Pedagogical Advancement I
Theory and Practice as One: An Innovative Scheme of Teaching Chinese Art and Material Culture
Prof. Peng PENG, Programme in Cultural Management, Faculty of Arts, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Abstract / Video
The proposed pedagogy aims to provide students pursuing the arts with solid knowledge, fresh insight, critical thinking, artistic vision, and historical perspective. This pedagogy stresses on the synergy of comprehensive theoretical learning, solid studio practice, and project-based object study. For example, when teaching ancient Chinese bronzes, I will first make Chinese metallurgy more understandable through interesting case studies from the rest of the world. This would provide students with global vision, comparative perspective, and stronger curiosity of finding out what is unique about Chinese metalworking. To deepen students’ understanding in artworks, I will arrange some guided tours to art studios in Hong Kong. For instance, students will visit an art foundry nearby to understand how to conduct lost-wax casting. Specifically, they will see how the artists and founders build up the wax model, apply the investment mold, prepare the molten metal, pour the metal, take the casting from the mold, and finally embellish the product. After the studio visit, hands-on sessions will be organized in the Art Museum of CUHK, or another major museum in Hong Kong. Based on the hands-on experience, each student will conduct an independent study to compare two or more target artifacts in the museum warehouse. A short research paper is requested from each of them to turn his or her observation into scholarly arguments. Through the object study, students are expected to observe artworks like perceptive detectives, understand them like insightful artists, and think about them like serious historians.