The Himalayan Oral Literature Project is an information design project to build the visual index system to facilitate documenting and collecting endangered oral literature in Himalayan region before they disappear. This project inspired by The World Oral Literature Project presented by University of Cambridge and Yale.
Base on the definitions from World Oral Literature Project, oral literature refers to any form of verbal art which is transmitted orally by word of mouth. Oral literature includes multiple formats such as ritual text, epic poems, music, folk tales, songs, etc. Oral literature is difficult to record and preserve because or it only formed in performance; especially it shaped by performer’s improvisation. Unlike written literature, the technique for documenting spoken word is limited.
Himalayan region includes regions around Himalaya Mountain such as Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan. The people of the Himalayan region formed their distinctive mythology system base on their culture and environment. Their nature worship shaped their religion and mythological culture, and documented in multiple forms, includes religious arts, such as painting, and verbal arts, for example, folk tales.
In this project I want to build a visual information system in order to build a visual language to tag the oral literatures and preserve them in two ways. First, the visual language is optimizing the communication between researchers and performers in the recording process. Secondly, the information system also trying to make these oral literatures more approachable to public.
According to my researches, I build multiple categories in order to tag oral literatures, including theme, elements of contents, format, form and length. I designed the visual presentation for these tags base on the researched of Himalayan visual arts and their live environment.
If you have any questions, please contact Michael: Zyuan@pratt.edu
©2015, Michael Yuan. All Rights Reserved.