Teaching Materials - Exercise

Me in the scanner

Name of Artist Educator: Li Hiu Wa
Excercise Category: Class Prelude

Taking photographs with camera is merely the first step to obtain an image. However it is not the end. The post processing of image is also significant.

Concept / Inspiration:

Taking photographs with camera is merely the first step to obtain an image. However it is not the end. The post processing of image is also significant.

Camera is not the only way to produce image. People could also make use of printer and the printing process is actually not difficult. It is never necessary to use expensive materials or high technologies for artwork making. Students could start making use of the simple tools around them. Taking photographs with camera is merely the first step to obtain an image. However it is not the end. The post processing of image is also significant. Different ways of image processing could deliver the message.


  1. To let students try creating by scanners.
  2. To learn cropping as a way of image processing.

Materials / Equipment:

  • Scanners with printing functions
  • Plastic wrap
  • Newspaper
  • Scissors or cutter
  • A4 sized paper



Workshop Description:

Part One│ Playing with printer (1 hour)

  1. Wrap the sensor plate of scanner with plastic wrap.
  2. Students put their face on the sensor plate and stay still for scanning for the first time.
  3. For the second time, students put their face on the sensor plate and move their head along with the movement of the light in order to obtain different effects.

Note 1: Eye should be closed at all time when scanning in order to avoid the direct contact with the strong light.
Note 2:  Printing takes time. Be aware of time management.

Part Two│Viewfinder  (30 minutes)

  1. Students find some interesting pictures from the newspaper and cut it out.
  2. Students will be given a piece of white paper and asked to cut a big hole from it. Students should decide the size of the holes with reference to chosen clip. That piece of paper will later become the viewfinder. 【Image 1】
  3. Place the viewfinder on the newspaper clips that the students have chosen as if framing the image.
  4. Scan the image. Enlarge it and print it off. Juxtapose the scanned image with the original picture. 【Image 2】

【Image 1】
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【Image 2】(Left: Before enlargement, Right: After enlargement)
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Note 1: Encourage students to use different printing materials, i.e. tissue paper, different paper of different textures.
Note 2: The enlarging functions of scanners may vary in the area for enlargement or the maximum size of enlargement. Instructor should try it and understand it carefully beforehand.

Expected Outcome:

Part One “Playing with printer”
As this is not a usual way of using scanner, this exercise allows instructors to know a bit more about the students. For example, if any one of them is brave enough to try? The face of the students may be twisted after the special scanning procedures, would any one of them is embarrassed about it or just happy with it?

Actual Outcome:

During class:
The instructor is demonstrating the way to have a clear image by attaching his head fully onto the scanning plate.
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The artwork by student, LI CHE HIM. He tried to use the image processing method from exercise“Viewfinder”.
He used empty space to frame the people from the environment in order to control the focus of the audience. Also, by reviewing his own art piece, he realized that he dared not to look at his subjects closely when he was taking photos of people.


The suppressed faces:
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Student Feedback:

Part Two“Viewfinder”:
Student mentioned that he had some experiences on enlarging images. He used phone to take pictures of the stars from the sky. However, the light of the stars was not strong enough, he could only enlarge the stars until the point that the stars ended up an obscure dot. The instructor reckoned that the student have started to understand the ideas of different perspectives in viewing an object. Stars are often comprehended as a pentagon. However, star could also be an obscure dot in this student’s explanation.

“So enlargement could also be treated as art techniques!” one of the student said. Students started to realise that the trivial action could also be seen as a way for creating art.

Reference Materials:

Xavier Solé’s works﹕

PIC FROM MERCURY PRESS (PICTURED: Artist Xavier Sole Mora, 32, who lives in South East London has created an online gallery of people who have put their faces in a scanner) An artist has created horrifying yet hilarious images of human faces using only a scanner. Xavier SolÈ Mora decided to scan his own face when he was bored on a rainy Sunday afternoon. The artistís friends and family soon wanted to get involved and his online gallery, Scanfaces, now has 41 images and counting. SEE MERCURY COPY *STORY AND ASSOCIATED PHOTOS/VIDEO STRICTLY UK USE ONLY*

Ivy Ma’s works﹕
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