The first exhibition was by Los Angeles-based artist Math Bass whose bold colourful paintings and sculptures, inspired by her experiences in Shanghai, led to a lot of discussion amongst students. It was great to see all students get involved, even those who were not initially confident talking about art in their own language let only English. The second exhibition, by Shanghai based artist Qin Yifeng, inspired more quiet reflection than conversation among the students as they tried to understand the message the artist wants to convey through the camera negative images of damaged pieces of Ming-dynasty wooden furniture.
After lunch it was over the river and onto Time Out Shanghai’s office. Time Out is a very poplar and well-known brand in cities throughout the world, and their print magazine and website are popular with expats and visitors to Shanghai. This was a unique chance for students to gain an insight into what it was like to work for a magazine and to get practical advice on how to write articles, blogs and reviews – an essential skill for English B students. The students were given a tour of the office and were encouraged to ask any questions they had.
A highlight for many students was the workshop led by Time Out’s restaurant critic Elysia which focused on improving students’ restaurant reviews through describing and comparing the taste of three different cookies. Needless to say this approach went down very well with the students, as did the “Call me sugar”, “Banana loaf” and “Red velvet” cookies on offer!
Having received a lot of ideas and advice from Time Out Shanghai’s staff students were then asked to put what they have learnt into practice. Over the next two weeks students will be writing a review on the two exhibitions they visited, and the best review will be posted online on Time Out’s website!
William Walker, English Teacher