Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Side Walk Chalk Sunday
After a rainy Saturday, it was great to wake up on Sunday morning and know that my teacher, J.J's public art piece for 'Intrude: Art & Life 366' in Shanghai' would go smoothly with sunny skies. I arrived just in time as the children from local elementary schools showed up to begin a drawing using sidewalk chalk of a traditional Chinese building that stood before them.
Things got off to a slow start with mostly J.J. doing all of the drawing but in time the children started to chime in, even with all of the confused and curious spectators watching over them. I enjoyed watching the crowd and their reactions to what was being drawn before them, and the interaction between J.J. and the children was nice, especially as the artists worked in the street, drawing between darting bicyclists, cars, and motorbikes, even the occasional walker who decided it was best to walk right over the chalk drawings.
After finishing the drawings of the old building the artists moved to a new location behind the building, a lot which once was the site for an old house just like the one they had drawn. J.J. once more asked the children to draw, but this time they were to draw what they thought should be built to replace this abandoned lot. The children got to work, and began drawing in vibrant chalk colors on an old brick wall. With not as many spectators watching on, there was only a small interaction with the general public, yet I found watching the children draw from their imagination much more rewarding. With new technology, such as a large eye as the top piece of one building or a "plant house" the children's imagination was endless, each with unique and different take as to what the future will hold for their city.