IMG_0030_4-compressorby Kristen Lum, Education Programs Coordinator and Program Co-Leader

Concordia Shanghai students had a blast at Mosaic Interim, our annual Beijing-based creative arts program! Throughout the week, our young artists dabbled in a diverse range of activities in all mediums of the arts and explored the developing art districts in Beijing.

At Penghao Theater, students took part in an Improv Workshop with Nathan of BeijingImprov and a Miming Workshop with Peter/Xiao Peng. They learned several improv games, including “Bunny Bunny,” “Red Ball” and “I am a tree”. Most importantly, many students walked away with a valuable new life principle: say “yes” — take an idea or the first thing that comes to mind, accept it and see where it goes, it’s about overcoming your inner critic, the main source of any artist’s creative block.

IMG_0039_2-compressorAt Zajia Lab, students created their own shadow puppets and put on a show with Julie’s Shadow Puppet Workshop. Later on in the week, students designed miniature sets and costumes for their fingers and put on The First Funky Finger Film Festival in a workshop at Cafe Zarah with contemporary visual artist Niko de la Faye.

On one night, we took advantage of Bejiing’s dark (but safe!) hutong alleyways to jump into a Light Photography Workshop with Roy Wong. We watched, amazed, as he created fantastical light masterpieces around us with simple flashlights and colored paper. Students took turns transforming each other into devils, angels and a ballerina just by maneuvering their flashlight at longer camera exposure times.

Students also explored Beijing’s famous ammunitions-factory-zone-turned-art-district, 798 through a IMG_9129-compressorphoto challenge on the skywalk, a sculpture hunt, and gallery tours. Lateron, they made collages with artist Chen Linggang and contributed to Beijing Design Week (BDW) at SURGE Art.

Our students stretched their musical skills in a few music-based workshops as well. In a PVC Panpipe Workshop with Lianne Yu, they made their own pan-flutes from recycled PVC pipes, learned about the pentatonic scale and traditional Chinese music and instruments, and even gave a performance at the end of the workshop with their newly-made instruments.

Concordia students also proved themselves to be quite the accomplished film-makers. They learned how to convey a funny, innovative or meaningful message in an 7-second video through a Vine Video IMG_0059-compressorWorkshop with the talented Studio Output team, and they learned the ins and outs of stop-motion film with Harrison Schaaf. They also taught the world several useful skills — such as how to put up your hair without a hair-tie, how to make music from everyday objects, and how to dance with strangers — through making tutorial videos with Siok Siok Tan and her team at KineticOne Studios. Students then shared their how-to videos with the world on a youth-based videosharing platform.

Another highlight of the week was our school exchange with Dandelion School, a middle school for migrant workers’ children. Concordia Mosaic students made synthesized material prints with new friends at the Dandelion School. Everyone was impressed by the art and music programs designed for the students at Dandelion school and also the students’ genuine kindness and thoughtfulness as they worked together to complete their art activity.

Finally, a wide array of different cuisines — both traditional and innovative — fueled our action-packed week of art. Students crafted the perfect fusion and dessert dumplings at The Hutong with Chef Sophia Du. They also got a taste of Peking Duck at Jingzun, Korean/Mexican fusion tacos at Palms L.A., and vegetarian ribs at Buddha’s Bite in 798.

Throughout the week, students got to meet local artists, explore the fabulous art scene in Beijing, and challenge themselves to step out of their comfort zones.