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BCM320 Digital ArteFact: Reading Translated Chinese Netizens’ Top Comments: A Non-Canonical Way to Chinese Media Studies

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As part of the Digital Asia (BCM320) subject, I have been developing a digital artefact (DA) addressing my individual autoethnographic experience and research into the Sinophone sphere. Initially inspired by the live-tweeting session ofGuardian(2018; akaZhen Hun) in BCM320, I gave atrial/ briefaccount of my independent autoethnographic investigation, which looks into the production and consumption of translated Chinese netizens’ top comments on Vietnamese Facebook. Despite a media ritual, as I became busier towards the end of the semester, I outlined a plan for the conducting of my research and related practices to ensure the progress of my DA.


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what can text mean. An autoethnography on Calligraphy 書道

 

Personally, my handwriting has always been terrible, I can’t do cursive and being left-handed I’ve always struggled to not smudge or heavy press while writing and making dark thick lines. While not having any real experience growing up with other cultures language until I was in my late teens. We then got Japanese exchange student and one of them while over here made me a cross-stitch of her favourite Pokémon Togepi and while back then I couldn’t read her name signed on it or the word トゲピ (Togepi) I knew what it meant.

At the time I already had other passions like programming and music which I also now have a heavy Japanese influence in with learn about Japanese RPG’s and owning guitars from Japan and knowing how to play Japanese band’s songs now. I remained detached from the language and really looking back wish I had a chance to study it at a school level to have understood a lot more back when things of Japanese culture like Anime, Manga, JPOP and Calligraphy (書道sho-do) were becoming more exposed in Australia.

Now that I’m learning Japanese at a university level, I want a deeper understanding of why Japanese calligraphy is important to those that use the language and how writing like it’s an art form can express more than just the words penned.

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My methodology for this assessment was first to conduct information gathering on the strict techniques and stroke orders used in Japanese calligraphy, I also looked at techniques that help to memories Japanese words and kanji characters and learnt from a variety of sources so that my reflective response and my analyses of my own calligraphy would help me understand calligraphy and what it means to Japanese culture (Ellis, et al 2011).

So much of my research was about technique, how traditional and contemporary methods of undertaking calligraphy change calligraphy and the art presented would look. But this just wasn’t giving me a deeper connection to the words being penned. Following the YouTuber 宮崎書道教室渋谷教室 Japanese Calligraphy Class SHIBUYA, TOKYO and learning how to write愛 (LOVE) with Gyosho style (semi-cursive),

while this increased my technical skills in calligraphy I still didn’t feel as though what I produced was art and I felt like I wasn’t really connecting to Japanese culture because this important skill is passed down from generations, emphasizing a beauty and balance in writing and I just was seeing words while written in various ways I didn’t feel I was creating aesthetically beautiful and emotionally relevant work (Enkamp, 2010). I also attempted to film this experience for review but didn’t like anything I filmed so I trashed the recording out of discontent for it. Now you could say I had a lot of epiphanies (Ellis, et al 2011) at this stage and you may be right. Things like how growing up with a simplistic lettered language, how cursive is dead in English handwriting or how the digital age has separated us from writing but personally I felt I was just getting frustrated at a creative/mental block between me and my work.

So, this made me rethink my methodology of this autoethnography I started looking at more unconventional methods of learning about calligraphy from watching elementary school kids learn how to write in class in YouTube videos to tattoo artist drawing characters or phrases on people and it wasn’t till I fell back on a Japanese culture favourite anime did I find what I was actually looking for. Barakamon is an anime about Seishuu Handa an emerging calligrapher but more importantly a talented calligrapher that an expert label his award-winning piece as not expressive merely book technique on canvas. While the series helped me better appreciate how to express calligraphy as art real what helped me was the opening intro.

The intro music and opening animation of the brush skating along allowed me to probably have my biggest epiphany. Music and how I actually learnt guitar which was though tabs and chords I didn’t learn how to read music or the techniques but though just playing till I could. With that I took the characters and stroke orders and with them in mind but not trying to make a recreation based on techniques I penned a famous Japanese poem line “burning incense to the king” which is actually Chinese in origin but has relevance with the new emperor of japan being sworn in which I was also watching at the time. What I created I genuinely felt had expressed something else to me and when signing my name in Japanese on the side I felt like it was actual art, not just text.

What I attained in the end though this autoethnography was that music is a great artistic motivator and that learning calligraphy is easy but mastering it or being content with your work is the hard part. So, for all those profession calligrapher’s actual presenting essentially text as an artwork that you feel express something, I now revere them as more artistic then painters. If the saying a picture is worth 1000 words is true, then make a single letter or a small phrase mean 1000 is far more a challenge.

references

Jesse Enkamp. (2010). Kaisho, Gyosho and Sosho. Available: https://www.karatebyjesse.com/kaisho-gyosho-and-sosho/. Last accessed 2/11/2019.

