30 March 2007

Art and Communication

Some of my students, kids and adults both, have commented on my drawing abilities. Not that I draw particularly well, but I draw well and quickly enough to use it as a language tool. I've used it to draw what I want for market vendors and to explain the meaning of a word to students.

I was watching The Children of Men (excellent film, by the way) and there's a scene where the main character draws a boat (screenshot above) so that he can communicate with a Russian lady. It really struck me how little importance our Western education places on this valuable skill.

I also watched The Thirteenth Warrior (for about the fiftieth time a favourite film) and realised that one of the main reasons I like this film is the theme of being adapting a strange culture and language. Pictured here is a screenshot of "Ibn" teaching Bulvi how to write (in Arabic.) This film is a retelling of Beowulf, if you are interested in mythology.

Every culture has small symbols that are used traditionally that we forget about. When I got here I recognised this little 'wind-blown cloud" pattern that appears on a lot of things. The interior of the YMCA elevators has a repeating motif of this but the Korean teachers haven't noticed it and when I ask about it they don't seem to notice how commonplace it is. It's also on the tiles in the Jagalchi subway station. (pictured at left)


  1. I'm in the middle of watching Children of Men currently. Had to bring it back early, but anydvd is your friend.


  2. Oh, stop insulting those of us with no talent - you ARE great at anything artistic. It's one of the things you should feel free to brag about!

  3. 13th warrior is a great film, i need to rent children of men as soon as possible.


e-mail notification

Google Groups Beta
Subscribe to Wandering Monk
Visit this group