Art Education Workshop with Cho Cho Aung

Cho Cho Aung, art teacher and artist at Panthu Sandar Art Centre, joined us today at Alin Dagar for the first of a 2 day workshop on art education, where she shared not only her experiences in teaching art, but also her students’ experiences – through a display of their art work.

Cho Cho Aung began teaching in 1978. She mentioned that for 10 years, her method was to teach basic drawing, line, and 2D design. She later realized the limitations of these methods, encouraged by the fact that her own father, U Aung Khin – a prominent artist in Mandalay – told her that her own teaching influences children in such a way that they are merely imitating, not learning to create something new and all their own.

From then on, she opened up her methods, teaching free drawing and being careful not to focus on color theory, value or perspective but rather allow the students to reveal their own methods of approaching these basic structures of drawing and painting. By and large, she found that children develop their own sense of these methods on their own and the results have been very powerful.

When she saw the Emotional Learning Cards – part of the Mobile Library Collection – she felt she had again learned something new about teaching. Despite 60 years as an artist and 45 years of art teaching, she still seeks new ways to approach art education and method.

One workshop participant, Sayar Sam Kat, teaches at a monastery that works with disabled children and young people from conflict zones and IDP camps in the country. He mentioned that much of his students artwork conveys obviously deep emotional trauma or questions, but he does not know how to approach the children or help them to explain their drawings. Cho Cho Aung’s suggested documenting the work and/or hosting an exhibition to better understand what the children are experiencing through expression.

Tomorrow, Cho Cho Aung will return for a second day of teacher workshops.

Mobile Library is sponsored by Foundation for the Arts Initiative and Mr. and Mrs. Serge Pun.

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