East Asia 1st prize: Ms. Odding Wang from China: Song for the Seasons
Since more than two thousand years ago, people in China were using
ballads for climate scenarios to indicate the seasons, guiding for
life, especially agriculture practices. For example, ice on the river
begins to melt two months after the day that winter begins, and cows
come out for grass, while magpies appear, which tells about the
arrival of spring. These “natural clocks” were usually more precise
than calendars. With the development of modern industry and
urbanization, the traditional ways of living is now quite far away
from us. As climate changes day-by-day, the meaning of traditional
Chinese ballads has already changed for modern city life.
During the past years, I had lived in four different cities in China, and experienced the seasons all the year round. In this cartoon I recorded some of the climate anomalies that I observed when living in those cities, and made them into a ballad. I was also inspired by the traditional Chinese calendar when making this cartoon. By using this form for reference, together with some modern content and personal style, I’m trying to make a dialogue between traditional and contemporary, making a self-reflection for our human behavior and rethinking about what we have gained and lost. I hope this cartoon could evoke people’s resonance, reconsideration and concern for climate change, and furthermore, action for protecting our environment.