George, Meet Dragon on the BBC Big Screen


Big Screen Liverpool, Clayton Square
Friday 25th July – Thursday 7th August 2008
Daily at 12.00, 14.00, 16.00, 19.00 and 21.00 for approximately 1 hour – films followed by interactive installation

Curated by Bren O’Callaghan

Also appearing at BBC Big Screens in Swindon, Derby, Leeds & Hull (timings vary)
As the Beijing Olympics loom into view, so do the reports, retrospectives and images of China today, cementing stereotypes and offering little in the way of a fresh approach. Everywhere, images of the dragon proliferate, that oft-used signifier and crudely scribbled cliché stripped of meaning through overuse. In the East, it represents a creature steeped in wisdom and knowledge, but to Western audiences, a storybook monster to be fought and vanquished.

This difference in belief mirrors the sense of cultural ‘otherness’ between the two societies; a misconception based upon unfamiliarity. The legend of St George and the Dragon is a popular British tale, but what if fate were to intervene before the lance was cast – what if villager-munching differences were resolved, a weekly poker night established instead? George, Meet Dragon reclaims the simplest of introductions – a greeting, hello and welcome, an extension of friendship – as a means of uniting beneath a shared symbol of fascination.

Featuring work from Hong Kong based comic and animation artist Kongkee, a selection of ultra-short films responding to the visual culture of China plus a new interactive installation for outdoor play by all ages: short and tall, soft-bellied and smooth scaled alike. In doing so we hope to take a step back from the excesses of newsprint, the look-don’t-touch of museum exhibitions, from the peaks of media hyperbole. No presumption, nor bias or claim of greatness. Just a new friend in the making.

Kongkee is presented in association with Chinese Arts Centre (Manchester). One Minute Award shorts courtesy of Filming East Festival (Oxford) including the work of Jia Zhangke, Zhang Yuan, Zhang Jizhong, Wang Wangwang, Cui Zien, Xiao Jiang, Guo Xiaolu, Zhang Fan and Sun Xiaoxiao. New interactive commission for the BBC Big Screen network created by the International Centre for Digital Content (Liverpool).