Thursday, 31 January 2013

Adaptation: Conceptual Reseach

I have been researching in order to find a contextual basis on which I can base my design work upon for this project. I have been keeping to the idea of the flute driving the design aspect with its slightly oriental feel, and this drove me to look towards the east for inspiration.

In my research I came across a mountain in China called Mount Heng, also known as the Southern mountain or "The mountain of Longevity".

For some reason Scribd id having problems with my highlighting on this document, so a lot of it is missing from the first half, but I went through my research highlighting aspects which I found interesting and that I could apply to my original ideas.

There are several interesting stories related to this mountain, and after researching into them I think that they are a great source of inspiration for my project. As I am creating a digital set for gaming, I have to create a context for this environment so that the set can fit into a game based narrative and provide context to this design.

Mount Heng is referred to in Chinese tradition as "The Mountain of Longevity" as the mountain is said to correspond to a small star known as the Chang Sha star, which according to the ancients of China rules the life span of all men on Earth. Because of this, religions such as Taoism and Buddhism revere the mountain as a very spiritual place and use it as a "cultivation" site. There are many surrounding structures which are named after the mountain such as Wan Shou Palace (Palace of Ten Thousand Years) or Shou Nin Palace (Peaceful Longevity Palace) which fit in perfectly with the initial idea behind my digital set. These temples and structures are designed based on the idea of longevity and peace which is exactly the feel my design is heading towards. Temples were first built on Mount Heng during the Liang and Chen of the Six Dynasties (222-589 AD), which means that these temples are hundreds of years old and fit in with my design idea of having a shrine or temple, derelict and worn by the very time that they represent.

As a symbol to the idea of Longevity which this mountain stands for, there is a ginkgo tree which was planted by a Monk during the Six Dynasties, and it still stands there today, over 1,400 years old. Halfway up the mountain, there is a monument where a rhyming couplet is written, it reads " Follow the path, but you must preserve even at the half way point. What your heart desires is not far away,  but you must accept the challenge if you wish to reach the top."

The Nan Tian Men (Southern Heavenly Gate) stands as a prelude to the summit, written upon the gate is another couplet which reads "This gate leads to heaven, where you get close to the sky and stars. The path leads to the summit, where all other mountains are beneath you".

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