming and shifting, but never fail to capture our imagination. It brings together to those who loves and appreciate visual communication and beauty. Every artist has their own unique perspective and drawing styles. Here you can see the different styles and stories that each of our little artists showcased!

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October 2023

Allegory is defined as a “story, picture or other piece of art that uses symbols to convey a hidden or ulterior meaning. There must be 2 things in allegory, the tenor and the vehicle. Tenor is the hidden meaning while Vehicle is the word or image that “carries” it.
For example, allegory in Love is associated with Cupid and Death is associated with Grim Reaper. As a result, thanks to the characters that we can immediately identify the meaning and the artist is able to represent an abstract concept like that inside a complex work of art.

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September 2023

Botanical art is a beautiful marriage of art and science. Flower paintings were originally drawn for decorative purposes or a means of identifying plants used for medicine. The first illustrated botanical book was known as Herbal, published in 512 A.D. The book was designed to help the readers identify the medical plants and understand their uses and in which dosage to apply them.

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August 2023

The art of graffiti is a form of visual communication. The act of writing or scribbling on public property is also known as graffiti, which derived from the Italian word graffito (“scratch”)

It is common for graffiti to appear boldly in cities, making bold statements about identity, art, empowerment, and politics. In Singapore, graffiti is subject to stringent laws that govern public space and property. Unauthorized graffiti is considered vandalism. Nonetheless, Singapore has recognized the artistic value of graffiti and has designated specific spaces where artists can legally create their works.

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July 2023

Art and Religion has a strong connection to each other. Religious art is artistic imagery using religious inspiration and motifs. It comes in many forms such as, sculptures/statues, painting and architectural/buildings. The purpose of religious artwork was not only decorating sacred spaces but to assist in establishing the faith of certain belief systems through visual display.

Our students recreated the stained glass window effect which is mostly found in worship places!

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June 2023

Abstract painting are paintings that didn’t abide by conventional “rules” like naturalism and perspective. It is mostly emphasized on colour, composition and emotion; it is not anything is particular or “representational”. They may just some coloured squares or rectangles in a certain arrangement of colours, strokes and shapes. Our students made their own personal card for their loved ones!

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May 2023

History paintings, which can either, be events that really happened, there could be a battle or some political events. For this historical craft, our students took a trip down to Rome, to learn more about The Colosseum. The Colosseum was used as a games arena for gladiator contests, executions, mock battles (including sea battles), and animal hunts. Do you know that it took 9 years to build it? Many people died in the Colosseum during its time as an entertainment venue, possibly as many as 400,000!

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April 2023

Genre painting is a style of art that depicts everyday life scenes, often focusing on ordinary people engaging in everyday activities. It emerged in the 17th century, during the Dutch Golden Age, and gained popularity in Europe during the 18th and 19th centuries.

Common themes included domestic life, street scenes, landscapes, and portraits of ordinary people. For this craft, our students did a secret message phone! Take a look at their “secret” message! Shhh….

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March 2023

March’s Art History was on Portrait Painting!

Portrait painting simply means a painting of a human figure. This type of painting has been practiced by the most influential painters for centuries! It can be painting of somebody famous or anyone, literally! The goal is to capture the likeness and personality of the person being painted. To make it fun, our students used different types of materials to showcase the different textures in their artwork.

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February 2023

For February’s Art History, our students touched on still life painting!
What is a still life painting? It features an arrangement of inanimate objects as its subject. Like fruit, flowers and any household items put together often on a tabletop. The magic of still life paintings is that they can show us a new way of looking at the ordinary objects around us. Once they are placed into a specific arrangement and then captured in paint, ink, pastel, or any other medium - the objects take on a whole new meaning!

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January 2023

For this year's Art History, students will be learning about the different types of painting.
For January's Art History, they learnt about Landscape painting!

