Soong Ching Ling International Kindergarten is a Chinese school that has taken part in The Big Draw for a few years running. We wanted welcome them into the fold of our new Sponsor-Partners, ask them a little bit about themselves and their mission, touching on their history, their humanitarian efforts, and more!
BD: Can you tell us a little bit about Soong Ching Ling’s history, and perhaps give a brief biography of your inspiring, eponymous founder for those that aren’t aware of her!
SCLIK: Our Kindergarten is located in the High-tech zone of Chengdu and has been operational for six years now. It is named after the iconic figure Madam Soong Ching Ling who married Dr Sun Yat-sen, a forerunner of the Chinese revolution and the founder of the Republic of China (1912-1949). She was elected the Vice-President and honorary president of the People's Republic of China for her great contributions made to the Chinese revolution. She is also known as the mother of China as she was passionate about improving conditions for women and children. Her phrase “Do everything for the sake of the child” is our school motto.
BD: You have students from all over the world coming to study at the Kindergarten. How do the ideas of drawing and visual literacy tie in to a curriculum which is aimed specifically at international students, and how will you be linking these to your Big Draw Festival event in 2017?
SCLIK: While our students are actually predominantly Chinese we are dedicated, through IPC, to delivering a curriculum which develops international mindedness as well as respects local culture.
BD: The event you put on last year as your first and you went all out with a great event that took place in Guang Dong Hall in Sino-Ocean Tai Koo Li Chengdu. Can you outline for us a little about how it all went and the message from some of the speakers that attended?
SCLIK: We have been fortunate to run our Big Draw Festival in both 2016 and 2017 at the prestigious heritage sites of the Guang Dong Hall and the Temple House Hotel Tai Koo Li area, both of which are part of the Sino British Swire group and the architecture of which is a fusion between western and Chinese styles. Running drawing and mixed media workshops at such sites definitely develops a deeper understanding of the unique visual environment we are living in and brings a diverse community of people together. Guest Speakers Kevin Dennis from DIT (former UKTI) and Chen Bing from the British Council Chong Ching as well as prominent local artist Master Gao really helped bring the message out that we are very excited and dedicated to growing cross cultural experiences and cultural exchange in Chengdu.
BD: In the United Kingdom, The Big Draw stresses the importance of adjusting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) to STEAM in the curriculum by the addition of an ‘A’ for art, ensuring creativity is not neglected. Obviously it’s impossible to generalize across a part of the world as big as China, but what is your impressions of the importance of art in Chinese curriculums at the moment?
SCLIK: Education in China is at an interesting cross roads. This year the Education Bureau announced that there is to be a stronger emphasis on encouraging creativity in education. This is not only a focus on art education, it also extends to developing creative problem solvers in all subjects.
BD: Are there any benefits of taking part in The Big Draw Festival that you think potentially interested Big Draw Festival organizers should know about?
SCLIK: The not for profit focus of the event is important to us. It has brought together groups of people and organizations for reasons beyond commercial gain. Shell Arts Studio and Urban Hybrid Architecture are our partners and this year 10 families from a village destroyed by an earthquake in 2008 will attend our event. This is the first bridging project we have made bringing rural China closer to the urban China we live in.
LOOK OUT for Soong Ching Ling International Kindergarten's #LivingLines17 events on the 18th and 19th of November!
The Big Draw's worldwide impact is made possible by the support of many organisations and individuals who share its vision. Without them and the commitment of hundreds of venues across the globe, our mission would be unachievable. Interested in becoming a festival Sponsor-Partner? Take a look here for some of the benefits.
Find events in the UK HERE or WORLDWIDE HERE. Or search by date HERE.
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We hope you enjoyed our interview with Soong Ching Ling International Kindergarten! If you have been inspired by their insights why not become a part of the world's largest drawing festival in 2017?
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