Pedagogy

Environmental Art is a general education elective course at Chung Yuan Christian University. Its goal is to introduce students to artworks with an environmental sustainability ethos. After learning about ecological art examples, such as Agnes Denes's Wheatfield, A Confrontation and Mathilde Roussel's living sculptures, students from two course sessions complete the Hunger Project as their final assignment. Over a 3.5-week period, Hunger Project involved online research, group brainstorming and discussions, making art, and web page editing. The project culminated in online presentations of each group's website content. 

More detailed pedagogical steps are featured below.

In the Classroom

With SDGs 2, Zero Hunger as starting point, the instructor facilitated the project in an online classroom. The brainstorming session started 

with a group word association game: which words come up when we hear the word, hunger?

Then, to visualize all their hunger-related thoughts, the students used MonkeyLearn Free Word Cloud generator to create word clouds. The word clouds enabled students to consider the most mentioned words as potential key ideas to their project.

 

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Assignment

After the word association and hunger information/statistics group research work in cass, each group were asked to create an artwork that comments on hunger. Students could choose from any dimension of hunger: physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual.

For web content, students included summarized findings on hunger, visual records of their art creation, and a call for action/ offer of solutions to the hunger issue(s). 

 

The instructor also guided students in the following considerations: 
Work concept/Purpose/Message
Materials (prioritize recycled art)
Method (how to build/create)
Final product (its appearance, function, and audience interaction)

In the following 3 weeks, each group and the instructor discussed work concepts and artwork designs. Due to the pandemic, most students collaborated online. Some even created art together via video conference. The resulting art forms include drawings, digital collage, as well as  sculptures made from natural, synthetic, and found materials. The chosen topics ranged from education, social class, healthcare, agriculture, causes of famine, as well as current events, such as the pandemic, the Ukraine-Russo war, and human rights in the Shanghai quarantine.

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Now, let's take a look at these varied interpretations.