Dear You Art Project

Mail Art + Pen Friends = Dear You Art Project

13 year olds

Festivities here and there!

2018, China, Finland, School visits, 13 year oldsArlene TuckerComment

Class 7C in Kontula were all very excited that they received a package from our friends in China!  We displayed their artwork and discussed them.  Many of the artworks had very warm and welcoming thoughts on them such as, "Welcome to China!".  Finally, we figured out what C & F stands for - China and Finland!  I hope we are right!

On one of the artworks had some questions written on them. 

 These questions translates to: Firstly, it is very nice to meet you. Can we make an exchange using QQ? What kind of Chinese food do you like? Do you have some interesting festivals there?

These questions translates to: Firstly, it is very nice to meet you. Can we make an exchange using QQ? What kind of Chinese food do you like? Do you have some interesting festivals there?

We try to answer you the best we can:

It is very nice to meet you too!  We do not know what QQ is. What is it?

Some of us had said that they like the fried pork, fried rice, white rice and the duck.

Finland has all kinds of festivals. We celebrate Juhannus, which is called Midsummer in English. This happens towards the end of June where it is usually the longest day of the year.  We celebrate Pride, Vappu (May Day), Tikkurila Festivaali, Vegan Festivaali, and Ruis Rock, which is a big music festival.

Yesterday, in Helsinki there were two big celebrations. One is called Penkkarit and the other you will know very well, Chinese New Year!  Senior high school students ride on the back of trucks in costumes to celebrate before they have to start their matriculation exams.  There is lot of honking the horn and throwing candy at the crowd!!  The Chinese New Year celebrations were so beautiful this year! There was dancing, Kung Fu, music, Dragon Dance, Lion Dance, and ice skating too to happily bring in the year of the dog!

We wish you all a happy new year!

The 13 year old artists at Shenzhen High School in Shenzhen, China are making and sharing with 7c, 13 year olds, from Helsingin yhteislyseo in Helsinki, Finland.

Making inspiring stories calls for a party!

13 year olds, 2017, 7th Grade, China, Dear You Art Workshops, FinlandArlene TuckerComment
 We are watching a video our friends in China made for us!

We are watching a video our friends in China made for us!

For the last project of this session, we thought it would be great to bring the artists in 7C from Helsingin yhteislyseo to get to know another artistic space in Kontula, Helsinki. So we gathered in Museum of Impossible Forms to create Inspiring Stories art project and celebrate with next year's Dear You group from Päiväkoti Pihapirtti, who are also located in Kontula!

We started the session by looking at a video a few of the artists from Shenzhen Middle School made for their friends in Kontula. They had made a sweet introduction of themselves and also shared with us the art that they have been making in China.

Looking at our friend's artwork and thinking about past Dear You projects we have made gave us some material to work with as the next step was to make an audio story.  One artist said we need to keep in mind the sanoma (the message) when creating a story.  Some other creative writing elements are to designate characters and what is the beginning, middle, and end of the story. 

We then got into small groups and came up with four different amazing stories! When it was time to record, we thought about intonation, sound effects, and tone of voice to enhance the story.

The stories were all so different! Have a listen! 

Forest is a story about a boy named Ajax. He lived in the 1940s in a small village. Ajax went to pick some berries and mushrooms in the woods. About an hour into the journey, he found himself lost. He then saw a mökki (a small cottage) and peaked through the window. Inside he saw an open cupboard, which had a lot of food in it. He went inside and ate a big loaf of bread. After that he left the mökki to try and find his way home. Along the way, he met an old person and asked this person some questions. The old person didn't understand anything!

The storytellers from Differences and Similarities have more questions for their friends in China.

Do you pack your own lunch? Or do you pay 1euro for it? Or how much?
Do you have a lot of homework?
When does your school day end?
Are your tests difficult?
Does your school have any after-school activities?

Eläimet puussa , Animal in the tree (English translation)
All the animals are meeting under a tree and they decided to make a pack. The pack leader is the lion. The walrus also wants to be a leader. They start to fight and the walrus wins. The walrus will become the leader and so the lion has to go. The walrus was a good leader but the lion returned. The lion took a coconut from the tree and hit the walrus in the head with it while the walrus was asleep. The walrus got a mild concussion! The lion became the leader again. The animals didn't want the lion to the be leader so everybody else left the pack.

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We had a great time making these stories for you!

Thank you! Kiitos!

With love,
Arlene, Anastasia, Saara, and the artists at 7C

The 13 year old artists at Helsingin yhteislyseo in Helsinki, Finland are making and sharing art with the 13 year old artists from Shenzhen Middle School in Shenzhen, China.

In autumn 2017 Dear You project in Kontula is supported by the Museum of Impossible Forms.

