Invited by Principal Zheng Hong 鄭洪 in 2005, Lily Yeh of Barefoot Artists inaugurated the Dandelion School Transformation Project aimed to transform the school environment and as well the emotional state and mindset of the school community.
From 2005 – 2010, Yeh engaged the entire school, from teachers, students, staff members to volunteers, in a co-creative process to convert a dilapidated and sterile campus into a place filled with color, buoyancy and joy through mural painting, mosaic making, and the reshaping of the campus environment.
While carrying out major public art projects on campus, Lily Yeh launched a series of innovative and transdisciplinary educational programs that imparted knowledge and encouraged creativity, team collaboration, hands-on exploration, and public presentation skills.
The statement from Principal Zheng Hong 鄭洪 in 2010 at the conclusion of the project reflects its impact.
“During these five years, Professor Yeh walked into the hearts of the Dandelion migrant students who were struggling to grow up amidst the ever challenging situation they found themselves in. She understood and thoroughly respected the enormous potential contained within each one of our student. We affectionately call our students little dandelions, who are drifting in the turbulent wind of our time . . . Using art, Yeh comforted and healed the deep wounds hidden in the youngsters. Through bright and alluring colors, she awakened students’ curiosity and encouraged them to imagine and create with abandon. The depth of meaning and innovation in her programs provided nourishment for our students and aspirations for our school.”
“Lily Yeh clearly expressed her intention in promoting social justice by choosing to work in and with our neglected migrant community”
“Her innovative program “Mapping one’s personal journey” provided a platform through which students could tell their stories through visual images and words. The act of remembering and honoring their experiences helped students to heal and gain confidence.”
– Zheng Hong 鄭洪