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The Evolution of Art at BIS Hanoi 2017

30 November 2017

  • Assembly - Big Draw 9
  • Big Draw 2017 British International School Hanoi
  • Big Draw 2017 British International School Hanoi
  • Big Draw 2017 British International School Hanoi
  • Big Draw 2017 British International School Hanoi
  • Big Draw 2017 British International School Hanoi

It is an incredibly busy and exciting time for students at BIS Hanoi. This term the Art department have been involved in a range of extra-curricular activities and have introduced a range of new creative opportunities for students in our curriculum throughout the Secondary School. The aim of this shift and development in curriculum is to give students a much broader experience of the subject by exploring different art making forms and artists and practitioners from different cultural contexts.

The Art department have a brand new fully operational darkroom this year to help integrate and develop photography into the GCSE and IB Arts curriculum. Our Year 11 Pre IB students were lucky enough to test this room out for the first time recently after researching the photographic work by Man Ray. In placing unique and interesting objects over light sensitive paper and exposing it briefly to light, students were able to create their own photogram. This involved placing their paper in accurately measured chemicals for specific periods of time to develop their photo. In the future we plan on using this darkroom to process black and white film taken using traditional analogue cameras.

Assembly - Big Draw 11

Students in iGCSE Art and IB Visual Arts have also been learning how to refine their use digital media and photography using new iMac computers and drawings tablets that were installed in the Art room this year. It has been great to see the student’s confident approach to using Photoshop and creating digital artwork but equally pleasing to see students experiment with the Adobe software for the first time to develop their ideas and combine outcomes with traditional Art skills.

The use and integration of technology in Art is vital for careers in the creative industry. I’m sure many of our students will go on to become future graphic designers, architects and animators so it is important to give students the opportunity to explore technology in Art and gain skills relevant to the 21st Century. As part this year’s Big Draw theme, Living Lines, students in Year 9 studied the history of animation. In their two outcomes for this project they designed and created a phenakistoscope and a stop frame animation using iPads.

A phenakistoscope is one of the earliest forms of animations, created using a circular template which is split into different frames. Students created a series of accurate illustrations with small changes made to each frame. When spinning the phenakistoscope and looking through the gaps into a mirror, the illustration appears to move. The students really enjoyed the challenge of creating a unique illustration and successful illusion of movement. Their stop frame animations were just as impressive.

The way that students see, experience and learn in Art is evolving. Whilst there is always a place for traditional Art skills that include painting, drawing and sculpture, there is also a role for technology in Art as a way of supporting student’s ideas and developing their skillset.

There are a number of student Art exhibitions coming up in the new year which includes our first IB Visual Art show. You can also keep up to date with the work our students are doing on our Instagram page @bishanoiart or contact me with any specific questions you may have via email

Key Stage 3 Exhibition: Monday 6th Feb

Key Stage 4 Exhibition: Monday 17th April

IB Visual Art Exhibition: Friday 16th March

Mr Richard Harrison, Art Leader