The Chinese style aesthetic trend represented by domestic animation and ancient style culture has repeatedly broken the circle and has become a noticeable cultural phenomenon in recent years.

Its background is the Z generation, who was born at the turn of the new century. It is not only a fan of the two-dimensional culture, but also the main force of image consumption.

With the rise of the Chinese economy, Generation Z has more confidence and recognition of Chinese culture and Chinese traditions. This is in line with the new youth of the May 4th New Culture period in the 20th century and the post-80s who grew up during the market-oriented transformation in the 1980s and 1990s. , The different emotional and cultural structures of the post-90s generation.

Go beyond popular culture stereotypes and give the works a "Yu Yan layer"

  Since 2015, domestic animation "Journey to the West: The Great Sage Returns", "Nezha's Devil Boy", "White Snake: Origin", "Big Fish and Begonia", and "Ginger Ziya" have been on the big screen one after another, changing the Hollywood animation in the Chinese film market. , Japanese animation dominates the current situation.

In terms of animation quality, after more than ten years of learning, introduction and exploration, domestic animation technology has digested the experience of advanced countries such as the United States and Japan, and created a video series with traditional Chinese culture as the theme in content.

It can be said that the dazzling performance of "Guo Man" is inseparable from the distinctive core of the national style: taking traditional Chinese literary texts as the motif, modern interpretation and adaptation of them are used to generate a new Chinese style cultural IP that is both traditional and modern.

These IPs are highly sought after by the Z generation because of their new Chinese style that blends ancient and modern.

  Take "Nezha: The Devil Child Comes into the World" as an example. The protagonist of the film Nezha is a household image in Chinese myths and legends. Tian Ling, the young hero on the Hot Wheels, along with familiar stories, have gained a large number of fans in the circulation of thousands of households. It can be said that Nezha has its own idol aura and mass foundation.

The movie "Nezha" does not completely follow a certain mythology in terms of character setting and value concept, but it is adapted with modern characteristics.

Facing the teasing of fate, Nezha yelled out the phrase "My life is up to me" in despair. This distinctively individualistic slogan hits the strong self-awareness of Generation Z and has become a young man for a long time. Internet buzzwords talked about by the community.

"My life is up to me" is embedded in the narrative mode that resists evil authority and publicizes individual will. This type of narrative mode can easily bring aesthetic pleasures such as "burning" and "cooling". This is not the original creation of the movie "Nezha" , But a classic Hollywood model that has been tested by the market.

As a successful consumerist text, Nezha's way of success is to create "Ran Dian" and "Shuang Dian" that cater to the "second disease" of young people.

However, the ending of "Nezha" is not in the classic mode that the weak defeat the strong and justice defeats the evil, but the "Lingzhu" and the "Magic Bead" work together to achieve the mission of protecting the common people and redeeming themselves. The source is hidden behind it. From the traditional Chinese culture, the value concept of harmony and symbiosis and the philosophical concept of yin and yang mutual development.

  If "Ne Zha" is a modern adaptation of traditional literature due to its use of film narrative mode, which fits the aesthetic psychology of Generation Z, then it is qualified to be called a classic because of its deep understanding of traditional Chinese culture. It transcends the stereotypes of popular culture, giving the work a "survival layer", which is interesting and thought-provoking.

The relationship between "yin and yang" and "harmony" and other abstract philosophical concepts and film narratives presents a strong organic nature. The story makes the concept concrete and sensible, and the concept makes the story have a long aftertaste, deepening the influence of Generation Z on Chinese traditional culture. Understanding of connotation.

After the film was broadcast, Nezha Aobing cp fans ("Loupian cp" once appeared in the top three on the Weibo two-dimensional creation list) appeared on major media platforms, showing the audience's recognition of the film's setting.

The ancient style "breaks the circle" demonstrates the cultural self-confidence of the Z generation

  Art is the vane of the spirit of the times. The sudden emergence of Guoman is not groundless, but the call and manifestation of the spirit of the times.

However, Guoman movies are not the only way to write the soul of the times. In recent years, a large number of excellent Chinese style literary works have also emerged in media fields such as online short videos. Together with Guoman, they have formed the Chinese style, a remarkable cultural landscape.

For example, the popular Internet celebrity Li Ziqi's video has created an uncontested pastoral life for both grandparents and grandchildren, doing farm work, chatting about the house, making food, and following the simple survival wisdom of "changing four seasons, eating adequately" .

The production process of traditional Chinese handicrafts such as bamboo weaving, Shu embroidery, the Four Treasures of the Study, and Marquise was presented in detail through Li Ziqi's video, which not only made domestic netizens admire, but was also sought after by overseas netizens through broadcasting on youtube and other platforms.

For example, the cultural TV variety show "Chinese Poetry Conference", which was first broadcast in 2016, revolved around Chinese poetry and set off a wave of classical poetry craze across the country.

