< Prior Page   
    Next Page >   
Batari School, Indonesia. Mr. Huang 4th Grade Math Class
in Medan, Northern Sumatra, Indonesia
June, 2013

These kids' tessellations are by Ms. Widya Huang's Batari School 4th Grade math class students. That's MISS Huang, NOT MISTER, buster!
I think this may be the first school gallery from a school outside America. Yay! Keep'em coming, please!
Students used the paper cut method shown on

Click on any Polaroid™ picture below to see a large version of it on a separate page.

Much of the beautiful symmetry art on this page is... and is not... tessellations. As abstract shapes, they tessellate: they cover a flat area without gaps or overlaps, like bricks do. If we think of them slightly differently, many of these "tessellations" don't tessellate.

"Without gaps or overlaps" is the key phrase. These are beautiful symmetry art-- but they stopped being tessellation, except as abstract tessellations, the moment they became faces. After the children drew in the faces ... then this art ceased to be tessellation. Why? Because at the bottom of the faces, we see unexplained stuff where chins or bodies should be. We can easily imagine that these people and rabbits and dogs are lined up and overlapping, with their bodies hidden behind the overlapping people and rabbits in front. In one case, plants clearly overlap fish.

Art rules are weird, huh. I guess that's why so many great artists like Picasso and the Dadaists love to break rules.

We could also say that the "face & head" art like "Funny Mimics", above, is...and isn't... tessellation: A happy face implies that there is a happy body attached to it, right? So, where are the bodies? Are the bodies hidden behind other heads, like the audience at a movie? That's overlapping... and overlapping isn't in tessellation. We're used to seeing heads without bodies, though... in Roman sculptures and portrait photography, for example.

It's all a bit tricky and subjective, isn't it.