CyberFair Project ID: 7057

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: The Amiable Art
Category: 8. Local Music and Art Forms

School: Taipei Municipal Da-Zhi Junior High School
    Taipei City, none, Taiwan (R.O.C.)

9 students, ages 13-15 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 12, 2012. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2006

Classes and Teachers: Huang Yi-Ting, Liang Shu-Ming, Lai Xin-Quan, Chen Hong-Hui, Zhang,You-Mei.

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

The local community in this project refers to the areas along the Taipei metro system where public art installations can be found, namely, where art is located. Emphasizing the features of a convenient traffic network and a rich culture of Taipei, we intend to ask: while the metro system has been an indispensable part of commuters’ life in Taipei, how will most walking-by passengers appreciate the artworks? Under the influence of public art, we hope that every commuter and tourist can slow down their paces to notice and to appreciate public art installations during either their busy days or their trips, sharing artists’ passion, and experiencing the charm of rural areas and beauty of the city.

2. Summary of Our Project

Our passion for public art installations drove us to search and study the meaning of public art at first. Then, we interviewed some of the artists who designed these public art installations to learn more about how they perceive their public art and how they use their artworks to emphasize the feature of their local community. Furthermore, since public art is a venue of interactions between artists, communities and the public, therefore, we examined whether the public’s perceptions of public art installations matched with artists’ perceptions by way of a questionnaire survey. Our point is that a successful public art installation should be easily understood by the public in the community, able to display the implications of site specificity, creatively engaging a community's sense of 'place' or 'well-being' in society, and able to attract community involvement. We found that if a public art installation is too abstract, it is more far away to be understood and appreciated by the public.

3. Our Computer and Internet Access

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:more than 50%

B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:1

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:more than 6

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

1. Joining this project and taking school loading at the same time is like burning the candle at both sides. Our former team member Liu considered this project was too time-consuming. She believed that she needed more time to focus on her school assignments and decided to drop out from the project. We recruited one member luckily. 2. Our team leader was suffering from a flu and fever for several days before the new semester started. Because other team members did not know very well about our timetable, when she finally returned, we were seriously behind our schedule! 3. Because of our lack of prior experience, to interview these famous practitioners of public art was a big challenge to us. We prepared questions first and learned the techniques of probing to solve the problem. In our interview with the so-called “the mother of public art” Ms. Lai, C.C., she offered us some very incisive suggestions, from which we have learned very much and by which we were encouraged to pursue the perfection of this project. 4. Before the deadline of completing our website, we were told by our supervisors that it would be better if all photos used on the website were taken on our own. Therefore, our team member Huang had to visit several metro stations to photograph the public art installations. In pursuit of the best quality, Huang stayed late at the stations and did not arrive home until 10:30pm that night. His family almost reported to the police due to his unexpected late returning home.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

Presenting different colors and angles in an individual’s eyes, this is art! We outlined a tour map in an interesting way to introduce the community where to find these public art installations along the metro system, how to appreciate them, and how the public think of them. We learned from the interviews with the artists that, no matter what we choose, the most important thing is to do what we really want to do. Only “impulse” can lead to passion. From talks with them, we have learned to change our mentality, overcoming our fear, trying to talk to strangers and learning effective communication skills in language or in art. We sincerely thank everyone who has cared for us, helped us and provided us with their valuable ideas. It is our great pleasure to know you! From the participation, we have realized that “communication” is the most important ability. Communicating effectively in a website is more important than any fascinate design.

6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?

In the 7th grade, we took a course regarding “public art,” during which our teacher toured us to Sung-Shan Airport Station to visit some public art installations. We have learned very much from this course. Therefore, we chose “public art” as our subject this time for the project, by which we have enlarged our knowledge about public art furthermore.

On the website, some of our favorite public art installations are introduced. The Taipei metro system is the most important public transportation venue in the city. As a result, public art installations should be seen most frequently compared to other installations in the city. We hope that after surfing our website, viewers would also fall in love with public art in the metro system, just like us. After this project, we felt more connected with the community, and also cared more about the development of the community.

Besides, we learned software like Faststone to cut photos, Flash to do animation, Dreamweaver to design the Web pages, Photoimpact to modify photos and website, and so on. We also knew how to use PaintToolSAI or Google documents. These are new skills beyond what we have learned in our computer class. We found that “Do-It-Yourself” in such a project can make learning more interesting and intriguing in our educational system.

