Art at DHZH: a journey to explore the nature of Art

What is Art?

Emily L.
I think there is no generally agreed definition of "what is art". In my opinion, art is the expression of creative skills and imagination.
- Emily L., Y11
Arin H.
I think art is a place of comfort where I would often seek for inner peace and self-encouragement. It is also a place of uniqueness that I would be able to express my emotion, my experience and my statement towards things that are happening around the world. It will always be the evidence of my growth as an artist. And it will also be the most important path I chose for my life.
- Arin H., Y13

Art has incredible power and is deeply woven into all aspects of the world around us.

The Art department at Dulwich Zhuhai offers an accessible, rigorous, and supportive learning environment that exposes our students to a wide range of creative processes, skills and techniques for Art and Design.

Excellent outcomes take time, either time through many experiments or time through sustained focus on a final piece. We encourage our students to think of the development of their skills and practice as being a marathon, instead of a sprint.

Constance W.
There is a quote says the sky is the limit. There isn't a starting point or an ending point for art. You can just think of it and go for it.
- Constance W., Y12

Unfold the world through many lenses

Promoting diverse thinking is at the root of our curriculum, individual tutorials, pedagogy and co-curricular activities (CCA) on offer. Students at Dulwich Zhuhai are guided and encouraged to think about the world thorough many perspectives, and express it through their unique lenses. We support each student to meet their individual goals, as well as preparing for their future success in various creative fields around the globe. 

A high command in using a variety of media is a key focus for art students at Dulwich Zhuhai. They will learn how to create outstanding representations of the reality with a focus on 2D surface work, as well as create unique modern and conceptual art. Developing conceptual thinking is a big paradigm shift for young artists to move from a skill-output mode of thinking to a conceptual design process style of thinking and construction method, and be equipped with skills to support their own ideas effectively.

"The project I have enjoyed the most is the One Object 44 ways photography project. During this project, I have learnt how to focus on showing what I want to express in photos, and how to show different texture of objects using pencil, watercolour, and acrylic. It was a very interactive task and I loved the process of exploring new possibilities to improve my skills in art. I have learnt that Art is not only about fine two-dimensional drawings, but it is also about three-dimensional design, where students can use their creativity to show their understanding in the concept of art."

- Elizabeth P. Y10

Critical engagement to deepen creativity

Critical thinking and risk taking are essential abilities for art students to take their ideas and portfolios into next level. This requires an awareness of history, contemporary Art practice, and the ability to share and accept criticism, which are embedded in our lessons and activities. We help our students to dig deeper into the “how, why and who” when talking about their ideas.

IGCSE art students are required to respond with personally concepts and ideas, at the same time be ready to take risks in exploring a variety of methods and artists for a collective portfolio. Instead of creating work piece by piece, they will begin to create a story-telling portfolio through the development of an idea.

"Year 11 Art is not just applying the techniques that we have developed in Year 10, such as line, shape, tone… it’s also about developing a simple idea or topic into different advanced pieces, and finally generate all these single ideas into a masterpiece."

- Bella D, Y11

With the knowledge and skillsets to develop their portfolio that are often exhibition and university application ready, the A-level art students will be encouraged to push the limits of their viewpoints in their art.

“As an A2 art student, we can choose a topic that we personally are really interested in and have more opportunities to try out new materials and skills. In addition, our writing skill will improve too, as we will be required to explain and express our idea in an essay, which is an important part of the A2 art. Pursuing art is not only about learning the skills of drawing and painting, but it’s more about how you express.”

- David C, Y13

Over the past 12 years, our young artists have been stepping foot in various art segments and received acceptance from prestigious universities around the world, including the University of the Arts London, Parsons School of Design and the Rhode Island School of Design.


Art beyond the classroom

Every student should have the opportunity to explore and enjoy Art, regardless of subject class, age, gender, cultural background, or ability. Student artwork from lessons and various CCAs have been incorporated into the interior decoration of the campus.

The art display in offices and collaborative spaces, hand-made cushions in the library staircase, student-designed souvenir for the community’s major event, as well as framed artwork from previous DHZH art students on view throughout the teaching building, are all mind-boggling pieces that not only exhibition of achievement and excellence, but also inspiration for creativity and innovation. Students are encouraged to think of art in a holistic outlook and with a wider sense of the community, the region and the world, which is beyond a physical painting or drawing.

With the intention of developing leadership skills, some of our art students also established their own CCA based on their personal interests. The Fashion and Animation are among the most popular student-led CCAs this year.

As one of the Dulwich family of schools, our students are able to enjoy a wide range of worldwide art projects and activities. For example, working with Oscar nominated Disney artist and animator Aaron Blaise learning about animation and character design from Beauty and the Beast to the Lion King, joining over 500 students from the Dulwich network for a week of Art, Drama, Music and Sport activities in Dulwich College as part of the Dulwich Olympiad 2019, taking part in the annual Dulwich Photo Competition where Dulwich Zhuhai students are regularly amongst the winners.

Candice Van Buul
Working with so many talented young artists across all Year Groups is very inspirational. People portrait, creative photography, animation, fashion design, illustration, ceramics, exhibition…we create and discover together, while always reflecting back to ‘what is Art?’. It should not be the topic for their time at Dulwich Zhuhai, I hope it would be the question they keep exploring under the up-to-date trend and circumstances.
- Candice Van Buul, Head of Art