Original Research

Comparing imagery in The Greedy Hippo and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

John R. Botha
Literator | Vol 33, No 1 | a21 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v33i1.21 | © 2012 John R. Botha | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 12 July 2012 | Published: 14 November 2012

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John R. Botha, School of Communication Studies (Art History and Film Studies), North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa


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Abstract

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.s.

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