Posts tagged Noises Off

Chinese Students’ Impressions of “Fine Arts”

Our 38 Chinese students took a field trip to the big metropolis of the Twin Cities several weeks ago, the following are their impressions about what they absorbed.

Amber – Yesterday I saw “Noises Off” in the Jungle Theater. It was really a funny play which made me and my friends laugh and laugh and laugh. Bright color on faces and costumes, beautiful stages, and perfect performances brought us behind the scenes to see how one play was performed seeing the backstage antics. Though the play within the play “Noises Off” was named “Nothing On,” it did not go as the actors thought it should in the final performance, the lives on the stage as well as behind the stage always made audiences interested and funny.

I was a member in my high school’s drama club and I’ve taken part in “One Year One Play” in my school for two years (grade10 and 11) so I can easily understand the play and think it was funny! We always do that behind the stage when a play is on.

I think the difference between fine arts in Minneapolis and China is that there are so many people who enjoy fine arts in Minnesota. In my hometown, Fujian Province, fine arts is considered as a kind of art only artists can join in and only artists will have fun. The theater is not popular in common people because many young people think movies fit them. But in Minnesota, many people enjoy art. They visit the Art museum as well as see interesting play. Fine art can teach people more in Minnesota. It is quite a good thing.

Tina – I liked the Minnesota Institute of arts since I had only traveled through the Asian exhibitions.

A picture painted in the end of Vincent van Gogh’s life. He painted all of trees from in the hospital. He is an Impressionism painter. I liked him because of one of his painting named “hug”. Another picture in the museum named “Grainstack, Sun in the Mist”. It is a magic picture for me. Monet used many colors to draw it. And it makes me feel the trees or other sight is not exactly same but still full of life. When I saw the painting, I strongly felt that yellow is color of god’s love.

I also enjoy a group of jade ware from China. That jade ware looks like crystal. The body of the ware is clear and light. It has the amazing handmade work, which makes me feel so fantastic and surprised. Cyan color, light structure, almost transparent, everything makes me have a deadly love of it. I cannot use the words to describe the extent how I love it.

The last work I like is the sculpture named “Veiled Lady.” I find that I like the delicate works. The guide told us that this is a woman with a veil. The thing makes me have a deep memory is that this lady is covered one piece of marble. Some dark place on the sculpture is not the flaw, but people touching it. It would be perfect without people’s touch.

These three works have a big impression in my travel which makes me will remember the Institute of arts forever that I have had a such memorable experience. I like this tour very much.

Juliet – The origin of painting can be tracked to the cave painting. How about fine arts? It’s hard to define because fine arts include so many fields, like architecture, painting, music, etc. During the last two days, we visited Minnesota Institute of Arts and Jungle Theatre. This tour really gave me a deep impression of fine art.

The piece of work that truly is imprinted on my mind is “Olive Tree” made by Van Gogh. The powerful black strokes and yellow sky are so unusual that completely show the style of the impressionists. The yellow sky shows the love of god. When Van Gogh created this painting, he had a mind of confusion and maybe during that period, he was looking for the god’s love. The main three tools to create this painting are brushes, fingers and knives. While I was facing that painting, I was totally attracted by the bright color and twisted substances and I was lost in thought. It’s not enough to describe this masterpiece as perfect.

Besides that, at the beginning of our tour given by the docent was Mountain Journal. It was another modern art that astonished me. It’s made of metal, and the creator said that he was inspired by Japanese sword and airplane. He even took the metal of a whole car to complete his work. In contrast, traditional Chinese painting is closer to life, not as abstract as western painting and the color which painters use isn’t very bright. Black, red and white are the basic colors in China.

Eastern and western fine arts are opposite to each other. It can be seen from the fields of fine arts. For instance, traditional Chinese architecture can be described by following poem “Green glazed tile brick, cornices BOUNCE, gingko Lunatia, joy instant.” On the contrary, western architecture has many different types of style, like Ancient Greek architecture, ancient architecture in Rome and Byzantine architecture, etc. There are abundant differences between Chinese and eastern fine arts, no matter earlier times or present.

People need fine arts to satisfy their mental thoughts.  Just as a person who loves art and music, I can’t imagine my life without those things. Fine arts come from our hearts and flow into our life. Lacking of sense of appreciation, seldom do people spend time in museum and appreciate these masterpieces. It should be pointed out that fine arts play a significant role in our lives.

Athena, My reflection about the trip in Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA) is the most exciting part of the tour was the Art of Asian Exhibition. It is a great honor to see something from your own culture shining on another land of the world. Yamantaka Mandala, a kind of Buddhism sand painting on the wall left me with a deep impression.

The docent from the museum told our group that the circle represents the process from the hell to nirvanain Buddhist universe. It is said that Tibetan monks created this sand mandalaat MIA, believing it would help tell their story to museum visitors. However, sand has the nature of fleeting. Under the sponsor of some wealthy people in Minnesota, the museum cooperated with 3M Company and finally invented a special material that could preserve the mandala on the wall. Then the monks spent 4 weeks creating this masterpiece drop by drop with a tool like a test tube.

