Between Translation & Creation: Transreading Chinese Art & Films

Between Translation & Creation: Transreading Chinese Art & Films

Flex your Transreading skills and write new poetry inspired by Chinese art & films.

‘Translation is not a matter of words only: it is a matter of making intelligible a whole culture.’ – Anthony Burgess 

How much do you know about the history of the terracotta soldiers at Emperor Qinshihuang’s Mausoleum in Xi’an? What does Xu Bing’s gigantic phoenix symbolise? What do you make of Wang Jiazhi in Ang Lee’s Lust, Caution: a spy, a lover, a traitor? 

In these workshops, we will come up with our ’13 ways of looking at Chinese art and films’ through a fun, thought-provoking process of translation, transreading, and ‘transcreation’. There’s no language pre-requisite for the course, you’ll just need a receptive mind and a readiness to come up with personal responses to artworks and films, engaging with a wide range of creative prompts and multimedia. As examples, we will look at films directed by Jia Jiangke, Ang Lee, Ann Hui, Zhang Yimou, as well as visual artworks by Cao Fei, Xu Bing, Stanley Wong, Lam Tung-pang, Zhang Zeduan. By engaging and experiencing the visual, we’ll explore the distances, similarities, and crossovers between the texts and images. 

Taking inspiration from a variety of classic and contemporary Chinese artworks, ranging from paintings, sculptures, and photography, to contemporary films and documentaries, the course will allow participants – whatever their background and knowledge in Chinese art and films – to feel inspired by something new, experiment with forms and language in their work, and to come up with their own storytelling in poetry.   

5 fortnightly sessions over 10 weeks. No live chats. Suitable for UK & International students.

More information about how all our online courses work can be found on the Online Courses page.

Image Credit: denis-pan

About Jennifer Wong View Profile

Jennifer Wong was born and grew up in Hong Kong. She studied English at Oxford and received an MA in creative writing at the University of East Anglia. She is the recipient of the Hong Kong Young Artist Award (Literary Arts) and has a creative writing PhD from Oxford Brookes University. Her poems have appeared in The Rialto, Magma Poetry, Oxford Poetry, World Literature Today, Stand, The North, Wildness, The Scores, Asian Cha, Voice & Verse, Prairie Schooner, and others. She has also published translations in Poetry Review, Modern Poetry in Translation and Pathlight. Her latest collection, 回家 Letters Home, was published by Nine Arches Press in 2020 and was named a Wild Card choice by Poetry Book Society. She is also the author of Goldfish (Chameleon Press 2013) and a pamphlet, Diary of a Miu Miu Salesgirl (Bitter Melon Poetry 2019).

‘Wonderful to have the chance to meet and be taught by master poets at the Poetry School, such as Ilya Kaminsky, great way to get inspiration, new ideas and raise the level of my poetry.’

– Summer 2019 survey response

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