Miniatures by Chengyang Liu

Miniatures by Chengyang Liu

Some original creations and a few inspired by Mindcraft.
This collection of twenty or more tiny clay and paper sculptures were all constructed by Cheng.

If you visit the MYP art room D109 and explore with a curious approach, you might just stumble upon a hidden treasure. Currently the MYP3B class is looking at Found Object as an art form for exploration. Their tools and materials have included random objects found on the streets of Pune. The discussions we have lead us in a multitude of directions.

It was on a Wednesday afternoon, just after the last bell rang, and my path took me back into the art room only this time I was visiting the Painting CCA supervised by Miss Meeta. It is here that Cheng realizes an increased opportunity to develop his ideas for resolve. Quickly I noticed Cheng quietly working all by himself in the far corner. He wasn’t talking or looking at anything other than his piece of paper and it was obvious his focus was on his creative efforts. I observed Cheng for a moment and then responded by pointing out the difference between work habits that I see in the MYP3 art class and the Painting CCA. Cheng and I laughed and talked a little more about his interests in art and he shared his painting.

A few days later Cheng was the first to enter the art room and almost simultaneously he called out, “Hey Mr. Joseph, do you want to see what I brought into school today?” He pulled out little match box cases that were all glued together like a chest of drawers. I glanced over in his direction and replied, “Oh that’s nice Cheng, what are you doing with this?” As I was responding Cheng was opening. He pulled out the tiniest little delicate paper and clay sculptures that looked like they may break with the slightest pressure.  I wanted to touch but I was afraid of breaking his amazing work.

The dragon is ready for the creative author to write his story.

My eyes hurt just trying to squint hard enough to see all the detail that he worked hard to complete. My mind raced as I formed a list a question I wanted answers to. “Where did you do this? Who showed you how to fold paper so neatly? Did you use tweezers or a magnifying glass? Have you shown these to any of your other teachers? Why haven’t you added this work to your process journal?” I asked several additional questions, and ended with just one request, “Cheng will you please bring this work back tomorrow so I can take photographs with my special Macro lens? I want to capture what you have done?”

Occasionally a parent comes to me and shares their child’s experiences or hobbies related to the visual arts and it surprises me to learn of talents hidden within the creative minds of our students here at MBIS. It gives me goosebumps when I learn of a small piece of information that goes beyond the expectations of the classroom. These tiny little sculptures used for play, presentation, inspiration, or just plain enjoyment is what art is all about. Cheng manages to put his assignments aside and do what he enjoys and that is to CREATE.

This is a tiny thumbnail sketch complete with real fruit; a cornucopia, rotting bananas, apples, pears, grapes, green peppers, light and shadow. Last week while most American’s were celebrating Thanksgiving and most expats were experiencing homesickness the MYP visual arts classes worked on still life drawing and developing their skill using graphite on paper. Composition, shading, tinting, hand eye coordination all played a part in the successful studio practice.

If you see Cheng carefully protecting something that might fit in a thimble or contact lens case, you might just be observing a new work of art ready for the spotlight of the world stage. Congratulations Cheng, for surprising all of us here at MBIS and the Arts Team.

By Joseph Coburn


To give you an idea of the size Cheng holds his tiny machine gun made of paper. He can remove the magazine clip and demonstrate how the intricate art works. Cheng isn’t finished with his presentation yet! Inside his little match box cases he reveals a tiny red box and inside is his collection of 6 tiny paper bullets that might be loaded into the magazine clip.


This found object was collected for the possible inclusion and design of an original sculpture.



This collage was created by cutting and pasting images found on the internet and from within discarded magazines. The visual image is Cheng’s attempts show how he develops ideas for the production of art.




The possibilities are endless when you put your creative mind to work. I can see this arrangement on the front cover of a games magazine or a Discovering Young Artist Series.





Colour wheels are always useful when considering colour interaction. Cheng uses this tool to plan and organize his sculpture in the most attractive manner. Cool Colours, Warm Colours, Complementary, or Triadic choices for expression go deep when considering options.




Cheng included The Lobtser Telephone by Salvador Dali as a way to cement criteria A. Knowing and Understanding. The challenging part is discovering and understanding this found objects place in art history.


Drawing from observation helps to document skill and technique but best of all it showcases our expressions and commands