Small Eyes Looking at a Big World
What children of today see is no doubt completely different from that which existed in ancient times. Because of the different resources, and with modern scientific and technological breakthroughs expanding the visual, drawings by children of the twenty-first century vary greatly from what people of the previous generation imagine in their minds.
Jun Yin Lin (9 years old)
500 years ago, Leonardo da Vinci dissected 35 human bodies and painted human wombs, fetuses, and vascular organs in order to study and understand blood vessels in human organs. This was not the first such creation or discovery of the era; da Vinci even thought of inventing aircraft and magnifying glasses, but ultimately failed to complete these ambitions. Today, X-Rays not only penetrate the organs of the body, but also analyze the genes of species through electron microscopy and computer-aided precision statistics.
Now that human beings go to space, they bring with them cameras, magnifying glass, and microscopes; using this high technology equipment, you can grasp the fleeting images of a moment in time and take extensive pictures from different angles. Using wide angle, we can capture the topography of the Earth's mountains and rivers, and with the Hubble Telescope, even the initial state of the Big Bang of the universe billions of years ago.
Yi Min Lan (10 years old)
Children of today have a strong background in science and technology, and the visual system has gone beyond the limitations of what people of the past could see. They can see what the Ancients could not see. Children can see both more subtly and wider in the world, because of these different visual conditions. Of course, then, children’s drawings today are very different from drawings of centuries ago. Absolutely their drawings differ from ours. So parents must remember this, and understand the big gap and differences between then and now.
In visual education, we must keep pace with the scientific and technological times. We cannot continue describing the scene of a painting or using traditional methods to narrate the story. Children must go beyond the old style of “looking”, using both higher altitude to see the "macro" of the universe and a closeup view to see the finest of the microscopic world.
Therefore, in the new era, we need to develop the vision of the new generation of children. The direction of visual education should go beyond the traditional description, and transcend it, possibly reaching higher and further. The magical visual field of macro and microscopic mysteries is a natural resource, an advantage for this generation’s children.
Art education certainly cannot sit idly on this huge asset. Even more so, parents should not be stuck in their old ways and cannot remain ignorant of the differences of the times and between generations.
The aesthetic symbols of nature are omnipresent from aerial view: clouds, mountains, currents, animal patterns, and plant varieties. Shapes and colors exist silently on this Earth, just waiting for us to discover them. Untrained eyes will take a quick glance and will be unable to see the profound and subtle, but through the observation of Fine arts, will fully develop the ability to see. Through such development, we can see all points, lines, and planes of the earth; and even small children would be able to interpret such a rich and profound form of enlightenment.
Examples use the scene of Earth as reference, so that children can draw a simplified version from the complex image. We can tell they interpreted the image for themselves and replicated it. They can even master very high-level compositions, with each picture in itself wonderful.