Artwork Title: 30 days

Name of Artist: Teh Ting Ting

School: CHIJ Toa Payoh Secondary School

This lesson is suitable for students in: Secondary 3

Possible Guiding Questions For Discussing Art

Possible Lesson Ideas For Making Art

  1. Pick one drawing. What do you notice?
    Describe the lines, textures and medium. What does the drawing remind you of? 
  1. What is the relationship between the visual representation and the text?
    Does it make you think about the word differently?
    How does it make you feel?
    What makes you say that? 
  1. Why do you think the artists chose to interact through words and images?
    What does the duration of this art work make you think about?
    How does it make you feel? 
  1. How will you interpret the word?
    Which medium will you use?
    What other medium would also be suitable for you?
    How will the different choice of media change the appearance / intent of your work?
    What makes you say that?
Conversations Duration

I imagine that this lesson could be adapted for secondary three students, and further differentiated depending on their prior knowledge and experiences. 

Each lesson part will likely stretch over 3 hours, and includes teacher demonstration, lots of students’ hands-on, research, and discussions.  

Learning Outcomes

  1. Investigate and create a variety of textures and effects in different media / chosen medium 
  2. Make close observations of objects 
  3. Make meaningful word associations in relation to visuals
  4. Collaborate effectively with peers to co-create a work 
  5. Evaluate and assess their own and peers’ works

Part 1: Conversations with the Medium

Seeing potential in how a medium, when used differently, can bring about different interactions and visual effects. 

These are some possibilities: 

  • Graphite powder, used in combination with brush, cotton buds / tortillion, water, etc
  • Chinese ink, used in combination with twigs, straws, self-made fountain pen, etc 
  • Or a combination of the two 

Artist References: 

  • Melissa Cooke’s large graphite drawings 
  • Tang Da Wu’s “Heroes, Islanders” (2005) 
  • Wolfgang Tillman’s “Freischwimmer” Series (2003-2004)

Suggested Activity:

Students will: 

  1. Start off by touching the medium. They are likely to be able to link it to what they already know in Science, or their surroundings.
    E.g. Graphite being a lubricant for machinery. Extend upon their thinking, on how a lubricant which can be smoothed easily on paper, stay permanent. 

E.g Chinese ink having different translucencies / viscosity / flow. Discuss how different the effects may appear on different types of paper. 

  1. Go to the school field / visit a nearby garden / park. 
  2. Pick out 2 textured objects. Experiment with ways to create simulated textures using the medium, through a variety of techniques. 
  3. Share the range of ways the medium has been employed by different students. 

Part 2: Conversations with the Everyday Environment

Inviting students to appreciate and get inspiration from the everyday / natural surroundings.

Suggested Activity:

Students will: 

  1. Respond to a chosen object (can be an extension of the previous lesson) by observing closely, the form and texture. 
  2. Render a small detail on a large area, which is in contrast to having a large object occupy a small area (like that of the postcard drawings). 

E.g. Detail of a flower 

E.g. Stains on the table  

E.g. Part of a hand 

  1. Discuss the observations and challenges in enlarging an object. What assumptions did you make? How could it be if it was otherwise? 
  2. Write possible titles to 3 of the chosen works by their peers on post-it pad and stick beside their work. 
  3. Highlight the range of textual responses that can be associated with the drawings. 

Part 3: Collaborative Conversations  

Initiating collaborative work between pairs through conversations about “Today” (or other suitable words) 

Artist References:

  • Peter Fischli and David Weiss: artist duo who create works that are inspired by daily life 
  • Ilya and Emilia Kabakov: works which fuse elements of the everyday with those of the conceptual
  • Mona Hatoum: Sculptures and installations that combine familiar, everyday objects in unusual and intimate ways 

Suggested Activity:

Students will: 

  1. Unpack the relation of visual representation to language, as an extension to the previous lesson. 
  2. Relate how a word can bring about different perceptions, just like how a picture may also be interpreted in different ways.
  3. Pair up and brainstorm ways in which the word ‘today’ can be expanded, e.g. in terms of feelings / emotions, incidents, memories, surroundings, objects and friends. 
  4. Collaborate to create a two-piece drawing / painting series / relief piece, which is inspired by your daily / everyday life. 
  5. Organise a critique session at intervals: ideation, development and finished works, taking turns to take and give feedback on their progress, challenges and successes

Extension Activity: 

Students will:

  1. Line the works up into a sequential / non-linear narrative to conjure new responses. Exhibit it at the school corridor / gallery.teachers


  1. Graphite powder, brushes, tortillion, cotton bud, water, kneadable eraser, sand paper, fixative 
  2. Chinese ink, found twigs, branches, water 
  3. Various types of paper / other items for experimentation 

Further Readings 

  1. Johnstone, Stephen, edited. (2008). The Everyday – Documents of Contemporary Art. London, MIT Press. 

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