Artwork Title: …III_
Names of artists: Jane Hoe, Koh Bee Kim, Teo Chor Howe, Wang Shi Hui and Sophia Natasha Wei
Objects can be found in various art genres, such as still life, assemblage and installation. Artists use objects in their work in different ways. Many artists study objects as part of the ideation, observation and research process while some artists use objects as actual materials for the work, and/or use the objects to invoke certain contexts, associations and ideas. Objects in artworks and art-making provide references and context for engaging with works and processes by creating new ways of meaning making.
Situated within the context of Singapore art and art education in schools, this installation¹ invites viewers to engage with the work at three levels. Viewers can enjoy the work by examining the:
- individual as well as collective visual qualities, purposes and contexts of the objects in life, and how these various aspects interact within the work
- uses of objects in art teaching and learning in the art classroom. For example, how they operate as tools and equipment for art-making in the art room; and as items in art genres such as object studies, still life, assemblage and installation
- associations with, and references to artworks and art history that the objects conjure
The following lesson idea is but one of many possible ways to explore various uses of objects in art and art-making. The main purpose is to encourage students to:
- observe and record objects in their environment using different means (e.g. seeing, touching, considering the uses and context, manipulation, sketching, documenting and representing using different media)
- explore the use of objects, and their different aspects (e.g. colour, line, shape, texture, form, material, function, context) in artworks and in their own art-making
The object-based lesson idea could be adapted for Secondary Three students, and further modified, depending on students’ prior knowledge, experiences, interests and needs.
The lesson suggestions can be further refined and used to teach various forms of knowledge and skills, such as
- knowledge about particular art genres and artworks that feature the use of objects (e.g. object studies, still life, assemblage and installation)
- visual, tactile and other sensorial forms of observation
- visual concepts (e.g. elements of art, principles of design) and approaches to visual organisation (e.g. by considering how different artists arrange items in their work)
- use of particular tools and media (e.g. pencil for sketching, different photographic functions to document and observe)
Some possible essential questions to guide the use of the lessons:
- How do artists use objects in their work?
- What are the areas to consider when composing a work?
- How do we attach meanings to objects?
- How do different aspects of an artwork work together to convey particular effects and interpretations?
- learn about the genres that incorporate objects, such as still life, paintings, assemblage, and installations. Students look at samples of these work in art history (e.g. Dutch still life, Impressionist, Post-impressionist, Surrealism, Nanyang artists, contemporary Singapore and international artists)
- Analyse the compositions of select artworks, and how the arrangements convey certain effects and interpretations
- work in groups to collect found objects to create compositions according to certain parameters or criteria (e.g. lesson topic, theme, type of objects, and/or physical qualities such as colour, form, size, and material)
- document the various compositions that they came up with during the process in sketches, notes and digital images
- discuss and present their final compositions in group critiques
- build a series of digital images and write-ups on the group’s compositions
Possible artworks for reference
Abraham van Beyeren
“ostentatious still life” (Pronkstilleven in Dutch), c 1667, Oil on canvas, 87 x 107 cm
(NA/O/O(Higher Art) Upper Secondary Art)
|Phoenix Eyes, c. 1940-1945, Oil on canvas, 72 x 54 cm|
(NA/O/O(Higher Art) Upper Secondary Art)
|Personal Values, 1952, Oil on canvas, 80 x 100 cm|
|A Thing of Beauty|
Twardzik Ching Chor Leng
|Gabriel Orozco (Mexican artist)||Asterisms|
Portia Munson (American artist)
Stuart Haygarth (German artist)
¹ The collaborative artwork, “…III_”, brings together objects and materials from daily life and the art classroom to reflect the multiplicity of connections and meaning making that art making and art educating engender. The work draws on references from local art education context, art history, and even the title of the exhibition, the ellipsis, a series of three dots, to create a work about art and artmaking. The process of deliberation and (re)assembling different objects into different configurations by different members of the team, recognises the unique and rich resource that every individual/object brings to the creating process. This is represented as individual dots “…” in the title. In the process, multiple interpretations, meanings and connections are (re)created and shared. Such deepening and extension is similarly represented by the extension of dots into “III” in the title. In the collaborative process, the artmaking is also shaped by the (co)creating of experiences and understanding that we share with one another. In the art and meaning making process, the pulling together, concretising and synthesising brings together disparate parts into a unified direction, as indicated by “ __” in the title. Analogously, the work contemplates the collective relationships building and meaning making that take place in our classrooms every day.