Aunty Pengu’s School of Fine Farts



The business about serious education, I realise, is thoroughly flawed.


It is a serious business of denying the playfulness of a child and the teacher.


The serious inquiries of education also have become too serious, and the point of it all, the joy of learning, is alas, increasingly absent – erased.


And we wonder why it is that our children and our teachers, our schools are burnout.


Fizzled. Anxious. We find ourselves as a community of practice in high performance gear, as if life is a continuous assessment and performance. Or we uncannily live a message to children that a person is simply a proxy – a measure of excellence and character, and in whom vulnerability has no place. In whom, silliness and irrelevance are simply – silly and irrelevant.


I am making a series of Aunty Pengu’s School of Fine Farts postcards to remind ourselves that we need to poke fun at ourselves. In the seriousness of life, we critically need to have perspective – a little bit of nuttiness, which perhaps is the grace of balance that we all seek. So as to release the tension of living life so terrifyingly precise, controlled and unerringly, with all the high pressure of action and contemplation, we introduce – a little bit of nonplussed fuzziness. And unpredictable – errors, and discoveries!


Aunty Pengu is about fun and laughter, and being gregarious, amidst the turbulence of the discovery of life. Life isn’t about control and suppression; life is about flow. The turns and flips, and revolutions of energy in the learning, in the being, in the presencing, in the arising, in the receding, in the disappearance, in the none, in the one, in the appearing again, in renewed strength and courage – the elusive enigma of what we know as the throes and the joy of life.


Childhood isn’t about sitting in a classroom or the dining table being a model miniature adult.


Meetings in Aunty Pengu’s School of Fine Farts are about the delicious uncontrollable, such as a fart, in good, virtuous company. Such is the true mystery of one’s very human encounter.



Peng-Ean Khoo

April 1, 2018


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