Due to its neighborhood’s rapid development, The Dandelion School had to move to its new campus in late 2018. Through their years of hard work and generous donations from supporters, the new campus looks modern and grand. Teachers welcome the change while students dearly miss the heart-warming environment of the old campus with its rainbow-decorated building, tree of life murals, glistening mosaics, and undulating wall.
Witnessing the students feeling alienated from the new environment, principal Zheng Hong invited Lily Yeh of Barefoot Artists to return so to work with the school community to create public art that would be soulful, heart-felt, and connecting to the earth energy.
The new campus of Dandelion School
The colorful windows studded stairway facade
Envisioning workshops at Dandelion, fall 2019
Engaging the whole school community, Yeh led a series of workshops for teachers, students, and staff to offer ideas and designs to enliven their new campus with vibrancy and colors. All participants aspire that the emerging public art would preserve Dandelion’s artistic tradition and express school’s culture in diligence in learning, pursuit of truth, and being with gratitude.
New Dandelion Murals – “Preserving and Inventing”
The new public art at its entrance area expresses our effort to preserve the artistic tradition and the value of Dandelion in its new environment.
The Dandelion Tree of Life Mural in the old campus
The mosaic Dandelion Tree of Life in the new campus. The motto on the right, “Teach, time and again, students to search for truth; Learn with determination to be an authentic person,” by educator Tao XingZhi (陶行知)
The Installation Process
Inventing a new mural, to deep root Dandelion school community in traditional Chinese and its folk art culture in a new artistic expression.
Responding to images of sky-reaching vines (an example, Jack and the bean stalk) emerged from her workshops, Lily Yeh created the Fu Sang and Dandelion Forest mural 扶桑蒲公英丛林图. Fu Sang is the mythic thousands-year old tree of life that once hosted ten suns in its powerful branches. The dandelion forest reflects the desire of the school community in seeing the proliferation of the humble but wholesome and tenacious students succeeding wherever they land in life.
The Fusang Tree of Life
Ah, in April you come,
Your creativity brought forth the blossoming of trees,
Alighted the imagination in all of us,
and the gentle chirping of swallows —
Ah, this Fusang mural, the embodiment of love, warmth, and hope,
It is the forever April in our lives.
– a composite poem by teachers to Yeh and the mural