Posted to the Ethnos Project by on July 30th, 2016

Traditional art and craft, practiced by various craft-guilds in the country are the evidence of Indian cultural heritage. Though the narratives depicted in the form of painted façade or scroll-paintings are the genesis of traditional Indian visual language, the scarcity of public awareness and seclusion from the mass is becoming a threat to economic sustainability of those craft-guilds as well as cultural sustainability of our heritage. Virtual heritage propagated through new-media have strong potentiality to turn people culturally aware about our absconding cultural heritage (Cameron, & Kenderdine, 2007) and eventually bring traditional Indian art and craft into the domain of public knowledge.

The paper explores contemporary research in virtual cultural heritage by arguing for an enhanced user-driven approach through new-media for diffusion of knowledge. Translating the pool of data, worthy to be preserved and diffused among larger mass, into a popular paradigm like new-media is found more accessible by new generation and can act as an educative tool (Kalay, Kvan & Affleck, 2008). The young population is most effective to carry forward the cultural heritage in the long run. In this paper newmedia, like game-designs and animations are explored as a contemporary paradigm for educating the selected target-user by translating the narrative visual language of Indian vernacular art-forms. The research process involves ethnographic survey to document the socio-cultural heritage. Study is duly meant for the knowledge preservation, such as method, material and the key features of the visual art-form. Possibilities and constrains of the contemporary paradigm are analyzed and extracted visual language from the traditional art-form is translated accordingly. This paper therefore addresses the methodological user-driven design exploration to preserve and propagate the cultural heritage value of Indian traditional art-forms among new generation by documentation and responsible translation of tangible traditional visual paradigm into an easily accessible contemporary virtual paradigm.

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