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Now many years later I'm working at an international school in Hong
Kong, teaching my students about his work. Part of our high school
curriculum includes a required class entitled Fine Arts Survey. It
is an interdisciplinary art, music and drama class and it is in this
context that all the students come to consider the work of Christo. I
would describe them all as sceptical at first but we have won many
over by the end of the class. It always amazes me how many of the
students may have seen or already come into contact with Christo's
work without ever quite realizing it. These days the students bring
in any articles they find about Christo's projects, as they know I'll
always be interested!
Teaching about Christo's work is challenging and great fun. Seeing
kids shift in their attitudes as they come to understand and
appreciate his work, is a joy. One of the best resources I have is
the video "Islands" that documents three Christo projects, the
beginnings of the Pont Neuf Wrapped and the Wrapped Reichstag and
the Surrounded Islands in Miami from approval to completion. What is
great about the video is that most doubts and questions that students
might have are addressed and answered in Christos own words.
Midnight June 30 1997 brings with it a momentous occasion in world
and Hong Kong history as the Brittish government handover Hong Kong
to the Peoples Republic of China. My school is planning a special
week long program to particularly address this historic event. As
the art teacher, I am tentatively planning a Christo inspired
installation to take place on campus during our special focus week.
It will be interesting to see what the kids come up with. So thank you
to those who raised this topic. Is there anyone else out there who
does Christo inspired work with their students or any ideas for me?