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The implications and practices of two transcultural artists : Gu Xiong and Xu Bing in Chinese immigrant descendants’ art education Pu, Lin

Abstract

This study has investigated the problems that Montreal Chinese immigrant students encountered during their learning Chinese culture as they are also attempting to integrate into local culture. A research approach was taken to determine whether the study of two transcultural artists, Xu Bing and Gu Xiong, can help the students learn their own culture and the local culture. From the case study, it was found that the two artists' work and their attitudes have a great potential to help students bridge the host culture and their heritage culture. I have also designed lessons with power point presentations about these two artists and tried to use them in the teaching practices at a Chinese weekend school. However, I was not able to implement this teaching approach in the school due to their little awareness and interest in art and the economic concerns with their children's future career selection. From cultural art activities in both Chinese and English schools, I found Banks (1989) level one and two approaches could stimulate students' interests in cultures and arts but do not much help students understand how the local culture and other cultures are interconnected and interrelated. Although the contributions and additive approaches represent possible beginnings for helping students to understand art from Chinese culture and other cultures in general, when I tried to move further to a higher level of cultural integration in the Chinese school I was not successful. The implication from the case study of these transcultural artists demonstrated that their work could provide linkage between Chinese culture and North American culture. It also related to Chinese immigrant students' life. In my thesis, I tried to demonstrate that the transcultural artist approach could reinforce a cross-cultural understanding especially for Chinese immigrant students to learn the relationship between their own culture and the local culture. I also tried to explore whether we can move from lower level approaches to the higher level approach identified by Banks (1989) to reflect sociocultural diversity in the curriculum by studying these two transcultural artists, Gu Xiong and Xu Bing.

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