A Material Transformation

Drawing activity suitable for all ages.

Brian Jungen

Prototype for New Understanding #6

Brian Jungen, Prototype for New Understanding #6

Brian Jungen, Prototype for New Understanding #6, 1999. Nike Air Jordan shoes, white painted metal armature. Purchased with financial support of the Canadian Council for the Arts Acquisition Assistance program and with the assistance of the E. Wallace Fund, 2001. © Brian Jungen. 2000/103.


Making a Transformed Object

Brian Jungen (born in 1970) is internationally renowned for his sculptures and installations made from repurposed consumer goods. An artist of mixed European and Indigenous heritage, he creates work that engages with Indigenous materials and traditions as well as pop culture and Western art history.

In 2019, the AGO exhibited more than 80 of Jungen's most striking works, including new headdresses and masks from his series Prototype for New Understandings, one of which is represented here. They are made from Nike Air Jordan sneakers.

Here's how to design (or colour) your transformed object!

Jungen transformed sneakers to resemble Northwest Coast masks and Plains Indian headdresses for a series of sculptures called Prototypes for New Understandings (1998-2005). "My work is largely about transforming things, but these sneakers also speak about where I come from. Nike Air Jordan’s are popular among Indigenous youth," Jungen says.

What is popular among your friends? A brand, a logo, a toy, video game or book series? What reminds you of your personal heritage? Traditional clothing, objects or symbols? How would you transform and combine these things to create something entirely new?

Design (or colour) your transformed object

  1. If you have access to a printer, print the activity card and fill it with your transformed objects, ideas and drawings.

  2. If you do not have access to a printer, transform your own objects using pen, pencil and a blank piece of paper.

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