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What's Cool

Japanese Ways of
Having Fun with Art

Part 3

Fun with Art
Fun with Art
Hands-on Art Classes

The Tama Art University, located in Tokyo, holds classes for elementary school kids called Aso-bi-jutsu ("Fun with Art.") Children learn about all kinds of art and craft materials—glass, erasers, and twine—looking at them, handling them, and making things with them. They get to see firsthand how glass changes its appearance depending on the light, and to feel its texture with their hands. At the end of the class, the kids build their own original towers and other objects out of glass and paper clay. The experience of interacting physically with art in this way changes the way you think about art, and may even change the way you look at the world. Children learn to experience things with all five senses. What does something feel like when you touch it? What does it smell like? This helps to make children more aware of the world around them, unlocking their creativity and opening the doors to a lifelong appreciation of art.

(Updated in December 2010)