Ellis, Carolyn; Adams, Tony E. & Bochner, Arthur P. (2010). Autoethnography: An Overview [40 paragraphs]. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 12(1), Art. 10, http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs1101108.

BCM320: MASUMI

 

 

 

Analysing a process or affair with an autoethnographic research method establishes the effect that one’s background and personal life can have on a cultural experience. This research method has been applied to students experiencing Asian culture in digital and non digital means over the most recent semester of the University course, Digital Asia.

Recently, as a student studying this subject, Webtoon was recommended in a seminar by a peer as an interesting realm of Asian online culture. This lead to my interest and involvement in the website. I had no prior knowledge of the website but after this event, I read approximately 5 Webtoons a week. Mostly under the romance genre. As I state in the video, I enjoyed simplistic nature of the website, in regard to navigating around it and discovering new comics. Another large reason for my interest is the artwork in different Webtoon’s and how each one has a different design.

My Digital Artefact is a Youtube video documenting my experience immersing myself in Korean culture, attempting to create an effective and innovating Webtoon. The creation process only involved writing a story, character development and Webtoon design in a non-digital form. This was a result of my lack of skills in Photoshop, which is also explained in the video.

Analysing the video, with an auto ethnographic research methodology requires the acknowledgment of my personal experience with Asian culture before the taking Digital Asia this semester. Firstly, using the autobiography process, which is my past experiences. I visited Japan for one month over winter at 18 years old, staying in Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo. I was immersed in Asian culture on this trip and enjoyed it very much. Travelling with my cousins who know the language was a great help and drew me even closer to the people and places I visited.

Assessing the ethnography process, which is a cultures beliefs, religions, ideologies and shared experiences. A niche within the online realm of Digital Asia is the website, WEBTOON. The website acts as a free online comic book shop, created originally in Korea, staying predominantly within Korean culture until gaining international recognition with advanced developments in smart phone technology. Within Korean book sales, comic books account for one quatre. Therefore webtoons accessibility, simplistic layout and wide variety of comics and genres has obtained over 10 million free users and 3 million paid users worldwide.

According to C. Ellis (Auto-ethnography: An Overview, 2011) the most common topic that auto ethnographers explore is “epiphanies”. This refers to cultural experiences that occur in one’s life that have made a significant impact on it. I believe the holiday I to Japan and experiencing the culture through food, music and art is an epiphany for me. This definitely changed how I viewed and perceived many different Asian cultures and is why I am so open to the ideas and storylines portrayed in different Webtoons, regardless of the content being strange and different in comparison to westernised comics.

The autoethnographic research method is a socially conscious and political way of researching, examining one’s background and how this applies to their personal experience within a culture. I believe that this is an effective and innovative way to analyse how one reacts to and experiences other cultures.

 

Ellis, C., Adams, T.E., and Bochner, A.P. (2011) ‘Autoethnography: An Overview‘, Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 12:1. Available at: http://www.qualitative-research.net/index.php/fqs/article/view/1589/3095

V LIVE: Contextual Essay (Final)

Lydia's ☽ Lens

This is the final segment of my auto-ethnographic study of V LIVE. You can access the first two parts of this study here: Part 1 and Part 2.

Digital Artefact 

For this project I created a Digital Artefact (DA) in the form of a Google Slides presentation which you can access here.

When I was presented with the opportunity to create a digital artefact for the final assessment of #BCM320 Digital Asia, I knew I wanted to do something which would fulfil me with a greater understanding about the Korean entertainment industry. I have always been invested in celebrity culture and the media in the United States, but it was not until recently that popular culture and entertainment industries in Asia began to intrigue me. Over the last 12 months I have become increasingly more exposed to K-Pop (Korean Pop Music) which has led me to an…

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Learning a K-pop dance

For the individual assignment, I wanted to do no other topic other than the area of Korean music as per my passion for the subject and how it has shaped my life. (Refer to my K-pop blog for context)

https://digitalasia.blog/2019/09/20/k-pop/

However, it went against one of Ellis’s Autoethnography ideals of autoethnographers , “not only use supposedly biased data” ( Ellis, C., Adams, T.E., and Bochner, A.P., 2011) and to be neutral to cater to all readers. Since I have been in the K-pop community for almost a decade, it was best not for me to choose something I had such a bias in.

E.g. the Produce 101 series rigging of votes.