Therefore, traditional culture is rejuvenated and vigorous with the help of modern mass media, showing the inheritance of Chinese civilization.

Generation Z is not only the main audience of "Chinese style", but has gradually become the backbone of the production and dissemination of "Chinese style".

  The cloud-shoulder pattern on the girl in Hanfu suddenly transformed into a full-screen flowery brocade, and then, accompanied by the rhythm of the music, long drums, fish skin clothes, Yang opera masks, Manchu and Han banquets and other classic cultures of fifty-six nations The symbols appear gradually.

This is the scene in the Tsinghua University graduation project animated short film "Wanhua Mirror". In just 2 minutes and 50 seconds, the audience enjoyed the traditional cultural landscape of China's 56 ethnic groups.

From the perspective of artistic style, the paintings of "Wan Hua Mirror" have obvious antique colors. The lines, colors and brushstrokes of traditional Chinese paintings and arts and crafts constitute a visual style that is rich in decoration and formality.


  汉服爱好者和古典美女仿妆博主无需借助某一个故事才可以把自己装扮成古人,她可以在这个视频中是杨贵妃、下一个视频中是武则天,观众关注的不是她们身上发生了什么,而是她们的服装、发饰、口红色号和眉毛形态。古风音乐的主要阵地也转移到了视频网站上,曾经在音乐网站或播客平台时期备受关注的歌词远远没有演奏者富有古意的服装、化妆和演奏场景重要。一个典型的代表是“自得琴社”。如果观众是一个古典文化爱好者,那么当观众打开任意一个视频网站,算法极大概率会在首页给观众推送这样的视频:封面是一幅足以以假乱真的中国古典人物群像画,画面上发髻高耸的仕女演奏着古筝、古琴、琵琶等乐器,身着铠甲的将军在打鼓,儒雅的书生手握笛子席地而坐。观众被封面吸引,点进去,发现这些“古人”用这些古典乐器正在合奏一首观众耳熟能详的曲子,可能是民族音乐的经典曲目,也可能是最近流行的电视剧的配乐,甚至还可能是巴赫或者《国际歌》。有人跟观众一样困惑, “分不清自己是在看一幅画,还是听一首歌”,但旋即被它的意境吸引,沉浸在这种古典视觉符号的狂欢当中,曲子结束后还想去查一查他们到底复刻的是哪一幅名画,演奏的曲子有什么特别的故事或意义。当观众看到有人打出这样的弹幕“我们要用摇滚的方式唱响国际歌,我们要用流行的方式唱响国际歌,我们要用民谣的方式唱响国际歌……我们要用每一种方式唱响国际歌,要让真理传遍世界”,不仅感到共鸣,还联想最近观看的红色文艺作品《1921》 《革命者》 《觉醒年代》等。Z世代的古风文化还带有互联网的“超链接”属性。互联网的参与式、互动式的传播形式,让每一个文本都不单单是一个文本,而是可以派生出无数的文本, 《万华镜》的科普、 “自得琴社”版《国际歌》的联想,都是“超链接”的具体呈现。这是一种社交化、圈层化的文化共鸣,是借助移动互联网实现的文化共情。

  The Z generation is obsessed with ancient culture, but is no longer limited to the stories of knights in the arena, but is more in love with the aesthetic presentation of ancient visual symbols.

Behind the transformation of ancient culture from narration to presentation is the transformation of the media environment.

Generation Z grew up in the era of visual culture. Images have replaced words as the dominant medium of cultural production and dissemination. Visuality is far more attractive to audiences than storytelling. Forgetting stories and remembering pictures is the social motivation for the transformation of ancient cultural patterns.

At the same time, compared with text, images are more entertaining but not profound.

However, the recent phenomenon of ancient culture has shown us that, as the “indigenous people” of the Internet, Generation Z is accustomed to interactive and participatory communication methods. During the process of interaction and participation, it can not only deepen emotions, but also generate countless hyperlinks. , These texts are crisscrossed and become a dense cultural network, enriching their knowledge system in multiple dimensions, so as to avoid the problem of shallowness caused by reading pictures.

For the Z generation, the ancient visual symbol system is not the end but the beginning. The ancient visual culture, which carries the classical Chinese aesthetics, can not only evoke the cultural memory and national identity of the Z generation, but also generate hypertext and link with many texts. To further deepen their understanding and emotions of traditional culture, the cultural closed loop generated in this way is also an important reason why more and more young people have become the "running water" of national culture.

From the rise of "Guo Man" to ancient fashion, it demonstrates the cultural self-confidence of Generation Z.

  (The author Liu Runkun and Zhang Huiyu are respectively a postdoctoral fellow at the School of Journalism and Communication of Peking University, a researcher of the School of Journalism and Communication of Peking University, and a critic of the signing of the Beijing Federation of Literary and Art Circles in 2021)