2014, Mixed Media, 400 x 20 cm

By LEE MUN YEE, Orchid Park Secondary School, Head of Department, Aesthetics

The work is inspired by the geological forms of stalactites and stalagmites of Luray Cavern and the magnificent Grand Canyon. The two sites are formed by entirely different geological processes: the former by mineral deposits and the latter by erosion of uplifted layers of compressed marine sediments and rocks.

This is an experimental work combining two different art techniques. Parts of the work are impressionistic, dry point-like images of the rock formations created using the simple scratch-boards that involves no technology. Theother parts are prints of digital drawing layered over digital photography. In a way, I am creating a visual connection of semi-abstract images using two vastly different mediums. It is my experimental interpretation of the visual connections of the mentioned geological forms.

Lesson Ideas for Un-earth (2014) by Lee Mun Yee

This lesson is suitable for students in: Secondary 3

Artwork title: Un-earth

Name of artist: Lee Mun Yee

School: Orchid Park Secondary

Possible Guiding Questions

1. What do you see in the 4 images?

2. How did you come to your conclusion on what you see?

3. How do you think the artist has created the work?

4. Where do you think the artist has drawn inspiration for this series of work?

5. Why do you think the artist has chosen to use black and white?

6. What media and technique will you use if you were to create a piece of work with a similar mood?

Possible Elegant Art Tasks

Unearth From the Dark

Objective of the task

1. The students will understand through the task experience the crucial role lighting plays in observational drawing.

2. The students will learn to use less obvious visual clues in the dim setting for estimating the perspective, proportionsand/or other visual elements

3. Students will have some understanding, through discussion, on ways to solve a visual task problem.

Task – Part 1

You are to create an impressionistic visual record of a cluster of objects, set indoors* with very dim lighting.

(Do be mindful of safety when moving about in dim lighting).

You are not to use any electrical device or luminous object to illuminate the place.

Make a visual record of the same place from 3 different angles.

You should use at least 2 different medium. You may choose 1 of the following media for the visual record:1. Black scratchboard with a metal needle (like a ceramic needle). 2. Black paper with white marker /colour pencil. *As an alternative, students can use white pastel pencils on black paper. 3. Another alternative, cartridge paper that has been pre-prepared (completely rubbed with willow charcoal), together with a kneadable eraser (or maybe even old bread rolled together like Van Gogh did!).

Task – Part 2

Small group discussion (in groups of 3 to 4)

Share with your classmates about your experience drawing in the dark. You may respond to these questions during your sharing:

1. What was/were the unexpected experience? What is new to you?
2. What was/were the challenges during the visual recording exercise?
3. How did you deal with the challenges?
4. How is your artwork different from art you have created under normal lighting conditions?
5. Has your artwork in the dark surprised you? Please elaborate on the surprising elements.

6. If a similar drawing task is given again. How will you do it differently?

Differentiated scoping for Lower Sec

The current task may be pitched more for upper sec with a smaller class size.

For lower sec large class size, alternatives could include:

Extremely under-exposed photographs of nocturnal scene or interiors of rooms may be given to students and they need to decipher the images in the photo and draw using the same set of media suggested.

Rationale of the task

Young students have the tendency to rely on schemas and memories of drawing conventions when an observational drawing task is given. Instead of drawing through observation, many tend to lean towards drawing by assumption. The pervasiveness of stylized images in popular culture has also contributed to these schemas being reinforced. To scaffold this further, students could be taught how to make expressive, gestural marks on paper, using charcoal or a similar material.

This task is a direct assault on the use of schemas. It is an attempt to get students to be in-tuned with their senses again.

Wilson (2004) has given a realistic and hopeful advice when he wrote,

‘….educators should encourage idiosyncratic behavior, the minor breaking of artistic rules and conventions, inventive and imaginative combining of images, and a stretching from the known to the unknown at any phase of a young person’s development.’ (p314)


Wilson, B. (2004). Child Art After Modernism: Visual Culture and New Narratives. In E. W. Eisner & M. Day (Eds.), Handbook of Research and Policy in Art Education, (pp. 299 – 328). New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc., Publishers.

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