In light of my recent Korean theme projects, my final project will look at the difficulty of K-pop dances. While also participating in a K-pop dance myself as the blank slate for this project to get the most unbiased opinion.

This idea stems from the K-netizens judging Blackpink’s Jennie on her lazy dancing. Many Youtube videos and discussion websites like Quora contain harsh comments about Jennie’s laziness among her group activities and comparing her to her solo activities.

https://www.quora.com/Do-you-think-Jennie-BlackPink-is-becoming-lazy-and-or-has-a-bad-attitude-towards-her-performance

So I decided to do a K-pop dance specifically Blackpink’s Ddu-du Ddu-du for my Digital Artefact to fully immerse in a subset of a culture I already had vast knowledge on. While I have always been interested in learning a K-pop dance, I cannot dance at all. But to understand the culture through the eyes of the community (Agar, M. 2002), I was willing to face my fears of public embarrassment.

While being temporarily immersed in this culture, I had experienced various epiphanies regarding K-idols ( Ellis, C., Adams, T.E., and Bochner, A.P., 2011). One of the main epiphanies I had was that most if not all K-pop dances are harder than they appear to seem. Compared to other groups dances like A.C.E’s Undercover and Chungah’s Gotta go, Blackpink’s Ddu-du Ddu-du is deemed by the Korean public to be an easier K-pop dance because of the use of basic moves. However, while that may appear to be the case, the ‘simple’ moves this song uses are very difficult for those who have no dance backgrounds. That being said, it was especially hard for me to learn the dance to the level of K-pop idols in 8 days.

The comparisons between easier and harder K-pop dances are being highlighted increasing on social media platforms which end in fan wars (e.g. Jennie). But why do non-dancers label some K-pop dances as easier or harder? Well, with the increased production of K-pop usually accompanied with new dances, we as a consumer view it and expect more the next time. So, when we get our expectations lowered, we get disappointed and rant about it on social media which leads to the fan wars. That is my understanding of the topic based on my experience.

Other difficult things to monitor was camera placement and facial expression. The camera angles had to be taken into consideration for this project as until about the 4th day I realized that you couldn’t see my legs. Facial expressions were also a hard thing to achieve as a wrong angle from the camera or the wrong expression could completely make the dance look increasingly different.

Overall, this project was a very enjoyable one. Even though I could not dance, there was a sense of enjoyment while dancing as well as the satisfaction when finishing the dance was irreplaceable. Doing this dance made me consider the hard work that K-idols put in to please their fans and also made me respect K-idols even more.

References:

Agar, M. (2002). Ethnography. [online] Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B0080430767008597.

Ellis, C., Adams, T.E., and Bochner, A.P. (2011) ‘Autoethnography: An Overview‘, Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 12:1. Available at: http://www.qualitative-research.net/index.php/fqs/article/view/1589/3095

building a relationship with ‘batik’

editorial.

INSTAGRAM

BLOG

Living life as an Indonesian-born witnessing only the Australian world, I always viewed my own birth country as something very curious. All I knew was that Indonesia’s major religion was Islam, the country was humid and tropical, and that the food was delicious.

One day, when I was looking for something, I came across my parents’ mass ofbatik clothing. All the loud and traditional patterns piled up, one on top of the other. Shades of brown and yellow, with splashes of grey, red and blue. I took some out and presented them to myself in the air, and it made me feel weird. This was a big part of me, yet why does it feel so foreign to me?

I used to be ashamed if my parents made me wear batik. As with many modern Indonesians, batik was no longer a pride of our country. I knew…

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A Bollywood Affair: A Digital Autoethnography

Net-works

Ellis et al. describe autoethnography as “retrospectively and selectively writ[ing] about epiphanies” (2011, p. 4). As such, ‘A Bollywood Affair’ is a pastiche of digital media which outlines the respective experiences of a cultural insider, and cultural outsider as they experience Bollywood cinema. View the project below.

Digital Artifacts

Vlog: Bollywood for Dummies

Digi Reviews

CONTEXTUAL ESSAY

Central to the autoethnographic process is reflexive thinking, which Pitard (2017, pp. 9-10) categorises as either personal or epistemological:

Moreover, Guillemin and Gillam (2004) propose that autoethnographers need to engage with reflexive thinking consider “ethically important moments” throughout their research. This methodology became incorporated into my ethnographic process wherein I reflected on my projects impact on research participant(s) (Sehel) as well as avoiding “ethical tensions” (Guillemin and Gillam 2004, p. 278). Primarily, this meant acknowledging epistemological constraints and reframing the research question to remove “East” and “West”, thus, detaching my work from contributing…

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