Chinese oracle bone inscriptions current with modern popularity

Updated 2018-01-25 15:55:00

Chinese oracle bone inscriptions have been included on the UNESCO Memory of the World Register ever since last November, according to the UNESCO website. The Chinese oracle bone inscriptions is springing up as a new cultural hot spot in China.

Recently, a series of stickers for smartphone inspired with ancient Chinese oracle bone inscriptions named "The oracle has expression" became the "new favorite" of Chinese social media users. These profound traditional cultural symbols now have produced a series of popularity buzzwords such as "Single dog" and " goddess".

Its creator Chen Nan, a doctoral tutor with his team from Academy of Art and Design of Tsinghua University have been working on create typeface and other cultural products with ancient Chinese characters and oracle inscriptions for two years.

"I hope that the design and promotion of oracle should be growing with the present popularity, and not to make it into a profound cultural symbol. The Chinese character is the cultural gene of our nation, and it is the constant guarantee of Chinese culture," Chen said.

In addition, Chen's studio also released the expression "The oracle of the zodiac", which is based on animal characters in 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac that transform into the geometrical oracle bones as a series of animation sticker.

In Chen's view, Chinese oracle bone inscriptions are like the camera of the Shang Dynasty (1600-1046 B.C.), showing an ancient scroll for posterity. The combination of oracle and buzzword has made it more possible for current people to use oracle patterns.

Early in the era of WeChat and mobile emojis, Chen created oracle drawing template design and hoped that the public, especially children, could use these drawing templates combined with narrative characters pictures, to experience the beauty of the origin of Chinese characters in the game.

In ancient China, Oracle bones are pieces of ox scapula or turtle plastron, which were used for divination during the late Shang Dynasty. They bear the earliest significant corpus of ancient Chinese writing and contain important historical information about the Shang.

Oracle bones from ancient China, hieroglyphs from ancient Egypt, cuneiforms from ancient Babylon, and Mayan glyphs from Mesoamerica are among the world's most famous ancient writing systems, but oracle bones are the only ones that still survive, as they have evolved over time into current Chinese characters.

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