What is landscape painting? Landscape painting shows us the scenery of the outside world. It could be of the sea, the land, the mountain, the city or the town.
Landscape painting has a strong root in art history. Why did artists still chooses to do landscape painting? It is for variety of reasons. Some artists opt to create these depictions to study and explore various aesthetic elements, like light, colour and texture. Additionally, some artists also use scenes of nature as a way to tell a story. For this craft, students created their own landscape painting (Flower Field) by using watercolour medium to create the sky and with stamping technique to create the flower effect.

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December 2022

Dala Horse is one of the symbols of Sweden. Originally, the wooden horses were carved by men working in the forests during long winter evenings and brought back to the village for the children to play with. One of the reasons why they appreciate horses is because they used horses as one of the mode of transportation back in the days. Here in this artwork, our students learnt how to apply flower motif patterns to their horses!

 

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November 2022

What is Decoupage? Decoupage is the art of cutting and pasting cut outs to simulate painting on a wood, metal, or glass surface. It is to have modern artists implement new ways to apply mixed media onto their artworks. Basically, paper cut outs are reassembled and designed and then glued to a painted or gilded surface. Our students did this craft by using newspapers and coloured paper cut outs to create an artwork animal. Can you guess what animal they did?

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October 2022

String Art is weaving coloured sting, wool or yarn between hammered nails to make geometric patterns. Artists use lines of thread to create curved patterns that can form various desirable shapes. This organic idea to use thread and nails to form angles has grown from an educational tool to an art form like no other. For October’s Art History, our students made a cute costume with yarns for the kitties! Amazing!

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September 2022

Macrame technique are making a mighty comeback! What is Macrame? Macrame is a hand-knotted tapestries which was popular back in the 70’s. Sailors played a large role in keeping Macrame alive and sharing the art with new lands. There are several different kinds of macrame cord, rope and string, plus accessories like dowels, metal rings, beads and more! As the trend has come back, it has brought so many talented macrame artists. Last week, our students learnt how to create a 3-strand braid and some, a square knot! They definitely had an enjoyable time doing this craft!

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August 2022

The weaving technique is acknowledged as one of the oldest surviving crafts in the world, about 12,000 years ago! Technically, weaving is the art of creating fabric through a combination of warp and weft. Warp is the lengthwise yarns; crosswise yarns are called weft. In modern times, even commonly seen in garments, weavings can also be made into display artwork. To make it more interesting and fun, our students used the weaving technique to create a pattern on their sea creature’s bodies!

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July 2022

Sand painting is an ancient art practices by shamans and healers in various countries around the world. The picture are supposed to attract spirits; the more accurate a picture, the greater its effectiveness as a sacred too!
Sand painting exists in highly developed forms among the Navajo and Pueblo Indians of the American Southwest and in simpler forms among several Plains and California Indian tribes. Although sand painting is an art form, it is valued among the Indians primarily for religious rather than aesthetic reasons.
It requires extreme accuracy and control over the hand’s movement. Artists need a lot fo practice and patience to sand paint.

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June 2022

This month’s Art History we learnt about decorative Henna! Fun fact, Henna plant was used in Egypt about 9,000 years ago! It was originally used for its cooling properties for the people living in hot desert climate and it was also used as medical purposes. Now, they use henna to design their hand for Eid, wedding, and other festive events.

So.. how do they get the henna stain? Henna is a powder derived from crushing the leaves of the henna plant. The powder is soaked in water and leaving it overnight. The mixture is then applied to the body and left untouched for a couple of hours. After the paste is dried and washed away, it leaves a beautiful orange-brown design that fades in a few days/weeks!

Many traditional designs include special symbols like prosperity, love, loyalty, and good luck.

 

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May 2022

Batik is the technique of decorating cloth using wax and dye. It has been practiced for centuries in many parts of the world! To make a batik, selected areas of the design are blocked out by applying hot wax over them, the dye is applied on top, and the parts are covered in wax resist the dye and remain the original colour. The process of waxing and dyeing can be repeated many times if necessary to create more elaborate and colourful design. These batik techniques is seen more on “Sarong” or batik skirt in Indonesian culture.

