Channeling Frida Kahlo

Programs for this blog post

Global Entrepreneurship

Authored By:

Sara Garrett

Hidden talents have emerged for some students as they’ve been participating in a few different artistic endeavors over the past couple weeks. The activities that students have done have combined learning about various cultures, communities, and history through the arts.

Art in Motion, located in Kampong Gelam, focused on using a spinning table and a pendulum to create abstract and geometric works of art. Students had fun choosing their color palettes and then adding layers and layers of paint. Some knew their vision from the beginning while others discovered their look through the creative process. Regardless of their starting point, everyone had fun and their paintings were unique and exciting. The Kampong Gelam area is a historic area for Malay and Arab culture, featuring many shops, restaurants, and the Sultan Mosque. Students were able to explore the area, learn about the history, and hunt for many of the wall murals or commissioned street graffiti.

Students confidently took their artistic skills on the road, trying out their hand at batik during their first stop in Melaka, Malaysia. The Kompleks Kraf Melaka craft complex first provided students with a history of Melaka and Malaysia through displays of clothing, models of traditional homes, swords, and rattan woven baskets. Afterwards, they learned about the history of batik, a wax-resist dyeing technique that is used to make paintings, home furnishings, household accessories, tablecloths, cushion covers, and clothing. Local artists at the complex demonstrated the technique of using hot wax to draw a design and then paint and water to add colors. Following the demonstration, students tried their hand at batik on a much smaller scale.

Not deterred by the difficulty of batik, students participated in a Chinese paper cutting class while in Melaka. Paper cutting is a long standing part of Chinese culture with the artwork displaying places, animals, nature, and people. The artwork is used to decorate windows and gates during times of festivity but can also be seen in smaller artwork items such as cards or bookmarks.

These students have plenty of artistic talent!