More impressions from our 17-18 years old Chinese students who went through a four week orientation program. Some of their insights in their reflection pieces are helpful to see what they understood.
Jessica – We went to the Twin Cities to experience American fine arts. On the first day, Tao Ya showed an art building to us after dinner. The building is really fantastic. The wall of building looked like a HUGE music score. After that, we enjoyed a countryside concert. Some kids and elderly danced with the beautiful music, which is quite different from in china. Because I seldom see a band playing music in a garden in China, even people danced with music in public. May be people who are in American culture are open and willing to express their mind, while Chinese are pretty bashful. On Saturday, a worker in museum showed us around the museum in Minneapolis. We looked at oil paintings, sculptures, impressionist paintings, and modern American kitchen that I just saw in textbooks in china. I love oil paintings best, because it looks like pretty real and the character in the painting seems to be alive.
Also, my another favorite part in the museum is Chinese wall painting that was in American living room. The Chinese wall painting described a scene that many families celebrated Chinese traditional festival, which I never saw in Chinese museum before. And the wall painting was completely made by hand, which is a masterpiece. On the last day, we went to the science museum in twin cities, which is quite similar with shanghai science museum. Everyone could experience the power of science and learn much science knowledge when they played the games. We all enjoyed it! The last part in our travel was to watch play —-“sunshine boys” that I am also confused about most. Because elderly prefers to watch this kind of play and I didn’t think the performance was funny when most of audiences laughed. Worse still, I can’t understand it totally.
However, I consider why I can’t understand their laughing is that we are in different culture. Therefore, I should learn more about and experience American native culture in following study life and then American fine art can fit into my future life.
Freddie – Wow? I just have to say wow! Big city of Minneapolis is different from Morris and Shanghai. I could see Chinese art in Minnesota. It reminded me of china. There are many Chinese style in museum. For example, Tang Dynasty picture and some western art combine Chinese element. In the big part of the fine arts in Minnesota, they are similar to the Chinese culture. They combine many different culture from the all over the world in the museum included West Africa, native America, western painting and the big size of Chinese drawing and cutting. Especially my favorite is painting. Monet and van Gogh. Their impressive style contain their own ideas. In the future, I will choose the painting as one of my art general course to achieve my childhood dream. Maybe I have forgotten something about skill, but I want to learn.
Another interesting thing is play, which is named “Noises off.” It is ridiculous when I have seen it. It is a play within a play and I think it is better than the other one. It is a sexy, funny play that talked about rehearsal and performance in the front of the stage and behind the stage. It came from England and actors in the play have different interesting accents which made us laugh. Compared to China, it is more open than China’s Opera. China is more focused on the meaning and Western culture is more concerned about the reality and style.
Thus, fine arts are important part in our life. Out of our life, we could use it for our interesting and improve our ability in arts and personality.
Emma - It is known to all that China has a long history. So there are many fine arts in China actually. To tell the truth, there are many differences in fine arts between China and America. In China, Peking Opera may be the most famous arts among old people especially people live in Beijing. As a teenager in Shanghai, I admitted that I am not very interested in Peking Opera because I do not really know what the opera talks about.
To some extent, I prefer American fine arts especially oil paintings and sculptures just like we saw at this weekend in the Arts Museum. I think oil paintings are very different from Chinese paintings. Basically, if you draw oil paintings, you should pay more attention to people’s eyes and expression. But if you draw Chinese paintings, you may focus on the whole thing, not a part of them. I think it is very interesting to notice people’s expression from the paintings. As for sculpture, I consider that some masterpieces in the museum are very wonderful. I think that from arts, we can see the development of the civilization of society.
Cynthia - We went to Twin Cities this weekend to saw some fine arts and i was so excited about it. We went to Minneapolis Institute of Arts to saw some paintings and sculptures which are some age-old arts, modern arts and super modern arts. For example, when we went upstairs we saw a very cool and super modern concept vehicle, and the most amazing thing is that this concept vehicle was designed in 1936 and manufactured in 1948. About age- old arts there are two paintings make me impressive, one is Vincent van Gogh’s Olive Trees and Claude Monet’s Sun of the Mist.
I must say in the US, about the cultivation of the art is more wonderful than in China. Maybe this situation occurs because China has too many people and it is not easy for the authorities to manage it. However, the government is trying to make some changes and people have already seen some changes. That makes me feel happy.
In my opinion, I think fine art is a very interesting and useful thing because while you focus on a fine art you will easily learn something about life and when you having some bad emotions, art can help you calm down. Maybe art won’t become my major but I’m glad to take some art classes and the last thing i want to say is this weekend is wonderful, thank you.
Joe - The Minneapolis Institute of Art gallery is nice place to visit. There are many paintings, sculptures, and Chinese fine arts. I saw a sculpture called Veiled Lady in 1860 which made by Raffaelo Monti. In Italy during the 1700s, sculptures of veiled figures peaked in popularity, to delicately carve marble. Nearly 200 years later, artists revived this technically demanding tradition in reaction to the academic neoclassicism of the early-19th century. Raffaelo monti is known for marble busts draped in filmy veils such as this one, subtly modeled to suggest feminine allure. That is the background of this work. The Chinese fine arts are very nice. I am glad to see my country’s things and I think in the future everyone will enjoy its beauty.
Sunny – This weekend, we went to the Minneapolis, it was sunny day! We went to the art gallery, it was an amazing place. I saw many interesting things, like famous paintings, sculptures, models and so on. Also we saw how ancient American people live and the tool that ancient Indian had used. Besides I learned more about the culture from different countries. What I most liked was the painting from Monet. Monet studied the haystacks during different seasons as the sunlight changed in intensity. This picture showed the autumn dawn, at a moment when the sun burns off the rising mist. The haystack is seen against the morning light, which forms a halo around it, it looks so beautiful
Allen – We visited Minnesota Institute of Arts. It is a museum which shows some countries’ cultural relics. Chinese Jade, Tokugawa warrior armor and so on. They all widened our horizons. On Sunday we went to visit the Science Museum. At the very start I didn’t expect I would see something special in this museum because I have never seen several museums before. But that day saw the mummy that I always wanted to see. Although it was a priest and not the pharaoh I expected. But it was the first time I saw the mummy with my own eyes. That afternoon we went to watch Noises Off. To be honest it was the most interesting drama I have ever seen. The actors and actresses acted vividly.
George – The Difference of Culture – “Sunshine Boys” is a pretty good and famous opera in America. American Opera is more different with Chinese Opera. There actor and actress won’t make up and wear special clothes, they were very relaxed and casual. And the actor always made the audience happy. Just like “wait a minute”,”wait a minute” The old actor kept saying.
Before the play started, each audience member turned off their mobile phone and did not chat with each other in the Caribbean Lounge at intermission. If you watch the Beijing Opera in China, you will find many young people are eating food and see themselves’ mobile phone. Maybe, some people will snore when the opera has begun. In this many things, we can find American pay closer attention to personal behavior in public place.