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April 2022

For this month’s Art History, our students travelled to Japan! We learnt one of the famous technique originated from Japan called Nerikomi technique. What is Nerikomi? “Neri” means kneading and “komi” means into. It refers to a process of layering several coloured clay together and compressed to construct a solid block with pattern running through the inside. It ranges from simple stripes to marbled swirls to intricate images. The patterns and designs are revealed when the block is sliced in a cross section. These slice pieces can be shaped and formed to create pottery or sculpture with striking visual effect that could not be achieved using other technique. Our student made a simple stripe design for their final product!

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March 2022

This month’s Art History, our students dived into Turkish art technique called Ebru. What is Ebru? Ebru is a very old and mysterious Turkish tradition of painting on oily water and then transferring the painting onto the paper.

In the olden days, they do not have paint or ink of some sort. Thus, Ebru painters used natural colours and organic pigments and mixed them with ox-gall (as a wetting agent). They sprinkle and brush the colours onto water mixed with powdered gelatin which the colours will float. With special tools, they created shapes/lines and made a beautiful pattern painting.
To make it fun for the students, we used bubble tea shapes and used vibrant coloured inks to achieve a beautiful pattern on it! Afterwards students drew faces and pearls onto the bubble tea shaped paper to make it even cuter!

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February 2022

For this month’s Art History we took a trip to Thailand! Lai Thai are decorative patterns created by ancient Thai artists of fine arts to decorate art works and to add a magnificent patterns as well as to convey a way of life, a Buddhist society of Thai people. As the Thai ancient society is a place where life co-existed with the nature, Thai artists created patterns with inspirations from lotus flowers, jasmine garlands and flame from candles!

Ancient Lai Thai patterns are classified into four categories, including: Kranok, Nari, Krabi and Kacha. Initially, the patterns were only used to decorate the building and architectures of palaces. With its popularity, Thai patterns are applied on fabric clothes, utensils, furniture and many more! This is what that is keeping the national art heritage of Thailand.

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January 2022

Starting the new year with learning the different kinds of art techniques all around the world! This month, our students learnt about Chinese Ink technique! The traditional painting medium for ink and wash is black ink; typically applied with long-haired brushes onto paper to silk. The completed painting is then mounted on scrolls, which are hung rolled up.

It is said that the ink and wash painting technique was invented during the Tang Dynasty art. The brushstrokes in Chinese Ink Painting are more focused on emotional statements. The artist positions the brush vertically above the surface of the paper and controls its rhythmic movements from his shoulders. To make it a more fun and cute artwork, our students drew and painted different kinds of fruits with expressions!

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December 2021

Jackson was born in in 1912 in Wyoming, America. When he was 18 years old, he moved to New York and trained as mural painter which helps him to work on large scale canvases. Jackson slowly started to evolve his style over the next few years and his works inspired artists from all over the world with the way he experimented and invented new ways of painting. Jackson Pollock was an abstract expressionist artist. He showed his emotions like happiness or anger through the expressive marks or strokes! There is almost no planning for this style, you just let chance and accidents create your picture!

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November 2021

Salvador Dali was born in 1904 in Figueres, Spain. With the support of his mum, Dali left art school and went to Paris and that is where he met the surrealists. What is surrealism? Surrealism is an art movement started by French writer Andre Breton and famous psychoanalyst called Sigmund Freudback in 1920s. What interests the surrealists are simply things like dreams, fantasies, and thought is our minds that we don’t know that we are having! How interesting as it does not have to make sense at all, and you can still make art out of it! Dali liked to use lots of different materials to make art and he was a man of many talents which influences many artists today!

