spunktitud3

Musings on Travel, Fashion & Fun

Chinese School Lessons: The Day I went back to School

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Chinese School Lessons by Green Zeng

Me and artist/Filmmaker Green Zeng
When I heard the gallery will be converted into a temporary classroom, I couldn’t pass up the chance to come as a schoolgirl and be part of the exhibits. LOL

In his latest solo show, Singaporean artist & filmmaker Green Zeng continues his examination of the construction and manipulation of history through a series of artworks inspired by Chinese school student activism of pre-and post-Independent Singapore and the educational reforms affecting Chinese schools.

Presenting a series of blackboards covered with silk-screened images of Chinese school uniforms, painted flags and texts in English, Chinese, and Malay, Zeng transforms the gallery into a temporary classroom and invites the viewer to join in a lesson discussing the changes in Chinese education and the struggle to retain one’s cultural and historical roots amidst the building of a new nation.

Chinese School Lessons
Solo exhibition by Green Zeng
27th September to 18th October 2012
Chan Hampe Galleries
Raffles Hotel Shopping Arcade #01-20/21
328 North Bridge Road, Singapore 188719
Tel: +65 6338 1962
Open daily 11:00AM – 7:00PM


About Green Zeng

Born in 1972 in Singapore and educated at LASALLE College of the Arts, Green Zeng is a multi-disciplinary artist whose works encompass visual arts, theatre and film. Zeng’s practice revolves principally around Singaporean life, as well as issues that relate to history and society. He was a member of the experimental company Metabolic Theatre Laboratory, performing with the group in Singapore and Japan. He is currently the creative director of Singapore film production company Mirtillo Films, which he co-founded. He has directed many short films, some of which have been selected for international festivals including the Cannes Film Festival. His film Passenger was awarded the Encouragement Prize at the Akira Kurosawa Memorial Short Film Competition in Tokyo in 2006.

Chinese School Lessons by Green Zeng

Chinese school education was characterized by the teaching of ideals and ideology through school mottos, slogans, anthems, and idioms.

Chinese School Lessons by Green Zeng

Chinese idiom “近朱者赤|近墨者黑”
Literal translation – one who nears vermilion becomes red and one who nears ink becomes black
Meaning – One takes on the color of one’s company

Chinese School Lessons by Green Zeng

The use of three languages (English, Chinese & Malay) points to the important role that language plays in forming cultural and national identity.

Chinese School Lessons by Green Zeng

The exhibition catalogue came in the form of an exercise book.

Chinese School Lessons by Green Zeng

I think I can still pass off as a student huh…maybe Elementary/Primary 20 :D

Chinese School Lessons by Green Zeng

Student movement in postwar Singapore was a sensitive issue because of its political implications. Those who took part of protests during the 1950s and early 1960s were mainly Chinese middle school students and supporters in Chinese education circles who resisted the British colonial rule and the emphasis placed on the English language. This eventually led to the National Service Riots on 13 May 1954 led by the Chinese Middle School students.

Chinese School Lessons by Green Zeng

The uniform depicted here is Chung Cheng High School, which was the main site of the riot in 1954.

Chinese School Lessons by Green Zeng

自强不息,李求上进 – To thrive in adversity, to strive and improve oneself constantly

Chinese School Lessons by Green Zeng

Green, me & Ben
Playful Ben was quite happy with my cameo appearance, while I thought Green was a bit astonished by my ‘costume’, haha

Chinese School Lessons by Green Zeng

Shoes – Feiyue
White Shirt – Ralph Lauren
Blue Silk Skirt – Mum’s vintage Cacharel
Blue/green tartan ribbon pin – From a flea market

Chinese School Lessons by Green Zeng

温故知新 – To gain new knowledge by reviewing old; to understand the present by reviewing the past.

Chinese School Lessons by Green Zeng

Chinese School Lessons by Green Zeng

Chinese School Lessons by Green Zeng

That’s the big question – the search for identity

Chinese School Lessons by Green Zeng

Chinese School Lessons by Green Zeng

Chinese School Lessons by Green Zeng

Fajar – the glorious dawn in Malay

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Author: spunktitud3

A little post by a fun-loving spunky gal in love with the quirky, the artsy and anything which inspires new creations. Read about her adventures on: spunktitud3.wordpress.com

2 thoughts on “Chinese School Lessons: The Day I went back to School

  1. A+ for a well done piece of homework :)

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