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Discover Huili | When art develops within the school

22 January 2019
Throughout the Huili Arts Festival in early November, pupils from grades 3 – 6 were hard at work creating our very first whole-school mural for the entrance wall of our Junior High library. This exciting project aims to proudly display the bilingual and bicultural identity of Huili School Shanghai and symbolically mark the start of this unique journey we are all taking together as pupils, parents and teachers of the wider Huili family.
Over the course of the day, pupils were guided by our very talented art and design team to create our overall mural design. Connecting to the Huili logo positioned as the centrepiece of the mural, the pupils received blank fragments cut out from the empty space of the logo’s intricate outline. In each session, our pupils rose to the challenge and created beautiful designs, each dedicated to a different segment of the mural itself and coming together to create a singular representation of the Huili Identity. Beginning with images of architecture as a representation of the past and future, the grade 5 and 6 pupils of Xian house created black and white drawings of Chinese buildings inspired from centuries past. In contrast, grade 5 and 6 pupils of Hui house carefully worked on shading the tonal qualities of the several contemporary buildings that surround the school within the New Bund area of Shanghai. Interpreting cultural design as a form of language, grades 5 and 6 of Li house constructed red and gold line drawings and embodied the delicate and enduring beauty of Chinese ornamentation. Their peers in De house concentrated on the optical art representations of renowned British artist Bridget Riley, as a way of marking the school’s origins as well as its strong commitment to giving pupils an international mindset. Finally, grade 3 pupils recreated the structural aspects of the school itself, including a bright portrayal of the sports field, basketball court and running track. Grade 4’s contribution took the form of vivid versions of the various fruits that can be found throughout China, emphasising the importance of embracing variety in life as well as the need for healthy and nutritious eating when developing healthy minds. During the next few weeks, Grades 1 and 2 added their own pieces to this vibrant puzzle with three segments that portray the sounds of both Chinese and English, as well as the colour story of our four beloved houses. Last week, the mural has finally been installed on the wall of the Junior High library. It has been wonderful to see this mural come to life these past few months thanks to the remarkable efforts of all the pupils across the school. This is the first of many large-scale artwork projects and the bar has been set very high indeed. We look forward to realising these future opportunities, where art can be used at Huili to communicate ideas, tell stories and bring people together.

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