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Wednesday 17/09/14

From September there will be a new Arts Can Do centre running at the Shanghai Jiuqian Nanhui School for Orphanage and Children with Disability. This new centre will provide art classes for primary school age children involving them in all facets of the creative arts. In addition this centre will host the training of local volunteers working in the Arts Can Do program. Working with severely disadvantaged children brings its own challenges. Developing the skills to meet these challenges and to turn them into positive outcomes requires specialised training and coaching.

Both photography and video have been extremely popular with our children reflecting the technological world they find around them and from which they are normally excluded. Bridging that gap really empowers some children while others are drawn to the colour and texture of painting and sculptural work to express themselves. Seeing children often normally withdrawn and isolated begin to express themselves and take joy in the process is one of the most rewarding experiences for anyone involved. For the children it can be life changing.

This month local Shanghai artist Wu Xiaoshen is running wood block print workshops, something new for the program and no doubt the children will relish the opportunity to take prints home for their parents. A member of Shanghai Artist Association, Wu graduated from Shanghai University, Academy of Fine Arts with major in fine art painting. Wu's practce goes from painting to wood block printing and sculpture. Wu’s works have been exhibited in many countries including Switzerland, Holland, France, Korea, and Japan. His works are collected by public institutions, enterprises and private collectors.

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