A Traveling Exhibition
CHINA AS SEEN BY HER CHILDREN
This exhibition provides a rare opportunity to view the artwork of young people with an international flavor. This colorful exhibit of 51 paintings by Chinese children ages 6 through 13 years is composed of works done in colored crayon, watercolor, poster paint and some mixed media, including ink.
Although this exhibit is a highly pleasing artistic experience, Its value is also of cultural significance, allowing western youth to view the variety of similarities, as well as differences, in our societies. Subject matter of these pieces deals with everyday life of the Chinese children: school outings, parks, performing chores, parties and classroom activities. Evidence of purely imaginative subjects are also present: space travel, underwater fantasies, and images of the future.
The children selected for this exhibit are schooled at the Shanghai Municipal Children's Palace, an institution organized to train exceptional students. There, after the activities of a normal school day, the children are given further classes and instruction in the arts. The motto of this art education is "Not for yourself, but to serve society". Art lessons for children in China are highly structured with a focus on development of style and technique, with less emphasis on experimentation and originality. Therefore, with this stress on the mastering of technical skills, the work of these children appears quite advanced considering the young age of the artists.
This collection is an educational experience for all children. Regardless of cultural similarities or differences, or the varieties of educational training, all children enrich our lives by,their special vision of the world. This vision links the world's children through laughter, innocence, wonder and curiosity, and instills a renewed hope in the future.