Sunday, December 16, 2007

Little Chicken's Wooly Mammoth

This piece of artwork is framed in the Yilan County Teacher's Center. The grade is not listed, but compared to the work around my Elementary school, I would peg this at the 3-4th grade level.

The captions read as follows, left to right (disputes on my translations welcome).

有小雞雞的長毛象 - "Has Little Chicken's Wooly Mammoth"
沒有小雞雞的長毛象- "Doesn't Have Little Chicken's Wooly Mammoth"
小雞雞-"Little Chicken"
小姐姐-"Little (Big) Sister"

The artist named the boy Chicken, his parts a "Wooly Mammoth", then drew two Wooly Mammoths (one in hat and scarf) with the corresponding parts.

Think of the implications of eternal return in this picture. The existence of a penis on a boy, and the absence of a penis, result in the literal manifestation of a figurative label for the genitalia. This manifestation produces its own binary, "wooly mammoth with a wooly mammoth" and "wooly mammoth without", a division which not only does not answer the sad question on 小雞雞's face, but demands further figurative representation (how do you represent a wooly mammoth's wooly mammoth and the absence of a wooly mammoth's wooly mammoth?).

小姐姐's left-dominant smile and lazy eye paint a picture of contented ignorance. I love 小雞雞's confused look. He seems a little jealous.

1 comment:

Yu-Tzu said...

it's actually 小"妞妞"....妞 (niou3) means "little girl/young chick" in Mandarin...i find the drawing quite interesting in terms of the way the children portraits their prior explorations on the differences of different gender symbols, and am even more amazed that the drawing is framed in the teacher's center!!! you go, I-lan!!