Chinese Cultural Workshops

The Confucius Institute’s culture and art workshops give students a hands-on experience of China’s traditional skills, while developing their understanding of Chinese history and culture.

Workshops are generally suitable for events, libraries, schools, and some workshops are suitable for corporate team building. Workshop levels are adjusted to accommodate for age requirements.

Book a workshop

Standard workshops

Standard workshops are run during business hours on weekdays for $5.50 per participant for school bookings and $6 per participant for councils, libraries and adult professional development. Booking enquiries can be made via the online form.

  • Tai chi

    Learn the history and origins of Tai Chi, including some interesting stories of Chinese Tai Chi masters. Some simple movements and techniques will be taught in this workshop, and Chinese style silk costumes may be worn by participants if they wish to do so.

    Tai Chi is known for its many benefits contributing to a strong sense of health and wellbeing. It is a calming activity that is best practiced on a routine basis. Tai Chi workshops can be delivered as a one off, or as a series of workshops over several weeks with skills and techniques building on previous lessons.

    Suitable for all age groups

  • Chinese Shuttlecock (jianzi)

    Learn how to play with a Chinese hacky-sack! This favourite pastime of children and university students in China is a fun, energetic and engaging activity. Participants will get the opportunity to play with the Jianzi individually and as a group.

    Suitable for all age groups

  • Chinese knotting

    This workshop is an introduction to the skill of knotting using simple materials such as coloured string and a basic pattern of traditional Chinese knotting. Participants will get to refine their skill as they go and will produce their own decorative bracelet.

    Suitable for Year 4 - 12

  • Chinese paper cutting

    Learn one of China’s most popular folk arts – paper cutting. This time honoured hobby can be an intricate piece of art, or a simple design created using only paper as the material and scissors as the tool to practice this art. In Chinese culture paper-cutting symbolises the idea of blessedness, luck and fortune. Most Chinese families use them as window decorations and patterns for decorative purposes. They may be used as decorative window or wall displays, and greeting cards.

    Suitable for all age groups

  • Chinese calligraphy

    The Calligraphy workshop introduces the origin and techniques of Chinese calligraphy. Participants will learn correct posture and brush technique, such as how to hold and use the brush, and the different writing styles. Participants will also learn about the history of Chinese characters and how they have progressed over thousands of years from simple pictographs to the simplified characters used in mainland China today. Chinese calligraphy is done with a brush dipped in black ink or Chinese coloured pigments, resulting in artistic, stylised and very individual pieces of art that may be used as decorative displays.

    Suitable for all age groups

  • Chinese painting

    Learn one of the oldest continuous artistic traditions in the world – Chinese watercolour painting! Chinese painting has developed continuously over a period of more than six thousand years.  Its growth has inevitably reflected the changes of time and social conditions.  This workshop introduces the traditional art of Chinese watercolour painting and results in beautiful pieces of art. Traditional painting involves many of the same techniques as calligraphy, and the subject matter being natural objects such as plants and flowers, fruits, fish, animals and birds, as well as landscapes. Participants will walk away with their own piece of artwork.

    Suitable for all age groups

  • Chinese opera mask painting

    Peking Opera is a classical Chinese vocal performance accompanied by miming, dance and acrobatics. Performers wear colourful, symbolic face paint to demonstrate the emotions of characters portrayed. This workshop introduces participants to the history of Chinese Opera, in addition to the meaning behind the shapes and colours depicted on the opera masks. Time permitting, participants will be encouraged to role-play after they have painted their own masks.

    Suitable for years 4-12

  • Chinese fan painting

    There are many kinds of fans in ancient China and these fans can be decorated on both sides with paintings, poems or calligraphy. This workshop introduces the history of Chinese fans, as well as the special purposes of the different types of fans. Students have the opportunity to decorate the paddle fan with a calligraphy brush, applying Chinese painting techniques. Each participant will take home a paddle fan with a unique design!

    Suitable for years 4-12

Specialised workshops

Specialised workshops are only available upon request and prices vary based on individual requests.
Please contact Emily Lee for quotes and availability.

  • Chinese music

    A general introduction to Chinese traditional music instruments, especially Chinese zithers, will be given to students after a demonstration of some pieces of traditional Chinese zither music. Opportunities will be provided to students to play some simple pieces of music on the Chinese ocharina.

    Suitable for years 4-12

  • Chinese cooking - dumplings

    Dumplings are a favourite staple in Chinese cuisine. This workshop introduces Chinese dumplings to the participants, including some background information such as the different styles of dumplings, cooking methods, regional variances and the art of preparing them by hand. Participants will have the opportunity to get hands on and make their own dumplings, cook them and enjoy eating them as a tasty treat at the end of the workshop.

    Suitable for year 7-12

    Workshop depends on access to suitable facilities to be provided by the host and some preparation work.

  • Chinese language, history and culture lectures

    The Confucius Institute at the University of Adelaide has access to leading global experts on historical and contemporary Chinese society and culture, and Chinese language. This workshop is tailored according to individual requirements, and the lecture will be presented to introduce the background of a specified topic using real life stories and case studies, videos, and pictures.

    Suitable for all age groups

  • School Holiday Workshops - Children’s University Australasia

    school holiday workshops

    Children’s University Australasia (CUA) is hosted and administered by The University of Adelaide at its North Terrace Campus. CUA provides extra-curricular learning opportunities for children aged between 7-14 years (and 5-6 year olds with their families) and volunteer opportunities for 15-18 year olds; the aim being to engage children and young people in learning in its broadest sense and to provide the scaffolding for them to develop self-efficacy, confidence and aspirations.

    These school holidays, the Confucius Institute at the University of Adelaide will be hosting two FREE school holiday workshops validated by CUA . The workshop are designed for children aged 7-12 years old, in a class size of 10-30 students. This is a great opportunity to be introduced to a broad overview of Chinese paper cutting and Calligrpahy in an encouraging and fun atmosphere.

    Monday 3 October, 10.30AM – 11.20AM Paper Cutting
    Monday 10 October, 10.30AM – 11.20AM Calligraphy

    Confucius Institute
    Level 4 Kenneth Wills Building
    The University of Adelaide

    Registration Form

    Further Information:
    To learn more about the Children’s University Australasia program, click here.