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July 2, 2010 / blissmarket

Day 04: Art + Nature + Kids

Today was the Educational Workshop for Kids here at Aomori Contemporary Art Centre, one thing that I realized was Japanese people are really polite, from the young ones to the old ones I met/passed by here in Aomori. It really feels good how they treat a stranger like me.

Me, Nao San and Teiko San prepared for the workshop since yesterday and continued setting up early in the morning today.  The kids arrived by bus around 9AM and Teiko San introduced me and they greeted me with a warm Japanese greeting I still can’t remember. Since then the kids are already giving me extra special attention, they are very curious on who I am and how i speak.

The workshop is about Nature and Art… I am sure it was a very fun and educational trip for the kids…they get the chance to create art and at the same time explore the rain forest around ACAC.

I have noticed, that Japanese kids are really very well educated.. imagine the tools we had for the workshop was… 1. paper 2. gathered leaves and a 3. SPRAY PAINT.. yup! a spray paint. 8 years old kids being introduced with a spray paint. Hmmm… future Banksy?

But not one single kid dared to disobey the rules or even tried to play a prank or misuse the materials given to them. Japanese kids even help each other and even reminded each other on what to do next or what’s not to do.

There is this one activity that they have to look for the Sculptures around the vicinity of ACAC, meaning they have to go inside the forest too to find some sculptures placed there. Imagine 72 8 year olds running around you… wow. On this activity I saw how they helped each other, how they figure out things together, all by themselves. With minimal supervision from us. I asked Teiko San the Day before if the kids wont understand me.. she answered me with a smiled and said… “No problem, they’ll know what to do…” and now I understand what she meant by that.

I think that’s what freedom brings to people… the kids are free… they can roam around the vicinity if  its time to roam around, they are free to pick up the leaves and branches of trees if instructed, they are free to run and play and they have the option to speak out their mind if they are asked to.

Another part of the workshop was the explanation of what they did… I am really amazed seeing an 8 year old kid trying to articulate what they created and what forms they discovered.

During the spray paint session, they were not allowed to spraythe cans on their own, only us adults. At first i thought they can, so I gave the cans to some kids… and was wondering why aren’t they doing anything to it, they just pointed on where i should spray and what color to use. Apparently they were instructed to only tell us what color they want and let us spray on their project… meaning they are told to direct. 😉 Its really cute how they told me, with their hardly english speaking tone… “Yello! Yello!” or “Blu!”

Japanese kids are sweet and very curious, i think most kids are. I will not compare Filipino kids to them… because as I imagined it, Filipinos are just the same… its just a matter of how to educate them. Its really about the kids… its about us adults, on what kind of role model we are to our young ones… on how we chose to teach them and of course it also depends on the support the government give these kids.

*Pls. Click FULL SIZE to view image in actual proportion and size.

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