Artwork Title: Curios

Name of Artist: Brian Lee Yong Ping

School: Dunman High School

This lesson is suitable for students in: JC1/ Y5


Pushing the Boundaries of the Printed Image

How can students push the two-dimensional limits of photography and look into new ways of presentation?

This lesson unit is planned for 1 term; each studio lesson is 3 hours. Students would have completed the module on 3D mediums and were exposed to techniques like creating Styrofoam sculptures, papier mache, casting plaster forms and so on.

Objective/ Instructions:

Students will:

  • Be introduced to contemporary fine art photographers and analyse how their works  are different from conventional photographers
  • Explore the narrative and communicative qualities of photography images through non-traditional presentational methods of photography
  • Learn experimental techniques to create analogue images from digital photography images, like silkscreen, cyanotype prints and physical manipulation of digitally printed images
  • Create a final work at the end of the module that pushes photography from  a two-dimensional medium into a three-dimensional means of presentation, paying attention to material and form as well as the narrative aspect of photography, making the two come together in a cohesive manner
  • Exhibit their work their work at the end of term art exhibition
Lesson 1: Intro to contemporary Photography

Possible artists to look at:

  • John CLANG
  • Robert Zhao
  • Manit Sriwanichipoom
  • Jing Quek
  • Osang Gwon

Possible Discussions

  • How are the issues brought up in the work presented through photography?
  • How do artists tell stories with images?
  • What makes a photograph communication effective?
  • How to contemporary fine art photographers differ from traditional photographers
  • What are their artistic processes?

Feldman’s approach can be used to prompt students’ thinking and planning process

Dynamics of A Composition

What Constitutes a good composition – Exploring Principles of Design through

  • Exaggeration / Distortion
  • Rule of Thirds
  • Juxtaposition
  • Contrasts
  • Leading lines
  • Negative space
  • Symmetrical balance
  • Asymmetrical balance

Homework :

Experiment with compositional techniques taught to capture images based on theme of interest or related theme to explored in painting  assignment

Students are to think of and visit a place that:

  • They like
  • Means something to them
  • They would like to explore
  • They would like to find out more about
  • Tells a story
  • They find interesting

With their camera, investigate this place they have in mind. The process should be an immersive one, students are to pay attention to not just how the place appeals to them visually, but also engage their other senses like sound, smell, touch, taste etc. Students are also to pay attention to the people in these places or the lack of them and investigate the relationships between the location and human activities or the lack of it

Students are to come up with a series of images that tells a story about the place or their experience of engaging with the place by

  • Utilize at least 5 compositional techniques
  • Choose 10 best images and print out before the next lesson
Lesson 2: Convener / Presentation – Sharing of project concept

Students to put up images around classroom in gallery fashion

Students to pay attention to how images are placed to express intended concept and /or narrative

Students can place images in any manner they feel most appropriate:

On walls, floors, corners of the room

Any configuration, including overlaps

May use other items to supplement narrative together with images


Group Discussion/ Peer Appraisal – gather  feedback:

  • What students like/dislike about their peers work?
  • What can be improved in the photographs?
  • How does the arrangement enhance the work?
  • How does the composition enhance the work?

Sharing of particular techniques and thought processes when composing images.

Other possible approaches towards this theme

Discuss the formalistic aspects of design and whether the framing and composition are suitable


Students to offer possibilities on how the works can be improved

Visual Aspects

§  Framing / Drawing angles / Cropping of detail

§  Colour scheme (colour theory: Primary, Secondary & Tertiary colours, warm / cool colours, analogous/ complementary colours – to convey moods)


  • Teacher to facilitate learning by giving conceptual and technical guidance


Students to spend extra time in class to edit, improve images or to refine  images at home as homework submit images next lesson

Lesson 3: Introduction to Silkscreen Printing

Students are to prepare 2 images for  lesson

Teacher to demonstrate the whole process of silkscreen preparation and printing, with students trying out the process with a hands on lesson:

  • Images will be edited in Photoshop during lesson time to create images on transparency for exposure on screen
  • Introduction to silkscreen printing
  • Coating screens with emulsion in dark room
  • Transferring of images on screen with photosensitive emulsion
  • Exposure of screen in sunlight
  • Printing techniques for silkscreen
  • Students will try printing with images from previous task
  • Students to engage in exploratory learning by experimenting with medium
Lesson 4: Introduction to Cyanotype Printing

Students to prepare 2 images from previous photography task before class and pass them to the teacher  to be printed into large format negative

  • Students to bring objects to create photograms
  • Mixing of emulsion
  • Coating of paper
  • Contact printing and exposing of coated paper outdoors in sun
  • Students to engage in exploratory learning by experimenting with medium taking notes of and paying attention the different effects of :
    • Amount of emulsion they use
    • Differences in exposure timings
    • Type of papers they print  on
    • The type or size of brushes they use for application of emulsion
  • Students should have at least 8 prints by the end of the lesson
Lesson 5: Introduction to Manipulation of  Images

Students are to experiment with physically manipulating printed images with the following materials:

  • Sand paper
  • Ink eraser
  • Penknife
  • Glue
  • Correction fluid
  • Ballpoint pens, markers, pencils
  • Crayons
  • Bleach
  • Tea/Coffee
  • Assorted papers
  • Any other suitable object that they can find

Final Assignment: Pushing the Boundaries of the printed image

Students are to create an art work that uses the printed image in an unconventional manner based on their on location immersive experience explored in their homework assignment in lesson 1 photography assignment. Students may revisit their chosen locations for shoots

Students are to use experimental printing, and image manipulation techniques taught in class for assignment, paying attention to material, form and process and how they contribute meaning to the work, as well as the narrative aspect of photography, making the two come together in a cohesive manner to bring out their intentions.

Works can be unconventional in terms of:

  • Form (i.e. making  2D print into 3D forms)
  • Materials used
  • Methods of creating forms
  • Mixing  or using multiple printing techniques

Students to consult teacher about ideas over the next few lessons

Students are to brainstorm for ideas at home as homework


Elegant art task

Assemble or display a series of photographs in an unusual way. With a subject matter of your choice, respond to the theme “Dis(Play)” Explain your work with a 150 word artist statement explaining your choice and relationship to your chosen subject matter, and why you think you are pushing the presentation of photography (you may cite references from contemporary artists//photographers).

 Lesson 6 to 9 Execution of  Assignment
Lesson 10: Setup of exhibition and Submission of Project with Group critique

Critique / Presentation – Sharing of project concept

·      Set ground rules before the critique. Refer to “Let’s Talk about Art” Discussion (2015) Poster.

  • Gallery Walk – Allocate space. Students to put up images around the classroom, making use of available walls, floors, furniture. Artist statements are handed separately.
  • Students to pay attention to how images are placed to express intended concept and /or narrative
  • Peer Appraisal – gathering feedback:
    • What do you think the work means (without reading the artist statement)?What made you say that?
    • What attracts or repels you about the work?
    • What do you think about the photographs? What aspects can be improved?
    • How does the composition/arrangement enhance  or detract the aesthetics of the work?
  • Invite some students to share their technical and thought processes when composing images, printing and assembling the artwork.
  • Discuss other possible approaches towards this theme

For works that are collage, or two-dimensional, discuss the formalistic aspects of design and whether the framing and composition are suitable

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