Posts tagged Sunshine Boys

Chinese Students’ Impressions (Part II)

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.



Leave a comment »

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.

Leave a comment »