Arts Can Do
Arts Can Do is an art based education project which aims to help disadvantaged children reach their full potential by developing life skills and confidence through involvement in art.
Many parents in rural areas of China have to move to the cities to make a decent living and have to leave their children with relatives. Children who have not had sufficient direct parental care often become shy and withdrawn, lacking motivation and confidence. This results in children being unable to learn properly in school and in the development of many mental and social problems. As a result, these children can miss out on becoming successful citizens and in making the most of the opportunities life.
This is a world wide problem but it happens all too often in rural China. It has been shown in many centres around the world that introducing marginalized children to making art can begin to give the children back the joy of childhood creativity and discovery, to give them confidence so that they can succeed in school education and in later life.
Arts Can Do is establishing a children art learning centre at the Xucun Elementary School in Song Yan Town of He Shun District. This centre will provide art teachers and art materials. It will run out of school hours programs to allow children the to learn to express themselves through art. All the equipment for the classes, the books, papers, paints, clay, fabric and other artistic needs will be provided by Arts Can Do and its supporters and sponsors both in China and overseas.
We hope that in time we will be able to take work created by the children in Xucun and exhibit it in other cities and towns to inspire other children and to focus attention on the project.
Making art, sharing it with others can transform children. It can help unlock minds that have been shut down in response to poverty, lack of love and understanding. All things that affect many children,
Children who need special help will have an opportunity to work with trained art therapists to help overcome particular developmental problems.
As well as our resident teachers Arts Can Do will bring established artists from major cities in China and other countries to visit and work with the children in Xucun. These Chinese and international artists will inspire the children and introduce them to new ideas and the possibilities of life.
Our aim is not to train great artists, although we might well discover some. Our aim is to help all children grow in their understanding of themselves and how to cope with life by first learning to express themselves through making art.
With all great social changes there are inevitably some who are left behind and overcome by the force of circumstance. Many children are in this situation, unintended casualties of social change.
There is a Chinese saying that “ The wind can sweep away a huge sheet of paper but it cannot sweep away a little butterfly for the power of life can overcome it.” Arts Can Do aims to give children back the power of life by developing their individual creativity and expression.
Arts Can Do is a project of ACAF, the Australia China Art Foundation.
The Australian Financial Review Magazine photographer Josh Robenstone travelled to Xucun as part of the Australia China Art Foundation’s Arts Can Do residency program. Here he documents what he found: a village and a people on their way from old to new China.
SUPPORTING ACAF AND ARTS CAN DO
If you would like to be part of Arts Can Do and volunteer your time please contact us. ACAF’s activities are made possible through the generous support of individuals and organisations.
You can support ACAF by purchasing works of art generously donated by artists from China, Hong Kong, Australia and around the world. You can also make direct donations to ACAF. To find out more, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations to the ACAF Fellowship are tax deductible for Australian taxpayers.
Ms Jeong Ho Lee
Tel, +61 3 9521 1929, +61 488 012 634
Mobile: +61 437 596 307
ACAF Melbourne Project Space: 164 High St Prahran VIC 3188 Australia
Ms Wendy Li
Mobile: +86 18616092377
ACAF Beijing Studio: B008, Huantie Zhuyi, Huantie Art Zone, Chaoyang District, Beijing, 100016, China
ACAF Shanghai Office: Unit 902, Block10, No.1988 Gonghexin Road, Zhabei District, Shanghai, 200072, China
Jeong Ho Lee
电话: +61 3 9521 1929, +61 488 012 634
手机: +61 437 596 307
ACAF 墨尔本工作室: 164 High St Prahran VIC 3188 Australia
手机: +86 18616092377
ACAF 北京工作室: 北京市朝阳区环铁艺术城环铁主邑B008 邮编：100016
ACAF上海工作室: 上海市闸北区共和新路1988号10座902室 邮编：200072