An Antique World in Frames

Rapid acceleration in nowadays’ society is causing passing down traditional values to be neglected, so there is always a need to advocate for more up-to-date avenues for traditional cultures. Since Gen Z would be the next to undertake the responsibility of preserving and innovating traditional heritages, teaching them traditional cultures is an important assignment for cultural and education providers – from government, teachers to parents. There have been many means to preserve and incorporate them for learning purposes, but the ways they ‘package’ these traditional cultures are leaving much to be desired especially for Gen Z audiences (etc. museums, documentaries, textbooks, literature). That also means: it is time for the media of popular cultures to step in the game!

Being a hybrid medium, comics are known for having prevalent attributes to be in favour of young audiences: from their variety of graphic illustrations and creative storytelling to the accessibility of their flexible formats. Their unique way of visual storytelling helps subject depiction become easier to comprehend and remember for youngsters.

Through exploring its unique visual languages and performativity, this project highlights narrative comics as an exciting avenue for Gen Z to learn about traditional culture, introducing how traditional comics could be redesigned and used as a cultural-educational tool to help Gen Z get in touch with traditional cultures. Under the theme of Vietnamese cultural traditions, this project will testify the visualising and narrativising capabilities of the comic book medium, making the engagement with these cultural heritages more intriguing and rewarding for young readers.

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