The Year of the Tiger represents the opportunity for great success, and the upcoming year will hopefully bring more prosperity for all. This year we celebrate the lunar Year of the Rabbit.
In our country, the rabbit is regarded as a “Jixiang” animal due to their gentleness, agility and intelligence. There have been some interesting nicknames from ancient times for the rabbit, such as “Spirit of the moon”, “Bright vision” and “Jade rabbit”.
There are also numerous idioms, myths and legends related to the rabbit. For example, “White rabbit and red Wu” with the white rabbit referring to the moon and red Wu referring to the sun, which generally represents time.
These origins come from the poem “Persuading to Drink” by Bai Juyi of the Tang Dynasty:
“Heaven and earth have lasted for a long period, with the passing time.”
Another famous story is the story of “Chang’e flying to the moon” – it is well known by families all over China.
In modern times the unprecedentedly fast development of the motherland has witnessed the situation where some myths have become reality.
As the Year of the Rabbit is approaching, the visual art department has prepared a series of activities for the students called “Drawing with the Year of the Rabbit”, aiming to lead them into the world of ‘creative rabbits’.
After learning about the structural features of the rabbit, Grade 1 students drew each body part of the rabbit according to the correct proportions and used their imagination to add different flower designs. When they finished their compositions, the body parts were assembled with the help of the teacher to make a ‘moving rabbit’. The rabbits designed by the students were lively and could be positioned in a variety of interesting poses. During the class, students learned how to draw rabbits and experience the fun of handicrafts.
Grade 2 students used ultralight clay to shape three-dimensional rabbit figures with techniques of rolling, pinching, and kneading. After creating individual rabbits, they continued to use their imaginations to create more clay works for various scenes.
Grade 3 students used collage techniques to create their Year of the Rabbit artworks, with the aim of celebrating the arrival of the New Year by chasing Mr. Rabbit’s footsteps into a wonderland fantasyland with references to “Alice in Wonderland”.
Grade 4 students hung their rabbits from the ceiling, their art pieces coming in various shapes and sizes and with a sense of humour. Some were dressed as if they had just came from Hogwarts; some were practicing ballet; and some are quiet and cute. Humour in art represents not only imagination, but also an optimistic state of mind.
The Year of the Rabbit curriculum for Grade 5 students was expressed in coloured ink drawings. The backgrounds were composed of a breadth of motifs, the shapes were easy and sweet, and the colours highlighted simplicity, optimism and joy. The bold lines and vibrant coloured blocks contained a wealth of imaginative potential. The students ‘pushed the envelope’, basing their artworks on ‘inherited tradition’ and painting their Chinese paintings with personality.
The children’s art classes were so colourful, and their expressiveness and imagination were wonderful. The artworks were vivid and interesting, reflecting fantastic effort and creativity. While appreciating the artwork, we can feel the inherent joy of their creations.
The majestic tiger roars in the deep mountains, and the rabbit runs in the green fields. The New Year has come again. Let us march into the Year of the Rabbit with great pride. In the new year, we must learn from the benevolent, elegant and amiable temperament of the Jade Rabbit, ride on the warm spring breeze towards a splendid future, and keep moving forward!