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A journey through Asian art


Students will have the opportunity to research the traditions of ‘history’ painting and analyse how European artists also became instruments of the prevailing political regimes to record historical events in the terms of the victorious; the untrained Chinese artists continued this tradition with large-scale, stylised, heroic figures representing the ‘ideal’ worker, warrior or leader.

Students could identify how Shen Jaiwei has used the tenets of epic Chinese history painting, such as scale, perspective, symbolic colour and smooth surface (red, bright and smooth) in his art works and investigate the reasons why the Communist regime didn’t want artists to follow their individualistic style.

Learning Area: The Arts

Subject: Visual Arts

Year levels: 7-8, 9-10

Content descriptions

Years 7-8

  • Analyse how artists use visual conventions in artworks (ACAVAR123)
  • Identify and connect specific features and purposes of visual artworks from contemporary and past times to explore viewpoints and enrich their art-making, starting with Australian artworks including those of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples (ACAVAR124)

Years 9-10

  • Evaluate how representations communicate artistic intentions in artworks they make and view to inform their future art making (ACAVAR130)
  • Analyse a range of visual artworks from contemporary and past times to explore differing viewpoints and enrich their visual art-making, starting with Australian artworks, including those of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, and consider international artworks (ACAVAR131)


Years 7-8

  • critically analysing an artist’s intention for an artwork and their use of visual conventions
  • respecting cultural practices and sensitivities as they research, analyse and examine the way an artist’s cultural experiences have influenced the representation of their artworks (ACAVAR124)

Years 9-10

  • investigating the practices, techniques and viewpoints of artists from different cultural groups and their use of persuasive, communicative or expressive representation
  • identifying how visual arts professionals embed their values and beliefs, and how audiences react and interpret the meaning and intent of their artworks differently (ACAVAR131)

Cross curriculum priority: Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia

OI.3 The peoples and countries of Asia have contributed and continue to contribute to world history and human endeavour

OI.4 The arts and literature of Asia influence aesthetic and creative pursuits within Australia, the region and globally.

General capabilities

Literacy: Comprehending texts through listening, reading and viewing

Critical and creative thinking: Inquiring – identifying, exploring and organising information and ideas; Analysing, synthesising and evaluating reasoning and procedures

Personal and social capability: Social awareness – appreciating diverse perspectives

Intercultural understanding: Recognising culture and developing respect


The Australian Curriculum alignment statement is based on the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) materials which are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Australia (CC BY NC SA) licence.

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