Learning to See LessonPaper SculptureInspired by BiJian Fan

Students can see how BiJian elevates the art-form often related to child play with the sensibility of a zen master and the execution of a scientist.  By cutting, folding, and curling, they transform flat rectangles into beautiful sculptural planes of light and shadow. Some evoke the feeling of a playground or sophisticated public sculpture, leading to discussion about the materials needed to fabricate a monumental sculpture.

The LTS Teaching Artist uses a flashlight to cast moving shadows over the paper sculptures to mimic a rising and setting sun.  This literally illuminates the integral aspect of shadows to a sculpture for the student. In learning about BiJian’s path as a brilliant ‘dragon child’ in Communist China, achievement of a PhD in engineering and desire to be an artist, students learn that no one is immune to parental and societal pressures.  The found freedom and joy that BiJian brings to his art supports students in pursuing theirs.