Here is their 'take' on Huang Yong Ping's wonderful 'Leviathanation' shown in Tang Galleries in Beijing last April. They had looked at it without any background information last lesson, and then read two brief reviews today:
"The fish is like the engine of a bullet train, pulling the people of China behind it."
"The fish is a monstrous 'Leviathan' (they all got the Jonah and the Whale reference after I suggested they think biblically) and represents Chairman Mao as a powerful ruler"
"All the little taxidermied animals represent less powerful people who attach themselves to those who have power"
"Fish in China represent good fortune and prosperity so this is China becoming more wealthy and powerful, moving into the future"
I found their thought processes fascinating, as were their attempts to put these thoughts into interesting descriptive and analytical language, which we wrote up immediately on the interactive whiteboard, with lots of collaboration and instant critique and feedback.
As so often happens, I found my own ideas about the work were challenged and extended by their interpretations and insights - what a great way to earn a living!
|Huang Yong Ping, Leviathanation, 2011, Tang Galleries Beijing|