Project Elements

1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your CyberFair project?

1.Hard disk video recorders, digital cameras, single lens reflex (SLR) cameras: we use these tools to record the entire interviews so to analyze the data and document the process of interviews, to acquire static visual documentations using digital cameras, to compensate the deficiency of recorded films using a recording device.

2. Telephones and mobile phones: we use these tools to contact associates and artists.

3. Notebooks: we use notebooks to display the electronic questionnaire at metro stations.

4. Personal computers: we use these tools to design the website, upload photos, organize the texts and process visual and audio data.

5. Computer software (PhotoImpact, nEO iMAGING, Faststone, Dreamweaver, Google docs and Flash): we use these computer software to edit documents and references using Google docs; to process photos and to modify the website using PhotoImpact; to design the layouts of the website and to set up the website using Dreamweaver; to adjust the size and frames of pictures using Faststone; to design flash titles using Flash.

6. Internet, file transfer protocol (FTP), network neighborhood: we use these tools to search for and save references, so that team members can edit files and learn about this project using internet at the same time.

7. Graphics tablets and PaintToolSAI: we use these tools to sketch flash animations and illustrations on various webpages.

2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.

We, as 'ambassadors,' contacted the artists through email and interviewed them in person. We introduced our project in the email, and sent to about twenty artists that we would like to interview, but only three artists replied us. One of the three artists even introduced us how he made the river near his house cleaner after the interview. Another artist was very friendly and talkative. He was very glad that we valued public art so much and willing to do a research. He mentioned his observation that most people simply passed by without any notice of the public art, not even knowing who the artist is. The other female artist gave us some useful suggestions, such as comparing different public art installations in the MRT/Railway of different countries.

When we were doing the survey in some of the metro stations, many people were very interested in our project, and answered the questionnaire sincerely. Some people were so impressed that they actively asked their friends who were waiting for the MRT to complete questionnaires for us. We met kind and enthusiastic people luckily, and we also met ignored and indifferent people. For example, some people reclined us with “I-am-busy” excuse but just stood aside waiting for their date to come.

You won’t believe that, the most indifferent persons we met were the managers of the MRT stations. Some of them did not allow us to do the survey at the MRT platform even after we explained the purpose of the project in detail, so that we did the survey outside under the freezing cold rain of Taipei winter.

3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?

A public art installation is a window, through which artists can communicate with viewers. Public art is not simply a piece of work of an artist, but a creation for citizens and communities. Artists use public art installations to initiate a dialogue with the public, to inspire their senses and awareness. Adopting a questionnaire survey, we entered an art conversation with local residents, in order to understand whether local public art installations are successful.

We, as a bridge between the artists and the public, provided viewpoints from the artists to the public and viewpoints from the public to the artists through our Web pages. Through the survey we did, the artists got feedbacks about their public art from the community people. We also helped to convey what the artists tried to present to let the public better understand the meaning and beauty of the public art in their community.

To conduct our survey most efficiently, we have planned many different routes, and thus, we came up with an idea: we should design the best routes for individuals interested in visiting public installations! We have summarized and improved the routes that we are already familiar with, and organized two daytrips along the metro lines for viewers of public art installations. This might be helpful to the tourists from other cities or around the world who are interested in the delicate culture of Taipei.

4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?

Our helpers were the three artists and the persons who assisted us to answer the survey questionnaires.

After finalizing the subject, we started collecting information. We visit various metro stations to gather information about installed public artworks and artists before we designed an invitation card and our questions for interviews. We first interviewed some artists. After drafting our questions for the interviews, we contacted three artists (Zhuang, Gong and Lai) to arrange appointments. Later on we visited each artist in their individual workshop, proposing questions and communicating with them. We also recorded the entire process in order to summarize the data with ease.

We contacted the persons who assisted us to answer the survey questionnaires with random at the Taipei metro stations. We asked permission from the managers of the station first. If he/she allowed, we stayed inside the building to ask passengers or persons walking by to finish the questionnaire after explaining our project purpose to them. If he/she did not allow, we stayed outside the building to do the job.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

After studying the artists’ attitude towards their artworks, we have also learned that, we should consider the audience’s perspective when designing our website. As a result, we tried to think from the viewpoint of users when working on the website, hoping that our website would be easy for the viewers to understand.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 7057)

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