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Emily Carr University of Art and Design Graduate Studies (Degree granting institution)
Lana Gabor (author)
Chinarian Myth and History: Historical Re-invention and Ethnographic Illusions
This thesis project, Chinarians, proposes that our understanding and perceptions of the past are more influential than any actual “historical” events. For this studio thesis project, I am studying a mythical ancient culture: the Chinarians. The Chinarian culture was loosely influenced by the Huns, a tribe of nomads that emerged from ancient China and whose descendents are said to be Hungarians and Turks. Chinarians is visually manifested through the construction of relics, replicas, and reenactments. The project is an investigation into issues of hybridity, and explores the intricacies of cultural representation in the solidification of knowledge types such as historical documentation and ethnography. In this paper, I examine the key methodologies that Chinarians draws from: history, myth, ethnography and reenactment, all of which intersect in my work. These methodologies will include the exploration of both material artifacts, in the form of relics, replicas, and reconstructions, and mythopoeia. In each section, I will elucidate the methodologies by providing an artist or writer as an example.