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October 2021

Piet Mondrian was a Dutch painter and theoretician who is regarded as one of the greatest artists of the 20th century. He is known for being one of the pioneers of 20th century abstract art which was then reduced to simple geometric elements. When Mondrian made his painting, he would always mix his colours, never using the paint directly from a tube. He often used primary colours- red, yellow and blue. He used the simplest combinations of straight lines, right angles, primary colours, and black, white, and grey. The influence of his paintings can be seen in other things - from furniture to fashion!

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September 2021

Pablo Picasso was born in Malaga, Spain. He is a very talented person; he could draw and paint when he was very young. He liked to experiment and try out new ideas, which is important for being an artist, because the world is always changing. Picasso is a painter, sculptor and more who had enormous influence on 20th century art and worked in a variety of styles. He loves peace and uses his art to avoid war.

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August 2021

Georgia Totto O’Keeffe was an American artist. She was known for her paintings of enlarged flowers and landscapes. She was born in November 15 1887 in Wisconsin, America. Georgia was allowed to take private art lessons from a local artist and discovered that she liked painting with watercolours. She emphasized on the importance of composition, and she would say it as “fill a space in a beautiful way”. Her unique and new way of painting nature gained respect in New York’s Art world in the 1920s.

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July 2021

George Seurat is an artist who is a founder of this interesting art movement called, Pointillism. He was born on December 2nd 1851 in Paris, France and explored the science of optics and colour and eventually found a new way of painting. The idea of this style is simple, but it’s difficult to pull off. In 1884, he began to work on his masterpiece, called Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. It was painted entirely with small dots of pure colour. It took him nearly 2 years of non-stop work to finish! Let’s see how our students did!

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June 2021

 

People usually draw what they can visualize, but how about the things that neither have form nor shape? On this month’s Art History, our student learnt about this famous abstract artist, Wassily Kandinsky. He was an amazing artist that paints music!
He was born into a musical family, even learnt how to play the piano and cello! But colours of nature always excite him. As he grew older, he ventured out and decided to put his 2 favourite things together, music and art! Kandinsky felt that he could express feelings and music through colours and shapes in his paintings. For example, triangle shapes would cause an aggressive feeling, square would cause a calm feeling and circle shape would cause spiritual feelings. What do you guys think? Let us know your thoughts!

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April 2021

 

Andy Warhol was a successful magazine and advertisement illustrator who became a leasing artist of the 1960s Pop art movements. He ventured into a wide variety of art forms, including performance art, film making, and more. Pop artists such as him felt that art should reflect modern life and so they made art inspired by the world around them. His artworks mostly done with bright colours and silk-screening techniques. One of his most screen prints is Campbell’s soup can. This concept only uses contrasting colours to make the colours pop even more!

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March 2021

We will be starting afresh for this year’s Art History by appreciating famous artists artworks! This month we will be learning about this famous female artist in 20th Century – Frida Kahlo. Who is Frida Kahlo? Well, she was born in 1907 in Mexico and art was always a passion of hers, ever since a little girl. You must be wondering, why is she so well known? Well, both her physical pain and emotional pain features a lot in her artwork because of what she went through. Our students created their very own mini Frida Kahlo! Let see how well they did! 

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February 2021

This month of Art History we learnt all about Egyptian museum. Do you know where is Egypt? Yes, you’re right, it is located in the northeaster corner of Africa! This museum was first opened in 1902 holding the greatest collection of Ancient Egyptian archeological history in the world. It shows the history of Egypt from the Old Kingdom up through the Greco-Roman period. It underwent a renovation and was built and set to open by end of 2020. Our student did an Egyptian mask using poster paint. Let’s see their beautiful artworks!

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January 2021

The Lourve Museum is the world’s largest art museum and a historic monument in Paris, France. It is the home to Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. The museum was opened on 10 August 1793 with only 537 paintings. Now, approximately 38,00 objects from the prehistory to the 21st century is exhibited which received 9.6 million visitors in 2019! The department of decorative arts displays the treasures of the French kings-department of Greek, Etruscan and Roman antiques feature architecture, sculpture and more. The museum also holds a big collection of Islamic Art.

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