16May2017 Contextual Study

Witchcraft is the fourth of the sacred of Hinduism, which dates from Iron Age India, with purposes such as harming an enemy of winning a sweetheart. In parts of the Philippines, Kulam is a popular witchcraft belief. The Mangkukulam is the Filipino version of a witch or sorcerer, who recites spells and mixes potions, sometimes using the equivalent of a doll. Superstitious folks still attribute certain illnesses or diseases to kulam, especially in areas where the people are treated by a herbal doctors. People believe it can heal the disease and punish the bad guys. So it is not only the culture which be proud by the local people, but also the spiritual pillars of people’s lives.

Today, these witchcrafts still exist in different parts of Asia. Although Belief in the supernatural is still strong in certain parts of India, and lynchings for witchcraft are reported in the press about 200 times each year.

Most countries have regarded witchcraft as an ancient culture. One of the most peculiar is Japan. Japan still exists in this career. In Japan, the Onmyouji is responsible for the transmission of witchcraft career. The yin and yang division had been divulged by observing astrology since ancient times, which is very similar to that of ancient Chinese witchcraft. But Japan as a country which has a hundred ghosts and other myths and legends. Its witchcraft can also surrender monsters to protect people.

Unlike ancient times, more and more people choose to understand witchcraft in a more scientific way. Such as Yunnan Province in China, witchcraft as an ancient cultural has been shown to ordinary people. I have been there about ten years ago. Many villages in Yunnan Province are located in the village so there are plenty of snakes and spiders. The wizards told everyone to build a tall building in order to accept the protection of God by living closer to the sky. The buildings are protected by high pillars and protected from insects and beasts. And also to avoid the people to ill by the water on the ground. It can be seen, the purpose of witchcraft is only one, that is to let the human survival, whether ancient witchcraft or modern witchcraft.

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9May2017 Contextual Study

Perhaps the Asian witchcraft is not known than African witchcraft or European witchcraft, but it is still an important derivative of ancient witchcraft. A great example of how this can work is to look at Chinese conceptions of witchcraft. Even though the great mystical sages weren’t always martial artists, there was a clear belief that witchcraft and mind were connected.

Chinese witchcraft is deeply entrenched in elements of mysticism, religion and art. Its purpose is to curse one’s enemies using magic. Witches are often considered a humble career, and the ceremony is often performed by older women. Chinese witchcraft influenced Japanese onmyodo.

 

But unlike Chinese witchcraft, Japanese witchcraft is popular with people. This is the result of the different rulers of the two country governments. Since ancient times, the Chinese rulers like to put pressure and intimidation on the people so that they could consolidate the purpose of the rule.

However, the Japanese rulers liked to achieve the purpose of consolidating the rule by giving grace to the people and making people grateful to him. In Japan, the shamanistic religion Shinto has always been widely accepted along with Buddhism, so the Japanese never attached negative connotations to witchcraft, and the word “witch” may often be used with positive connotation in Japanese language. Whether it is used to suppress people or win over people, witchcraft is always indispensable for the rulers to control the country.

So in the north of Asia, witchcraft is an indispensable part of the ruling country as a connection between yin and yang religion. The people of North Asia worship its mystery. For them, witchcraft was also a foreign culture long time ago. However, for people in Southeast Asia, witchcraft is their unique noble culture.

2May2017 Contextual Study

After that, under the brainwashing of those wise men, people got reason to attribute anything they do not understand (or do not want to understand), any incident or occurrence they cannot explain, to witchcraft. Also people attribute to witchcraft issues or ‘forces’ for which they are not contented with their rational or commonsensical explanations.

Simple sorcery or the use of magic accessible to ordinary people, such as setting out offerings to helpful spirits or using charms which can be found in almost all traditional societies. Prehistoric art depicts magical rites to ensure successful hunting, and also seems to depict religious rituals involving people dancing in animal costumes. Witchcraft, the practice of contacting spirits through dream work and meditative trances, is probably the oldest religion.

According to Prof Bolaji Idowu, “In Africa, it is idle to begin with the question whether witches exist or not…To Africans of every category, witchcraft is an urgent reality.” So the belief in witchcraft is strong and widespread in Africa. The witchcraft mentality is dominant and informs popular thought, understanding and interpretation of phenomena. But the belief in witchcraft is not peculiar to Africans. Many people in Africa often make this mistake of thinking that witchcraft is ‘original’ to them. From other essay, I understand that 22% of Australians still believe in witches. I don’t know if they believe in witches the same way Africans do. But whatever the case, the belief in witchcraft is found in other cultures of the world.

