Month: October 2015

WEEK 3: Researching Oh Haji’s Korea and Japan


The significance of shadows

Traditional Japanese architecture offers ―the magic of shadows…that formed…a quality of mystery and depth superior to any wall painting or ornament. Miyao’s book contends that this ―aesthetics of shadows (kage no bigaku) had a profound influence on many different Japanese filmmakers and artists in several different periods.

Shadow play is an ancient form of storytelling and entertainment which uses flat articulated shapes to create new figures through placing an object in between a source of light and a screen or surface.


Traditional and Heritage crafts 

The weaving of silk from silkworm cocoons has been known in China since about 3 500 BCE. Silk that was intricately woven and dyed, showing a well developed craft, has been found in a Chinese tomb dating back to 2 700 BCE. Sericulture and silk weaving spread to Korea by 200 BCE, to Khotan by 50 CE, and to Japan by about 300 CE.

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Historical context of numbers

Koreans like the…

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Week 4: Conclusions and report


This week I went back to the exhibition of  a second viewing of the artwork, the purpose of my visit was not to find the meaning, cultural significance  or stylistic choices of the work, instead it was to revisit the work in oder to gain further insights and extend my understanding  of the artwork and myself.

This time work triggered  something within me, the second viewing was more personal and emotional, as the first visit’s purpose was purely for observation and analysis of the artworks content.

It promoted feelings of homesickness, ‘a nostalgic longing for a home that symbolises the happiness that home could no longer provide’ (Alsop 2002, p. 6). Being born in  South Africa and migrating to Australia, was a new experience and a dramatic shift in my concept of home. I had never considered what home was  until now, instead of home being a physical place, like I previously thought, to…

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WEEK 5: A Summary


The process of undertaking an autoethnographic study, is something that I can only describe as an outer body experience, a foreign process of personal reflection and cultural exploration. By immersing myself in this controversial research process, I enriched my knowledge of Korean and Japanese culture through the exploration of artist Oh Haji’s art making practises. Moreover this process also allowed me to take a closer look at my own identity and belonging, the process known as ‘self-reflexivity’ (Alsop 2002, p. 2).

In this instance Oh Haji became my personal tour guide of Asian culture and art, her artwork becoming a framework that would guide not only the directions of my research but also became a source of therapeutic personal reflection and personal analysis. Experiencing Oh’s work is very personal and tactile, requiring the viewer to physically be present to fully experience all her work has to offer. Through the technique…

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An experience with Origami


For our group assessment we wanted to explore Asian arts and crafts and after a long discussion we finally settled on the art of origami. This suited me fine as I planned to implement origami in some way in my individual project, that being said I had never done origami before and was both excited and anxious.

We started by prepping the materials and setting up, while we trimmed our rectangular papers into the standard square ones used in origami we watched a video that we thought was a short historical documentary about origami masters. The video, intended to be a brief introduction about Origami to get us inspired for the impending craft session that lay ahead. Instead we found a parody of origami master, we decided to make our own parody making a version where one of the members would sneeze and magically create a paper lotus, you will…

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Week 6: An Experience with Pokemon


It was a warm afternoon in the summer of 2004, in a 4-bedroom house in the middle of Cape Town, South Africa, had been waiting for this day for what seemed like my whole life. In South Africa T.V in the 90’s was censored by the government and years behind US. So when Pokémon first premiered in the summer of 2004, it was big news for my 10-year-old self. Pokémon was a hot topic in the South African news at the time; more conservative and religious senators claimed it was “demonic and violent”, claiming that “we had to protect the children from the satanic influences of the East”.

A year after rumours of its release and a lengthy government debate it finally happened. Afterschool I ran home, changed out of my school clothes, grabbed my lunch from the fridge and sat down in the lounge. The 10 minutes of advertisements…

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Week 7: Pokemon – Some research and analysis


Levels of Fans: Fiske’s tripartite model as an analytical tool

Emmanouloudis, A 2015, You Are Not Alone. The Emergence Of Fan Communities Around User-Generated Content:
A Comparative Analysis, PhD thesis, University of Amsterdam

  • The simple fan: He/she views new content, reviews older, and regularly shares it with other people of his/her environment.
  • The enthusiast: An enthusiast not only mimics whatever his/her simple counterpart does, but takes it a step further with actions like subscription to a page or platform (e.g. YouTube) so as to never miss a beat, and also participates in forms of enunciative productivity like discussions, reading wikis focused on the subject or assembling collections of related merchandise.
  • The advantageous enthusiast:He/she is willing to pay the extra fares some websites require in order to have access to premium content.
  • The maker: Creator of new content. Members of this category have elements of the two previously mentioned categories (enthusiast…

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Week 8: Reporting on my creation journey


Recently I have been reigniting my love of Pokémon, reengaging with the text in different forms, from watching the show via streaming episodes online, playing the game on my GBA emulator and creating original fan art. Over the last few weeks I have been making origami Pikachu’s and surfboards, painting backgrounds and making paper craft props, all working towards my final goal of shooting a paper remake of Pokémon Yellow’s intro.


During this process I have participated in several levels of Fiske’s tripartite model, shifting from the ‘simple fan’, to ‘enthusiast’ to ‘maker’, but never quite taking the leap to ‘connector’ and ‘leader’. I must admit that I have felt more connected to the franchise during the ‘making’ stages where I created fan art, here not only was I contributing to the community. Here I was participating instead of just passively consuming the text, I was adding to my experience…

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Pokemon and I: An ethnographic journey


During this experience I have sought to use autoethnographic to systematically analyse my personal experience of Pokémon and further my understanding of the Japanese culture. Here my experience of exploring and creating my own Pokémon fan art, in the hopes to explore larger political and social issues encapsulated within this experience.

Over the last few weeks I have explored my engagement with Pokémon, remembering the past and reflecting on how this text has impacted the trajectory of my life, and analysing my experience with the text. In doing so it also created the opportunity to study Japan’s cultural practices and history, “reflecting on common values, beliefs and shared experiences” (Ellis & Adams&  Bochner, 2011, p. 7) in order to help other outsiders better understand aspects of the Japanese culture.

Through my blogs I aimed to make my reflections evocative thus brining the readers into the scene, using emotions and a…

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transfer-san Download

Unicorn Dispatches

transferTransfer-San is a short (10-15 minutes) Renpy videogame made as a class project made by Grifflon and myself. The game is a very simple science-fiction story that uses the framing device of a school-age visual novel set in a Japanese school to talk about the untranslateable nature of honorifics in Japanese and the ambiguity they can introduce in communication with non-Japanese speakers.

The game is free, and you can download it here:

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Japanese Horror: Ringu [DA]

T H I N K Sam

Links to the stories on Storify for a group digital artefact experiencing a Japanese horror film for the first time and live tweeting or experience. Declan and myself then examined horror as a genre and drawing on points of its origins. This helped further our understanding of digital Asia and Storify as a platform.

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