The Expat Eposé

I am extremely lucky to work with some amazing colleagues in the art department here at SAS; obviously there is a little bias here since my wife Kim is among them. Another one is my friend and colleague Ellen Levenhagen, who has also worked in Kuwait, Japan, and Malaysia. Ellen and our National Art Honors Society students were the driving force behind our Expat Expose, a collaborative student art show that highlighted some of the best expatriate student work from Shangahai, Nanjing, and Suzhou.

The show opened on Saturday night at the lovely HWA'S Gallery, thanks to the generous donation of space from the manager, David. The contributed work was truly stunning, and I'll highlight a few pieces here. In addition to being wonderful products, they represent the results of an intriguing process and interesting lesson ideas.

These series of teapots come from Kate Thornburn's ceramics class at our other campus in Pudong. Each teapot serves two functions: pour tea, and tell a story.

I love this one, which tells the story of the girl whose head is attached to her body with the green ribbon.

The teapot in this short video tells quite a different story:

These little creatures, also by Kate's class, were inspired both by Oaxacan animal sculptures and the bizarre creatures that inhabit Shaun Tan's The Arrival (mentioned here earlier).

This picture, from Concordia International School, Shanghai involves a combination of four source images that occur in vertical strips: a self portrait, a childhood memory, a still life, a cartoon character. The results for this project combine these elements in interesting ways. The projects from last year's Expat Expose were also particularly memorable.

These expressive faces from Dulwich Academy are given more personality based on the chosen font. What font expresses you best?

This piece is an example of a neat unit Ellen does about taking a landscape and abstracting it- each student paints a realistic landscape on a field trip, and then abstracts it in a separate painting, choosing an artist to emulate.

Finally, this piece was created by an AP Art Student in my colleague Ben Holder's class. Her area of study is 'makeup', and she's investigating various sorts of applications of make-up through a series of self portraits. Here she is as a Geisha.

In the slide show below, you'll see some pictures of our opening as well as images that represent students working in different artist styles or movements, and various media and sizes. I hope the photographs do the work justice, and that you'll be as inspired with new lesson ideas as I was.


  1. Frank said...
    Great stuff!
    You guys are lucky to actually have gallery space. These things are difficult here in Japan but we're working on it.
    Frank @ learningIT
    Mos and Nikou said...
    Hi there,

    This is a great blog of yours, Your site is veyr informative. I'm also an expat abroad and I have just started my own blog: TheShanghaiExpat. Please feel free to visit and let me know what you think for a link exchange.


Post a Comment