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    YCIS-BJ Students Get Creative with Food Art


    24 Apr, 2020

    10 : 00

    • Famous visual artists such as Pablo Picasso, Freda Kahlo and Andy Warhol amongst others are names often associated with art – specifically painting.   Last week, however, in a lesson with Yew Chung International School of Beijing Primary students, Johan Swart, Primary and Lower Secondary Art Specialist opted to introduce the avant-garde concept of food art.

      This method which involves creatively preparing and presenting food has been in existence for decades and was spearheaded by Italian artist, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti. “Unlike art that hangs in a gallery or on the refrigerator, though, food art does not last long. It must be consumed before it goes bad” this is according to Mr Swart. However, with the improvement in technology, food artists nowadays can preserve their works, which allows them to capture and share them with the public through various channels such as social media.

      The technical objective of this lesson was for students to “learn the technique of carving fruits and vegetables, improve their artistic expression and their imagination” and finally “for them to bring interesting eatable creatures to the table” said the seasoned teacher.

      On the other hand the activity was a great way for parents to work jointly with their children who might be picky eaters. Mr Swart shared that “food art is a simple way to increase the appeal of healthy food to students by making eating fun.” plus “creating food art is a great way to introduce healthy foods in a fun and interactive way. I believe that ‘picky” eaters become more accepting of new foods when they are given the opportunity to [constructively] play with their food.” In a way that makes children have an appreciation for food, he added.

      For this activity students rolled up their sleeves and got to work. Some creative creations that came out of their food art works included underwater fauna and flora made from dried seaweed, tomatoes and M&Ms, a lion made from nectarines, lettuce and carrots, and faces made from grapes, berries, cabbage and a banana to name a few.

      The activity allowed students “the opportunity to create without boundaries” and they mostly “enjoyed the sculpturing of existing fruit and vegetables into new creations and creatures. They loved to use their imagination.” said Mr Swart.

      He chose this activity for its collaborative nature. Students and their family members had the opportunity to make quality time out of this exercise by turning thing into a family project in some cases.  They did this by finding “inspiration through looking at food art pictures, recipe books, food websites and more. This was an ideal way of “Recreate what we find Together”.

      The food art activity also granted an opportunity for students to connect the lesson to other units of learning such as Social Studies under “Different Cultures and their Food”, or Science under “Healthy Living” and even Mathematics under “Symmetry Creatures”.

      For parents who would like to experiment with food art with their little ones, below are a few ideas of what you can create using different foods from Mr Swart:

      1. a) Create your own Dragon Boat
      2. b) Build a Great Wall of China
      3. c) Sculpture a Chinese Dragon
      4. d) “Flowers for my Grandparents”
      5. e) Create Space Rockets and Aliens   

      And for parents who would like to use other forms of crafts, below are some ideas:

      • Painted boiled eggs
      • Carve your own stamps using potatoes that are a little past their prime for eating.
      • Fruit and vegetable printing.
      • Make your own ink/paint from beets and blueberries.
      • Paper plate pumpkin design.

      After their hard work, Mr Swart’s students found the activity to be “fun, creative and delicious!” perhaps a great motivation for you to also try it at home.