Students' whakairo works showcased
Among Boys’ High students’ boundary-pushing whakairo works showcased in an exhibition last week was student Jiaxi Du’s piece that was dominated by Chinese motifs and Qing dynasty “flood hero”, Yu Chen Long.
“Yu Chen Long told the people how to control the flood and make it go from north China to south China,” said Jiaxi.
The script down the red banner on the right-hand side of the panel reads “fish become dragons”.
The large, red Chinese carp on the left of the work is a symbol of strength and perseverance, the goldfish on the right is a symbol of good luck, while the lotus flower represents peace, said Jiaxi.
Yu Chen Long, the flood hero, wears on his chest a panel that depicts a crane that seems to rise off a band of overlapping concentric circles that were originally used in China on ancient maps to depict the sea.
“In the Qing dynasty, people had different pictures on their clothes. If you had a crane you were a leader under the emperor.”
The spiral motifs in the bottom part of the work combine traditional Maori koru with a similar Chinese motif that represents clouds.