Chinese Printmaking Today

Teachers' Notes

Why did we write in dialogue?

We wanted to try writing to an open structure that is more suited to the nature of the web than the pinned-down nature of writing for print. We wanted not just one person holding forth, but two or more people talking together and we wanted you to add to this conversation on an equal footing. This resource can grow over time and so become more resourceful. Please join in and encourage others to take part.

All researchers, even the experts, dwell in a state of confusion a lot of the time, always needing to seek the opinions of others and to read yet more. The most important part of doing research is the search for the problem that will take the longest to answer and lead to the most interesting territory. This is why we have tried to ask questions with no simple answer. You can also send us the questions you find most fascinating.

We wrote this to help teachers and students enjoy the exhibition Chinese Printmaking Today, supported by the Muban Foundation, 7 November 2003 -7 March 2004. The activities can be tried before, after or during a visit to the exhibition, or instead of a visit. However, these prints are not in our collections (they belong to the Muban Foundation), so to create a lasting resource we decided to focus on one extraordinary artwork (A Book from the Sky). This can stimulate thinking about:

  • Language and meaning
  • Knowledge of other cultures
  • Text and image, how they are different and how they work together
  • The history of print and communication

These ideas will support the National Curriculum in:

  • Language and Literacy
  • Art & Design
  • Citizenship
  • History
  • Religious Education

as well as philosophy and thinking skills.

How to use The Dialogues

They aim to inspire older teenagers, students in FE and HE and adults in continuing education.

They are also offered as information to help teachers prepare for a visit to the Chinese Printmaking Today exhibition or to deliver an activity about The Book from the Sky, to support a Thinking Skills session or a critical study in Art and Design.

Teachers could use one dialogue as the basis for a group discussion. The tasks and questions could be divided up for smaller groups to work on before returning to a plenary session.

When you see a Q in bold we'd like an e-mail response. We will insert this response into the body text of the dialogues. This will be a moderated process, so we may edit your reply and we may only use the most original and thought-provoking replies. Only first names or pseudonyms will be used.

When you see an italicised sentence and the sign ?> this is a suggestion to investigate further.

Can you send us the results of these research tasks? Yes, but we won't insert them into the Dialogue text. Soon, we will be able to connect them to the site in a Showcase.

The practical activities and the exhibition workshops are suitable for all ages, especially 7 years (KS2) upwards.

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