Academic journal article Literator: Journal of Literary Criticism, comparative linguistics and literary studies

Comparing Imagery in the Greedy Hippo and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon/Beeldvergelyking in Greedy Hippo En Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Academic journal article Literator: Journal of Literary Criticism, comparative linguistics and literary studies

Comparing Imagery in the Greedy Hippo and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon/Beeldvergelyking in Greedy Hippo En Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Article excerpt

This article used as point of departure the Ngano song-story entitled The Greedy Hippo as developed by Christiaan van der Westhuizen and based on the Tambani embroidery project. This animated interpretation of The Greedy Hippo is used to further the aims of interdisciplinary research as stated by the original project by comparing its fantasy imagery with that of the Chinese film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon by director Ang Lee. The analysis of the images in both works of art has been based on Jungian archetypes, with specific reference to the need for an esoteric and imaginative reading of fantasy in the chosen works of art. Reference was made to the dominant role of realism as style in Western art as opposed to the more esoteric, symbolic, and fantasy imagery of the art of other cultures, with emphasis on China. Chinese landscape painting and even poetry has been briefly contextualised with regards to the chosen works of art. Finally, the different characters of both works of art were analysed within the contexts of their symbolic meanings as based on Jungian archetypes, with particular reference to the scenes where the characters are depicted as flying through the air, which were explained within the contexts of Wu Xia martial arts style films.

Beeldvergelyking in Greedy Hippo en Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Hierdie artikel neem as vertrekpunt die Ngfltio-sangstorie getiteld die Greedy Hippo (Die Hebsugtige Seekoei) soos ontwikkel deur Christiaan van der Westhuizen en gebaseer op die Tambani borduurprojek. Die tekenfilm as interpretasie van die Greedy Hippo word aangewend om interdissiplinere navorsing as doelstelling te verwesenlik, deur die fantasiebeelding in hierdie tekenfilm te vergelyk met die in die Sjinese film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Jungiaanse argetipes word gebruik vir die analise van visuele beeide, met spesifieke verwysing na die noodsaaklikheid vir 'n esoteriese en verbeeldingryke interpretasie van die fantasiebeelding in die gekose kunswerke. Daar word na die dominante rol van realisme as stylneiging binne Westerse kuns verwys, in kontras met 'n meer esoteriese, simboliese en selfs fantasie-gerigte beeldgebruik in die kuns van ander kulture, met klem op Sjina. Die landskapkuns en selfs poesie van Sjina word bondig met behekking tot die gekose kunswerke gekontekstualiseer. Ten slotte word die verskillende karakters binne beide kunswerke in samehang met hul simboliese betekenisse en in konteks van Jungiaanse argetipes ontleed. Dit word gedoen met spesifieke verwysing na hul uitbeelding in tonele waar hulle deur die lug sweef, soos verklaar word deur verwysing na die Wu Xm-styl van gevegskunsrolprente.

Introduction and context

In the introduction to the catalogue of the project known as the Transgressions and boundaries of the page the authors (Greyling, Marley & Combrink 2011:5) point out that one of the objectives of this project was to create opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration, and the possibility to select aspects of the project as a spring board for such interdisciplinary research. In comparing two disparate art works, one from the Transgressions and boundaries of the page project, the other being the internationally renowned film, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon by Chinese director Ang Lee, the identification of a number of common denominators pointed to challenging research.

In both cases the methods of storytelling depend on figures flying through space, as can be seen in the first example, taken from the animated version of the story of The Greedy Hippo. This animation by Christiaan van der Westhuizen (2010) is based on the Tambani embroidery project (Greyling, Marley & Combrink; Tambani 2010) and makes use of the original concept as told by the Venda women of the Limpopo Province. It may seem that any of numerous other texts, involving moving images were possibilities for this research. These would include feature films ranging from superheroes such as Superman, Spiderman and Hulk to other animated characters such as Bart Simpson, Dragon Ball Z, or even those by the Disney studios. …

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