Archive for January, 2010


Slovenia: Ljubljana and Bled

Here are some more photographs from my trip to Slovenia in November of 2009.  To see other images from Slovenia please click here and here.


Photographs from Mai-Hwa’s office at Huafan

Here are some photographs of Professor Mai-Hwa Lee’s office at Huafan University.  These images were taken for a feminist art project on the theme of “womb”.  To me Mai-Hwa’s office is a peaceful and sacred space that combines the elements of Buhist faith, fidelity, and providence.


Reflection on Musée d’Orsay Blog Assignment for English Pronunciation Practice Class

Cross-curriculum is a buzz word often used in educational policies and academic studies to encourage broader thinking throughout the subject areas.  Moreover, as the Musée d’Orsay class survey indicates cross-curriculuar learning can be meaningful and transformative.  The survey participants were 33 students attending Huafan University’s English Pronunciation Practice sophomore class.  The survey was administered in class on Wednesday December 30th.

As the survey results indicate the Musée d’Orsay blog assignment has provided the opportunity for students to learn about aspects of the visual arts including art history, painting, and sculpture through the museum’s on-line collection.

Overall, administers and educators at Huafan should take note of the survey’s results and make more of an effort to incorporate the arts into the English learning curriculum.  95% of students stated they learnt about art and art appreciated through the assignment.  Moreover, 86% of student participants felt there should be more connections made between the arts and English teaching.

The survey and results are as follows:


Musée d’Orsay Class Survey

Twenty-one students participated in this class survey to gague the impact of the Musée d’Orsay blog assignment on Huafan Universitiy’s sophmore class English Pronunciation Practice course curriculum.

1. Did creating your Musée d’Orsay blog assignment teach you anything about art?

95% yes

5% no, “Because I did not see any student blogs but I will try to search on the internet.”

2. If you answered yes, what did you learn?

-“I learned about artists’ knowledge.”

-“From styduing the paining “The Black Country” a learned that nothing is perfect.  We destroy or lose something through evolution.  All we can do is consider our actions and the damage.”

-“I learned about social issues connected in the pictures and the significant meanings overlooked in the arts.”

-“Looking at the pictures helped me express my thoughts and feelings while getting a better appreciation for art.”

-“I learned about the hard work of farmers and not to waste any food.”

-“I learned to think deeply about art.  Usually, I just see art but not look at it closely.  Now I will try to see how art is made and think about the story behind it.”

-“I learned that every painting has its own meaning and background.”

3. Did the assignment help you appreciated art?  If so how?

-95% yes

-5% blank

-“If there is no art, we can’t achieve or imagine something such as better technique.  For example the dream to go to outer space was first expressed in science fiction novels and then later realized through NASA.”

-“I learned many things from the artwork such has the ideas of the artists.”

-“Actually I do not consider myself to appreciate art much but this assignment helped me see how the arts are significant and meaningful.  It broadened my horizons.”

-“Yes, I have not studied art since my mother made me learn art in school.”

-“From this assignment I will go to the library to learn more about art.”

4. Would you like to learn more about art in the future?  If so what?

-85% yes

-14% no

-“I would like to go to a museum with my friends.”

-“I am interested in the artists’ life.  Maybe we can talk about the artists and their works.”

-“I would like to learn more sketching techniques to help me draw things I am interested in.”

-“I would like to learn about contemporary art.”

-“I would like to make more connections between the art and other academic subjects.”

-“I like it!.  I hope to go to the U.S.A. and learn more about art in school.”

-“No, I love art.  But I am not competent enough to be an artist.”

-“It made me feel good because you can learn English through art.”

-“I don’t like the arts and think it’s boring.”

5. Do you think there should be more connections made between the arts and English teaching at Huafan?

-86% yes

-9% no

-5% blank

-“Although we study in the foreign language department we don’t realy understand the cultural background of foreign languages so art is a good way to help us understand culture and society.”

