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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

by Sun, Jing, M.F.A., California State University, Los Angeles, 2018, 38; 10787932
Abstract (Summary)

The primary purpose of my research is to visually represent what can be regarded as a traditional Chinese thinking system and artistic style. This is to gain a deeper understanding of typical problem-solving processes of the Chinese culture. Through this research, I intend to encourage a bridge of communication between American and other cultures. It is my intent to help analyze problem-solving traditions in Chinese culture, and present a narrative that dramatizes this. The goal of this thesis; therefore, is to give a path of connection and appreciation for those not familiar, to a deeper understanding of contextualized Chinese beliefs. My process is aimed at constructing an effective narrative that illustrates the way a society creates change, in order to reflect broader cultural exchange and communication. The inspiration to undertake this study came from my three years’ of living in Los Angeles. Being suddenly transplanted into American culture made me critically review my own cultural beliefs. I often experienced cases of “misunderstandings” or “conflicts”. I perceived issues that were often embedded in the different ways that various cultures viewed and dealt with similar problems. There were, of course, differences in problem solving strategies, alongside differences in aesthetics, and perception. Consequently, based on these observations, I began to analyze how contrasting viewpoints and strategies could be translated into an animated narrative, and I wondered how I could effectively achieve this. Through this process, I addressed problems or crisis within various types of political systems. Can the methodology one uses to solve a problem be seen as systematic of the process of their own culture, even though the end goals and difficulties faced may be similar throughout various cultures? To critically analyze this question, I combined narrative animation and graphic watercolor renderings that visually parallel my personal experience of what could be defined as exemplary of traditional Chinese thought. An animated film resulted from this process, along with further research aimed at stimulating the public to appreciate the underlying approaches in both traditional Chinese aesthetics and culture. With this research, I intend to stimulate positive connections and appreciation between all cultures—a sentiment that extends to having increased inter-cultural communication and exchanges.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Ovelmen, Jim
Commitee: Davis, Rebecca, Moss, Jimmy, Utterback, Connie
School: California State University, Los Angeles
Department: Art
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 57/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Cultural anthropology, Fine arts, Film studies
Keywords: Animated short film, Animation, Art, Chinese culture, Prey, Tai Chi
Publication Number: 10787932
ISBN: 978-0-438-06916-9
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