Xiaoze Xie, Through Fire (Books that Survived the Anti-Japanese War of Resistance at Tsinghua University, No. 1), 2017

Xiaoze Xie, Through Fire (Books that Survived the Anti-Japanese War of Resistance at Tsinghua University, No. 1), 2017. Oil on linen; 48 x 74 in. Courtesy of the artist and Chambers Fine Art. © Xiaoze Xie.

Drawing Conclusions Game

Drawing Conclusions is a visual version of the classic game "telephone." This thought-provoking activity will allow your family or group to closely experiment and address issues of representation and identity in artworks through drawing, writing and discussion. Play along and then use the guiding questions to frame a conversation.


  • Small scraps of paper or sticky notes (enough for each player to have 10)
  • Pencils/pens (1 for each player)
  • Images collected from magazines, newspapers, books or the DAM online collection (1 for each player)


  1. Sit around a table together

  1. Mix up the images and deal them out face down, 1 per player.

  1. Peek at your image (don’t show your neighbor!) and on a scrap of paper or sticky note, write a brief description of the image.

  1. Decide amongst your group whether you will pass to the left or right and at the same time, every player passes their written description in that direction.

  1. Read the description and on another scrap of paper or sticky note, sketch what you read.

  1. When time is up, pass the drawings in decided direction.

  1. Now it’s time to write a description again. Look at the drawing your neighbor passed and write a brief description of what you see.

  1. Continue alternating between writing and drawing and passing! Your family or group can play as many rounds as you wish, but after at least 3 drawings and 3 written descriptions, take some time to look at what you have created. Lay all the original images out and try to organize the descriptions and drawings according to which painting started the sequence. Can you even guess the order they were created?


  • What do you think the artist was trying to communicate in the original artwork?
  • What happened to the messages after each round? How did the message change? How is an idea or message shaped by the person who tells it?
  • How does our personal history affect how we understand these images?
  • Is it important to consider who is giving the description or telling the story? Why or why not?
  • How do our opinions or identities shape the way we tell stories?