-“Yes, because we study liturature and need to conect to to culture.  If the Professor can teach us more information on art we appreciate it.”

-“Yes.  There is a chance that Huafan can become famouse for because the professors and instructors know artistic things very well.”

-“Huafan should make a class in English about art.”

-“We can learn English through the arts, film, and new graphic media.”

-“The class is more interesting with art.”

-“Huafan students seldom have the opportunity to learn about visual arts so I appreciate being able to learn about the arts through this assignment.”

-“Yes, because the arts are a part of life.”

-“No, because Huafan students do not like art.”


Edouard Vuillard and Pierre Bonnard

Connie’s blog assignment on Edouard Vuillard and Pierre Bonnard.

Edouard Vuillard, Sorrowful Figure, 1890-1891

This image evokes an atmosphere of disturbing strangeness. Far from being a simple nude figure, this elusive creature seems to carry the weight of a curse on her shoulders. Nothing is more dramatic than the contrast between this prostrate figure clearly trying to protect herself from prying eyes, and the highlighting effect of the strident, almost aggressive colours (blue, green and red). The vertical framing, very constrained and Japanese in style, increases our unease by putting us, in spite of ourselves, in the position of a voyeur.

Pierre Bonnard, Lunch by Lamplight, 1898

Very early on in his career, Bonnard revealed himself to be an acute observer of family life. He portrays
this intimacy with humour and tenderness. Here, the lighting, diffused by an oversized lamp suspended
over the table, is a crucial element in the composition and the atmosphere of this scene where the artist’s
mother and nephews are having lunch. It divides the scene into contrasting areas, with the dining table
brightly lit, and the characters in the shadows. The characters themselves are silhouetted in the foreground of the painting. This flattening of space is
typical of Bonnard’s Nabi period.


Motherhood and Identity

Angela’s blog assignment on motherhood and female repression.

Pierre Puvis de Chavannes The Young Mother

This painting was featured in the catalogue of the first monographic exhibition of the painter’s work that opened in 1887. It was next found at the Charles Pacquement collection, and later in the Gould collection. It is an autumnal scene in which nature appears in brown and golden tones, with a young mother,
her children and a dog in the foreground to the right; two trees are at the centre of the composition and a river gently flowing separates them from an open field. The painting et me think about the rise of women’s status.

“That a woman should never, for a moment, feel herself independent,
that she should be governed by fear to exercise her natural cunning,
and made a coquettish slave in order to render her a more alluring object of desire,
a sweeter companion to man, whenever he choose to relax himself…” Rousseau said.

Marry Wollstonecraft said
” I now allude husband know the extent of her Dr. Gregory’s treatise,
where he advise a wife never to let her husband know the extent of her sensibility or affection.
Voluptuous precaution, and as ineffectual as absurd.”


War and Wrestling

Here is Amy’s blog assignment on the topic of war and wrestling.

Edouard Detaille The Dream
Paris, Musée d’Orsay
I think that this picture is very terrible for me. This picture appears sad with no one alive. And you can see that back of the sky just like doomsday. This picture is depicts of a group of people that sacrificed themselves for the war, and was painted to respect and to celebrate the glorious lives vanquished.

I think that these people are great.

Alexandre Falguière Wrestlers
Paris, Musée d’Orsay

I think that this picture is really violent. However, at that time wrestling was very prevalent in the society.
And you can see that there are two men wrestling while a group of viewers watch. At the same time, wrestling have other means: courage and represents a level playing field.

Paul Sérusier Breton Wrestling
Paris, Musée d’Orsay

I think that this picture is really funny unlike the last one that looks more violent. Similarly, you can see two men are wrestling and a group of people are watching from the back. And the two men look like brothers. I feel that this picture does have a war like competition.

social issue

We can in these three pictures that wrestling is no longer symbol of courage and competition. Instead, the sport is a symbol of violence, and entertainment. Although war is now rare, but there are still many assaults.

Jo’s tweets

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