Desert Song, 2009, Watercolours on paper, 50 x 70 cm (framed)


Desert Inspiration, 2009, Watercolours on paper, 50 x 70 cm (framed)

By TAN HWEE PHENG, CHARLOTTE, CHIJ Secondary School, Senior Teacher

These works are from my series Erosion of Memories, inspired from my own personal experience in the Australian desert in Fowler’s Gap, Broken Hill in New South Wales.

The fragile beauty of the tree forms seen in the empty creeks showed me how the harsh weather conditions have made the twisted and gnarled tree-forms graceful and beautiful.

The works are made to celebrate the beauty of the washed-out, blown down trees in the desert, while calling to us the need to preserve whatever is left of our natural environment. The subtleness of the media is used as representative to contrast and show the disparity of the harsh vulnerability of what can be seen as the least vestiges of nature.

Lesson Idea for Desert Song (2009) / Desert Inspiration (2009) by Tan Hwee Pheng, Charlotte

This lesson is suitable for students in: Secondary 3 Express

Artwork title: Desert Song / Desert Inspiration

Name of artist: Tan Hwee Pheng Charlotte

School: CHIJ Secondary School

Possible Guiding Questions

1. What do you see in the paintings?

2. Describe the colours used in the paintings.

3. How do you feel when looking at the objects painted in those colours?

4. Why do you think the artist has chosen suchcolours?

5. How is negative space used?

6. What do you think is the subject matter in the works?

7. Do you notice that the paintings are related to the natural environment?

8. What do you think the artist is conveying through the works?

9. Do you think the titles help in further enhancingthe artist’s statement?

10. Does the artwork appeal to you? Explain your answer.

Possible Elegant Art Task

Starting point: personal interests-the environment/local interest/craft and technology

In this lesson idea, students could be asked to think about Singapore’s natural environment and habitat. The teacher could introduce different local places of interests such as MacRitchie Reservoir, Bukit Timah Reserve, Bukit Brown, or a park near the school. The teacher might use examples of artworks shown in this exhibition that relate to nature, and artists who have spoken strongly about environmental issues, such as global warming or climate change. A possible elegant art task could be:

You are on a class assignment to Gardens by the Bay to collect resources for a project. You are to make sketches and take pictures of what interests you in Flower Dome.

Back in the studio, pin up all your sketches and pictures on a board and take some time to deliberate on them as a whole. Do you see a common thread running through all the resources you have gathered?

Explore how the materials can be joined together to make a larger piece. Think about how the textures/patterns can be replicated.

Think about how you would use your resources to make a ‘coat of armour’ or to make an apparel that makes more than a fashion statement, using actual materials collected, or in the form of a paper toy, using the textures/patterns of the materials collected.

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