I was moved at that moment, not only by the power of art itself, but also by the spirits showed by the groups of people behind the sand painting. We can see the loyalty towards belief from Tibetan monks. They are trying to pass down this loyalty in a creative way—a way makes people better-understood the spiritual world. We can see the perseverance from the museum, countless sponsors and also the 3M Company. Because of this perseverance from the whole society, could we enjoy the beauty of art and feel the deepest power from our heart. I believe that is just the truth of art.

(Athena attached a clear picture of Yamantaka mandala from the website.)

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More Chinese Students Respond to “Fine Arts”

I know, this post has nothing to do with Kazakhstan. However, I’m absorbed with teaching my 38 students from China better English writing skills.  Yesterday, I shared what our Chinese students wrote about their trip to the Twin Cities. Enjoy more of the same:

Frank: This weekend we went to the Twin Cities with my class. We really had a lot of fun. I really liked the art museum. That is really a quiet place and it let my heart become quick too. In the museum I saw van Gogh’s picture. When I see it closely, I can even feel what van Gogh wanted to tell us. We also see some Chinese things like Chinese picture and jade. I learned some Chinese culture that I don’t know before. We also saw a theater play called “Noises off.” At first I think that is boring theater. But after the first chapter, the thing change and it is really funny. The relationship between those 9 people is really confusion. The show tells us the thing happened in the back stage and the front stage. It is really interesting to see that theater. It not only practiced my English but let me know about the America art. I think the America is much open than China because they can say more things and can act more freely. That gives the actor more imagination. I think it is good for art. I think Chinese arts can be more connotation because Chinese culture is just like that. Although I feel really tired, the scholar is really full and I still enjoy this trip.


Zoe – A Special experience in the theater – Today is the first time I come to a theater in America, and we are divided into two groups to watch different dramas. The group I joined watched a drama named “The Sunshine Boy”. This drama told us a story about two comedians, who didn’t like each other but were invited to cooperate for an important TV show. When I came into the theater, the pleasant atmosphere and interesting layout were attracted me. Not only me, but also members in the same group, were very excited and curious about anything we saw. This show took almost three hours, and there was a short break for us to relax. According to actors’ brilliant performance and the hand-out we had gotten, we could understand the whole story easier than our imagination. Through this drama, I knew more about the American humor. And I also knew about how to show our respect to actors and workers in such a situation, our applause and smile are the best expression for them.

This interesting experience left a memorable impression on me, and let me know the importance of the fine arts. When I left the theater, I felt very relaxed even more than if I had more sleep. It is a real good way to relax, to enjoy your life, and also I can change the way of thinking. And it is closer to our life than other media and so on. I trust it will be a choice for me when I need to have fun and relax!


Joe: 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 was 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. Next day we entered the Science Museum of Minnesota, it is different from Chinese style but good. And I saw my first theatre in “Noises off.” This theatre piece had three chapters, it is so funny although I cannot understand all they said.

Now, we come to our room and write down our experience to remember how we pass this unforgettable trip.


Limo – In my opinion, I prefer the fine arts part. Because, it is totally different from China. In China, one of the most famous fine arts is shadow puppet. However, in America, from what we saw is the drama play in a theater. In my group, we have seen ”Noise Off” which is a really funny play. It made us laugh again and again. We could find out that Freddie usually pull his pants down, showing his white shorts. As well as Dotty played as a steward who always forgot bringing sardine. I think Brooke has also played very well, she definitely made herself into the drama. The others also did good jobs. Therefore, we can see the America culture from this play I think is making people laugh and happy. It is different from China.


Leo – The place which impresses me most is the Minnesota Institute of Arts. We took an Asia art tour in this museum and looked at many ancient art in East Asia, including China and Korea and Japan. Because I’m very familiar with Japanese culture, I will write about the differences and similarities between Chinese and Japanese art.

In the Minnesota Institute of Arts, I saw a picture named the Battle of Yashima and Ichinotani, which drawing two battlse in Genpei War, a famous and effective campaign between the Minamoto House and Taira House in Japan history. This picture is just like a kind of Manga or Lianhuanhua, because it used a way of dividing story into several pages and then it can express how the story develops more easily. For example, in the left side of the picture, we can see a general who is followed with many riding samurais, whose name is Minamoto no Yoshisune. He is a younger brother of Minamoto no Yoritomo, the first Bakufu Shogun in Kamakura Period and Japan history. In addition, Yoshizane is considered one of the greatest samurai in the history of Japan. And in the middle of the picture, we can see Yoritomo is fighting with a samurai of Taira house whose name is Taira no tomomori, the general of army of Taira House in Ichinotani. The two pictures describe two events happening in the battle of Ichinotani. This is similar as Chinese Lianhuanhua, but there are also differences between them. For example, in Lianhuanhua, description usually concentrate more on the main actor but in this picture drawer usually concentrate more on the whole battle because sometimes they want this picture to be a textbook to thos samurais who need to study how to make a battle.

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