Fantastic Oracle! A Girl Creating a Popular Science Book on Oracle Bones

Source: HICC | 2024-04-01 19:31

Recently, Sun Mengyuan, a junior majoring in visual communication at the Academy of Fine Arts of Anyang Normal University, has become a well-known "Internet celebrity". The 22-year-old girl created her own "Oracle Popular Science Book"-Fantastic Oracle, interpreting and promoting Oracle in a simple and easy-to-understand way, making more and more people around her have passion on oracle and traditional culture. Many netizens exclaimed, "Oracle bone inscriptions are fantastic!"

After entering Anyang Normal University, Sun Mengyuan gradually fell in love with Anyang, an ancient city imbued with historical atmosphere. From the seemingly boring and obscure ancient characters, Sun excavated and felt the mysteries of oracle bone inscriptions and opened the window of history. The book Fantastic Oracle written by Sun is originally an assignment from her teacher of the book design course. It takes her two weeks from conception to creation, which is demanded to suit the primary and secondary school students above six years old. Mentioning the original intention of creation, Sun said: "these seemingly simple character symbols contain rich stories and the ingenuity of the ancients, but many people know nothing about oracle bone inscriptions, or have merely a simple understanding. I want more people to fall in love with it, especially children."

At present, a group of young people who love traditional culture and make use of their professional expertise are making these ancient characters travel beyond time and space, pushing the wonderful chemical reaction between ancient Chinese characters and trendy technology to a climax. They inherit the extensive and profound Chinese civilization and also tell the time-honored history behind the characters.

"This is a book of Oracle bone inscriptions that embodies the culture of the ancients, and a book that carries on the precious heritage of the nation. By reading this book, people will better understand and value oracle bone culture and cultivate their cultural self-confidence and national pride." Sun believes that oracle bone inscriptions should never become a cultural symbol to be laid aside and neglected, and their fun should be enjoyed by more and more people. She presents the ancient characters in an attracting way, and demonstrates their importance in real life through the four parts of "reading related ancient poems" "storytelling and character interpretation" "font evolution" and "fun exercises", through which children can consolidate knowledge and get increasingly interested in them in a relaxed and happy atmosphere.

At the beginning of the design, Sun thought: "First of all, we should choose the common and representative oracle bone inscriptions, and secondly, we should attract the children’s attention. And the basic characteristics of oracle bone inscriptions need to be reflected." Finally, she decided to use the twelve zodiac animals as the main design theme, perfectly integrating poetry culture, zodiac culture, and Chinese character culture. "Written in different forms, the oracle bone inscriptions of the twelve zodiac animals can better demonstrate the charm of oracle bone inscriptions. These characters vividly show the original appearance of Chinese characters and thus play an important role in Chinese traditional culture." said Sun.

During her creation, Sun not only had to gain a deep understanding of oracle bone inscriptions, but also consider how to present the knowledge in a simple and interesting way. Although it took her a lot of time and energy, Sun never got tired of it. She excitedly told the reporter: "Yin Ruins is the main unearthed place of oracle bone inscriptions, which provides us with abundant information for studying them. These ancient characters are both mysterious and attractive to me, and I have fallen in love with oracle bone inscriptions."

Sun believes that creating this book is not only a course assignment for her, but also an opportunity to learn and to disseminate the oracle bone inscriptions. "I think the most interesting thing about oracle bone inscriptions is that their font structure is very lively, and ancient people could vividly display the characteristics of people, animals, and various things through simple drawings." As for the oracle, it is not just a simple symbol, but a text code with profound meanings. How fantastic will it be if children can learn Chinese characters based on oracle bone inscriptions."

In recent years, Anyang Municiple Education Bureau, taking advantage of local oracle bone culture resources, has actively promoted "oracle bone inscriptions entering campuses and classrooms" themed with "inheriting and developing oracle bone culture". Oracle bone inscriptions can be seen everywhere on campus, edifying our children little by little. After the book went viral on the Internet, many parents tried to contact Sun and asked about the electronic pictures in it, hoping to make their children like oracle bone inscriptions through reading it.

In the daily creation, Sun often combines the elements of oracle bone inscriptions with those of Yin and Shang culture. For example, she would incorporate local culture into character design, and use the skills to design pictures, popular science books, etc., in order to further popularize the age-old history and culture of Oracle bone inscriptions and Yinand Shang dynasties. This will not only help the spread of culture, but also help more people understand the hidden historical story.

Oracle bone inscriptions gained their charm from its discovery as the earliest mature writing system discovered in China, the root of Chinese characters, and its splendid traditional culture. The inheritance and development of culture should not only stagnate in its specialization and academicization. Only by going out of the laboratory and museum, and constantly moving towards the public and popularization, can we radiate new vitality and energy. Based on this understanding, Sun plans to continue to study and promote Oracle bone inscriptions in the future, integrate them into future designs, and create more popular works with rich cultural implications. By doing so, more people can understand Yin and Shang culture and therefore make a contribution to the inheritance of Chinese excellent traditional culture. (Chinese source: Dahe Fine Art Newspaper Translator: Qin Xinge Translator: Tong Lin and Cui Wenqi Proofreader: Jiao Dan)