Witchcraft in Africa is different from the European witchcraft. When people talk about the European witchcraft, people usually associate it with magic. Not only the famous film named “Harry Potter”, but also the famous holiday named “Halloween”. But few people would connect the witchcraft with Asia together. Most european people in the 16th century and 17th century believed that God had an enemy called the Devil, who was very powerful. They believed that witches made a pact or agreement with the Devil and agreed to worship and serve him. Witches then used magic to harm animals or humans. In Western Europe witch trials reached a peak in the late 16th century and early 17th century then declined.

25Apr2017 Contextual Study

At the beginning of all things, people had no power to control their own life or death. A little cold could take away a person’s life easily. At the same time, there were too many natural phenomena that they can not understand. Such as why does the lightning can produce forest fires? Many of the geographies that are well understood today were unsolved for people in the distant past. On the other hand, at that time, the earth was still in a very unstable state.

It always happened frequent earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions or debris flows. In fact, not only nature was very dangerous, but also a lot of animals were a huge threat for people. If a person encounters a poisonous spider or snake alone he will definitely die.

Human could not comprehend those things. So they think it must be the trouble which made by gods. People were afraid of death, so they fantasized out of the various gods. These gods were collected as stories, that is religion.

Among the people who were look forward to believe in religion but some clever people look through the essence of religion which to appease people’s hearts and make them calm. Those people took advantage of this. They believed that the use of supernatural phenomena can make people convinced, thereby achieve the status of domination. And ordinary people through the belief in witchcraft and vowed to witchcraft to achieve the comfort in spiritual.

28Mar2017 Contextual Study

I am going to write an essay which will present the cause for witchcraft and how to develop and use in different Asian countries (about 4 representative countries) whatever in the past or now.

As we all know, witchcraft exists in African culture cause the profound history and also exists in European culture cause the punishment of witches in the mid century. So I focus on what’s the purpose about witchcraft in Asia and how its going now.

However, the most important thing I would like to prove is that witchcraft has its own reasons to exist, so it is not true that most people think witchcraft is evil. Whether witchcraft or other things, it must not be completely evil or completely good. Although there are many wizards do a lot of bad things with witchcraft, such as insanity. But I still deeply believe that nothing is pure right and nothing is pure wrong.

21Mar2017 Contextual Study

Today I have talked my final theme with my contextual study teacher. We thought about the theme from another point of view.

I thought I should show the contrast between black and white. Because when I was a child I have read a novel which was talking about vampire and angle. The novel protagonist is vampire and angle always want to wipe out all of the vampires. I still remember one words which was spoken by the vampire leader. He said”There must be a shadow if there has light.” Nowadays, there are too many justice films’ protagonists dream to destroy all the evil in the world. But that must be impossible. Like the beginning of all things, God said, “have light” so there is light. Then, it produced a shadow naturally. Light and shadow are interdependent. If shadow is disappeared, the light will not exist any more.

I definite that meaning into “binary opposition”.

So I used to think about how to show two completely things these days.  I have been thinking about many different animals habits and customs these days. I have thought about the owl and lark. They are both birds but work in different times. Owls work in dark so for us is the evening night, for them is the daytime.

Then we released that there is another different colour between black and white. It’s grey. I am thinking of mix grey as the main colour of the unit. Or use colour grey as a transitional colour.

I have learnt that if my mind is limited, I could change another way to think about the problem. Maybe try to mix the two different things together will be better.

21Feb2017 Contextual Study

I have learnt how to write bibliography.

If I researched some books, I should write down the author second name、author initials、(date published)、title and publication place. So that I can find the source of this idea when I would like to check the source of idea and more easy to find more things from my research. At the same time, it can deepen our understanding of design style and other things recording the information about the book.

For example, so far, I am most impressed by a book called《flea market style》. This book is rich but not bright colours. When I saw it at first view, I thought it was a book about the Victorian style, because it was looked like come from the 50s. If let me describe, I think this interior style is more like a grandmother’s room. Because I need to record bibliography, I have to read the introduction of this book. By reading the introduction to this book, I have more confirmed that this design style when was it popular. That was very important.

If I researched pictures and information from internet, I should write down the website title, following by the URL and then(the date you accessed the page).

From now on, I will keep the habit of writing bibliography. Just like keeping the table clean and tidy. I will find the important information intuitively  and simply. At the same time, it will help us to remember some well-known designer’s names. It is an advantage to always order summary.