Father and Mother: Me and My Family c

Father and Mother: Me and My Family c

Duration:

02.2015 – 12.2015
Martino-Katharineum School, Braunschweig, Germany

Photographer:

unknown

Live performance

Teilnehmende Schülerinnen und Schüler:

Alexa Talko, Alicia Beier, Annika Lücke, Cäcilia Nitsch, Elea Grabow, Merle Hirsch, Jenny Wagenschein, Jenny Gölzer, Jessica Heiland, Joana Partsch, Johannes Reimer, Jonas Henn, Katharina Hoffmann, Larissa Förster, Laura Rojczyk, Nadine Dieckhoff, Samira Bredemeier, Sara Haase und Svenja Schüller

As part of the “Father and Mother” project, Yingmei presented her past paintings and carried out several art projects, including a five day long performance installation called “Some pencils, pieces of paper, several chairs and desks”. 


Yingmei attended Hanna Märgner-Beu’s art class every week. Since Yingmei came from a different cultural background, she was also very interested in learning more about art education in Germany. Experiencing their art classes was an essential part of this project for her. To accommodate Yingmei, Hanna designed the theme of her entire semester about parents, including the relationship between parents and children in families from different eras and countries. Hanna assigned various topics to the children, which they would prepare before class and then present in class. In addition, Hanna selected some artworks about parents for the pupils to enjoy. 

Yingmei was frequently invited to give talks to classes to share her artistic journey. Teachers found her life experience, artistic experience, and passion for art to be a positive inspiration for the students.

As part of the final stage of the “Father and Mother” project, Yingmei had one-on-one conversations with children to talk about themselves, their parents, and their families. Both Yingmei and the children enjoyed the process. Through their meetings she learnt about the relationship between children and parents in German families as well as those in divorced families. 

Based on the conversations, Yingmei created 19 oil paintings that related to families and parents. These paintings were displayed in the school and used as part of the teaching content. Teachers and pupils discussed them, and pupils wrote about and explained their understanding of and feelings about the works.

Before working on “Father and Mother”, neither Hanna nor Yingmei could have predicted what would transpire during the project. Family relationships can be a sensitive subject in Europe, but everyone was interested in the topic and there were no obstacles encountered.

Many German children come from divorced families, with some living alone with one parent, while others live in blended families with step-siblings. Despite this, according to Yingmei’s findings, the majority of parents understood the importance of spending quality time with their children. Whether it was a divorced family or a nuclear family, the parents wanted to communicate with their children and give them freedom to make their own decisions.