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Title: A monster is a human : study a monster is to study ourselves
Authors: Zhang, Longfei
Keywords: DRNTU::Visual arts and music::Visual arts
Issue Date: 2019
Abstract: Monster culture was never fitted into the legitimate culture in China, as Confucius said before, “accept it, but ignore it”. A monster or 鬼怪 (gui guai) in Chinese, is a spirit, specialized in threatening people, which has been categorized as superstition and thought to be unvalued for a long time. However, Japan had imported and transformed many Chinese monsters into their culture, which remain thrived till now. And according to Inoue Enryo, a Japanese philosopher, a monster is like a mirror reflecting human own mind and psychological traits (小松和彦, 2011). After the Chinese Economic Reform, the Chinese started to look back and seek for the cultural origin. And Shan Hai Ching, an old Chinese book, has played an essential role in Chinese mythology, for it was the earliest repository of myths and monsters from early China (Sterckx, 2002). Based on the book, today’s scholars believed that the ancient once had worshipped and regarded them as their tribal guardians or creation gods due to their strange outlook: an animal hybrid. It was obvious that the Chinese ancestors were so fascinated by animals. But, some had become more popular among them, like tiger, bird, sheep or turtle. And they also believed the more hybrid with different animal parts the monster is, the more spiritual it is, like a dragon, consisting of nine parts of different animals, and standing for authority (Cheng, 2009). Furthermore, monsters’ roles and power indicated our everlasting conflicts with nature. In the past, most of them were served as explanations of unknown phenomena, which reflected human fears and ignorance over the unknown, such as thunder deity, Lei Ze. It was the phenomenon that the ancient couldn’t explained and scared of. With the existence of Lei Ze, people would pay more respect to what they didn’t know and keep a harmonious relationship with nature. Therefore, this project will study the formation of monsters in ancient China, bring new perspectives as to what we can learn from them, and eventually create new monsters based on the mechanism found in the research. Keywords – Monsters, Chinese, Animal, Hybrid, Mythology
Schools: School of Art, Design and Media 
Rights: Nanyang Technological University
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:ADM Student Reports (FYP/IA/PA/PI)

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