 From left to right: Saara Raevuori, Arlene Tucker, and Anastasia Artemeva. Saara is the art teacher at Helsingin yhteislyseo. Arlene and Anastasia are the makers and creators of Dear You. Thank you, Museum of Impossible Forms for hosting us!

From left to right: Saara Raevuori, Arlene Tucker, and Anastasia Artemeva. Saara is the art teacher at Helsingin yhteislyseo. Arlene and Anastasia are the makers and creators of Dear You. Thank you, Museum of Impossible Forms for hosting us!

"Differences and Similarities"

13 year olds, 2017, 7th Grade, China, Dear You Art Workshops, FinlandArlene TuckerComment
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With open minds and ears, 7C came to art class full of energy! In this session we made book covers for our joint project with our new friends in China. We decided to use recycled paper not only to be ecological and creative, but also, this way one can extrapolate so much information about the local environment in Finland just from the words and pictures found on the paper.

The first challenge was coming up with a unanimous title for the book!  Everybody was so gracious and diplomatic that it went smoothly, but we did go through quite many processes to get there. First we got into small groups to brainstorm and come up with some ideas. Then every group wrote their favorite idea on the board. They were:

- The wisdom of art
- The book of art
- Dear You
- Art book / Taidekirja / 藝術書
- The story of difference and similarity
- FinChi Konchita

We all voted and 'The story of difference and similarity' won! All was settled, until somebody spoke their mind and asked if we could shorten it. Good thing this person opened up because they made a very good point about why it should be modified. So then we all revoted and that's how the title 'Differences and Similarities' was born!

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The range of papers gave them so much to play with color, patterns, and storylines!

I think these woven pieces of art are beautiful and we hope you like them too!

With love,
Arlene, Saara, and the artists at 7C

The 13 year old artists at Helsingin yhteislyseo in Helsinki, Finland are making and sharing art with the 13 year old artists from Shenzhen Middle School in Shenzhen, China.

In autumn 2017 Dear You project in Kontula is supported by the Museum of Impossible Forms.

Philosophical questions and art

2017, 13 year olds, 7th Grade, Dear You Art Workshops, China, FinlandArlene TuckerComment
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It has been a while since I have been sincerely thought provoked and moved by the many questions the artists in Kontula were asking. Blown away by the artistic and conceptual skills these artists have!

As part of the warm up we got into a good discussion about questions, poster art, and graphic design. Some artists were sharing what their favorite fonts were so we took a moment to imagine the font used in different contexts and how that would have an affect on the message.  One way to see how our art is being perceived is to ask, tell and listen. Our voices are a powerful tool. We should use it!

We also looked at graphic design and artists who use graphics in their artworks such as Ed Ruscha. We considered text styles, letter size, composition, and color as communication tools. 

Then the questions started pouring out! Some artists wanted to make art from their own questions and others chose to use questions from their classmates. In any case, the outcomes were amazing!

Thank you and we hope you have a moment to answer our questions!

With love,
Arlene, Saara, and the artists at 7C

The 13 year old artists at Helsingin yhteislyseo in Helsinki, Finland are making and sharing art with the 13 year old artists from Shenzhen Middle School in Shenzhen, China.

In autumn 2017 Dear You project in Kontula is supported by the Museum of Impossible Forms.

The artists from Kontula!

2017, Dear You Art Workshops, Finland, China, 13 year oldsArlene TuckerComment
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It was a pretty magical day with the artists at Helsingin yhteislyseo! We first started the session by warming up our minds and bodies.  This is something I like to do before I start making art and I was happy that everybody was willing to try and participate.  We all stood up and took turns doing different movements to activate ourselves.  Shake it out to let it out!

Everybody was very excited to hear that we have friends in China that we will be exchanging art with!  As when making new friends, we slowly start by sharing bits and pieces about ourselves.  We saw this as a chance to also learn something new about ourselves.  First we got into small groups to do some investigation.  Our partners would be our mirrors and tell us what they see about us- factual things like how the light flickers against our hair, the color of our eyes, details about our hands, etc.  Sometimes taking a close look at something else can also help with how we approach looking at ourselves.

When we started experimenting with the carbon transfer technique it seemed slow going at first because this method does take time to prepare, but once the marks started to come through, everybody got more motivated to make their self-portrait.  Everybody had such a different approach and idea to making their self-portrait!

The class wrote a letter for Tian Tian and her artists:

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We hope you like our artwork!

The 13 year old artists at Helsingin yhteislyseo in Helsinki, Finland are making and sharing art with the 13 year old artists from Shenzhen Middle School in Shenzhen, China.

In autumn 2017 Dear You project in Kontula is supported by the Museum of Impossible Forms.