Project Abstract

In this creative project I explore the research question, “How to innovate the culture of the traditional Chinese zodiac in the context of present Chinese society?” This question was explored in two stages: 1) formal explorations and revisions of the signs of the Chinese zodiac using a contemporary lens, and 2) creating a new visual language to integrate the Chinese and western zodiac signs. This project began as a way to explore the popularity of the western zodiac (signs and signification) with Chinese youth, who seemed to abandon the ancient Chinese forms in favor of a system imported from the west. Although my initial interests were in cultural preservation, research and creative activity resulted in the creation of a hybrid contemporary visual language that integrates the Chinese and western to appeal to a popular audience of young urban Chinese people. The resulting 144 hybrid symbol system, known as 12 x 12, are applied to artifacts of daily life to foster national confidence, self-identification, and the joy of the everyday in modern China.

Read more on Dan Dan Luo’s website