FEATURED ARTWORK: Shoah, 2006, Hung Liu Level: Upper Elementary / Middle School Skybridge Gallery 20 minutes Overview The body has long been a principal subject in art. Students will look at a figurative work of art, by Bay Area artist Hung Liu, to discover how an artist can express emotions, ideas and values through gesture, pose, clothing, and expression.
Artwork Shoah, 2006, Hung Liu Silk, archival digital pigment print and hand painting cast in resin on board Gift of the Lipman Family Foundation About the Artist Hung Liu’s paintings grapple with issues of gender, identity and the challenge of reconciling disparate cultures. In China, in the late 1960’s, as a result of Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution, all universities and schools were closed: an entire generation of educated young people was sent to the countryside to be re-educated by the new ruling classes of workers, poor and lower middleclass peasants, and soldiers. Hung Liu was sent to a village in the north of Beijing, where she worked in the fields harvesting corn and rice. During her stay in the countryside, Hung Liu used a friend’s German camera to teach herself the rudiments of photography by snapping pictures of villagers. Nearly four years would pass before Liu was able to return to Beijing and pursue a career in art. By 1984, well-grounded in the fundamentals of socialist realism and classical painting, Hung Liu arrived in the United States and entered the University of California, San Diego. Now an American citizen, she is a Professor of Studio Art at Mills College in Oakland.
Shoah, 2006, Hung Liu
2 Learning Objectives Students should be able to: 1. Identify and discuss how artists use body language to express emotions, ideas and values. 2. Use art analysis strategies to interpret and evaluate works of art, and gain a deeper understanding of the world. 3. Make comparisons between body language represented in artworks and body language observed in students’ personal experiences Essential Questions 1. What is the purpose of analyzing body language in artworks? 2. How can we better understand and make meaning out of artworks? 3. What can we learn about the world by looking art? By looking at body language, clothing, and expression? Assessment of Learning 1. Students will identify and discuss the elements of body language in the artwork. 2. Students will provide evidence and reasoning for their thoughts and observations. 3. Students will reflect on the essential questions throughout their visit. Materials 1. Clipboards 2. Paper to write on 3. Pencils California Standards (Grade 8) English-Language Arts Standards Listening and Speaking 1.0 Students deliver focused, coherent presentations that convey ideas clearly and relate to the background and interests of the audience. Visual Arts Standards 1.0 Artistic Perception 3.0 Historical and Cultural Context 4.0 Aesthetic Valuing
Shoah, 2006, Hung Liu
ACTIVITY Step 1 Descriptive observation & Visual Thinking Strategies Facilitate a discussion about the artwork using the following questions: What’s going on in this picture? n In what ways are these three women similar? Different? n What can you learn about the women based on their clothing? Posture? Body Language? n
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Step 2 Puzzle Finding Ask students to look closely at the painting and generate a list of questions that address what they find puzzling or mysterious in this painting. Step 3 Cultural Connection Share information from “About the Artist” with your students to help them understand the historical and contextual significance of this painting, and discuss how the artist used body language and clothing to support her ideas. Step 4 Personal Connection Have a discussion about how the body language in the painting is similar to or different from body language in the students’ personal experiences. Step 5 Reflect Discuss the process of discovery and ask students to express what they experienced through this process.