NUSS Journey in ink – Intake 2

And so the 2nd intake just concluded last Saturday.

This was a curious class. A class who wanted to learn more. There were many who came for all the lessons, spent time to do their homework, borrow library books and egged one another on to do better! Sometimes it was the front row students, other times it was the back row or a friendly rivalry between husband and wife!

I appreciated their motivation. Sometimes I wish my younger students were more motivated and focused. Perhaps when we learn much later in life, we make up for lost opportunities as often times art gave way to other more urgent matters at hand.

When we teach we also learn. It is never a monologue but an exchange of experiences. I have learnt so much from teaching this class. Our oldest member was born in 1938. Her spirit of learning and willingness to do the extra to help more people age well is inspiring to me. As the session draws to a close, J rallied for the class to have a CNY Lo Hei. Though the Lo Hei did not materialise, those who came had a good lunch. In between the dim sum bites, we learnt that J’s aunt was featured in a story by C, one of the youngest in the group. C wrote the heritage book on Bukit Brown, volunteers to take tours and you can find her inspiring TEDx talk on Bukit Brown on youtube. If you wish to get a copy, please go to https://www.ethosbooks.com.sg/products/world-war-ii-bukit-brown

P was another student who impresses me with his diligence. He came to class not knowing anything about Chinese ink painting and went on to boldly compose entirely new compositions based on his own inspirations. He was always there each lesson despite staying in the East! Yet another had a holiday in HK but made sure she returned before Sat for the class.

M was one of the students who did not manage to receive her materials on the first lesson. She was happy to make do with the brushes I had and practise her paintings and strokes. She was sick on one of the lessons and yet came to class to see if she can take on the lesson.

AB and J were hardworking students who did homework and borrowed books to read from the library. A couple MT and wife often helped me with reading the Chinese words of the colors off the tubes of paint we use. (Such is my limitation and how generous my students were in sharing their Chinese knowledge with me!)

During one of the lessons, I decided to ask the class to write their Chinese names. Sometimes for team building sessions using Chinese ink, I like to ask my participants to write their ethnic names using ink. Whenever I asked my students to share their ethnic names(not just Chinese but it could be Malay, Tamil etc) and the meaning, I am always amazed at how much thought their parents went through to name the child and somehow the English translation could never ever do justice to the original intention.

G whose Chinese name was 陈伟雄 cheekily stood to attention when I called out his name. His wife has a delightful sense of colour and I remembered one lesson where he told me, “his dog” cannot make it. (or something to that effect!)

On another occasion, when we were painting the Plum Blossom, 梅花, one of the student, A, played the song by Teresa Teng 邓丽君

and class were soon singing along with it during the painting. Soon, a gentleman CS decided to request the 老师 to play songs by Fei Yu Qing 

夜来香,一剪梅,千里之外 - 费玉清

and just last Saturday, we did the Chrysanthenum. By then, the 老师 knowing her limited repertoir of Chinese songs, decided to google for help on Chrysanthenum songs and was happy to find one by Jay Chou 周杰伦,菊花台 Chrysanthemum Terrace。

Thank you dear intake 2 for your card and also the times we spent together. May your painting grow from strength to strength and be competitive always 🙂 Please remember to take time to breathe between each stroke!

Here are some pix of the class:

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