Living in houses, we fill our rooms with the specific atmosphere that is characteristic only for our inner self. The interior design mirrors our thoughts and ideas, telling the guests much more than the host would like to tell them. Because of the peculiarities of the Chinese culture, the room of a Chinese teenager can offer much more food for thoughts than a museum excursion.
Taking a closer look at the way the girl has designed the interior of her room, one can see the peculiarities of the Chinese culture mixed with the girl’s tastes to produce a stunning and unusual effect. Because of the mixture of Chinese and Japanese which the room represents, the interior provides sufficient food for thoughts concerning the cultures fusion and the way it is represented in the Chinese room interior.
Because of the fact that the room under the analysis belongs to a teenage Chinese girl, it is quite peculiar to see the way the Chinese wisdom and religious traditions are intertwined with the teenager’s tastes and preferences.
Analyzing the denotation of the room design, one must mention that the spirit of Chinese traditions and beliefs still can be traced here, despite the influence of the modern ideas and trends which is evident in the style of the room decoration and the objects that the girl has used to furnish the room.
Defining the purpose of the objects in the room, one has to mention that most of them are designed to create the specific atmosphere of belonging to certain teenage culture, namely, Japanese anime. Therefore, many objects are used only for decoration of the room, whereas there are only few which serve certain purpose.
Among them, there are the objects that are most necessary for a teenage girl, that is, the bed, a small table, a lamp on it, a couple of chairs and a writing table with a computer on it. The functionality of the objects is quite obvious, it must be admitted. The way the room is furnished reflects the traditional idea of the Chinese minimalism with the inevitable speck of chic about the details of the interior.
It cannot be denied that the Chinese longing for the refined atmosphere is fully represented in this small room; even the rugs on the floor possess the gleam of silk. Combined with the traditional minimalism, the furnishing of the house provides the traditional impression that Crouch was talking about: “This holistic approach cam be analyzed in terms of functional needs, technology and aesthetics” (240).
Another feature of the room is the big windows with rather light curtains that move with each slight blow of the wind. Creating an impression of spaciousness and freshness, the big windows are traditional for the southern part of China, as Crouch marks (240), which is a mark of what part of China exactly the girl comes from.
Therefore, the functionality of the room cannot be denied. Yet on the other hand, one has to admit that the premises are overstuffed with a plethora of decorative items that do not have certain purpose and are used rather as the lucky charms or the elements of the girl’s culture.
Requiring a deep insight into the fusion of the Chinese and the Japanese cultures, the connotative analysis of the girl’s room will offer an exciting trip to the world of Japanese anime and Chinese myths. As Moore marked it, “Inferences about a variety of characteristics of the interior of the home and the residents reflected the actual characteristics” (169). Therefore, a connotative analysis of the girl’s room can be the key to her character as well.
What strikes most about the room is quite unusual combination of the blue and orange colors in the interior. Ranging from the light-blue tint of the wallpaper up to the deep-blue color of the blanket on the bed, the marine palette allows to suggest that the girl wants to fill her room with the air of happiness, love and coziness. According to what Webster says,
Orange symbolizes fertility, love, luxury and comfort. In China and Japan, orange symbolizes love and happiness. Oranges are eaten on the second day of the Chinese New Year to attract good luck in the coming year (Webster 34).
Adding the blue palette to the room design seems quite wise step, since the shades of blue balance the bright and buoyant orange palette. In addition, the blue color intensifies the skills to think and meditate, which is also extremely important for the Chinese vision of the world. Webster emphasizes that the blue color “symbolizes love, sincerity, honesty and hope. It also relates to purity, eternity, devotion and spirituality” (Webster 34).
Thus, it has to be admitted that the color cats has extremely important significance for the room and the atmosphere in it. Creating the air of love and devotion mixed with spirituality and purity, the girl has managed to design a room that fits her of dreams and desires. Combining the elements that might have seemed incompatible to a stranger, she created the vision of a world that she would like to live in.
Taking a closer look at the elements of decor, which the girl has used to bring certain element of individuality in her room, one can claim with certainty that the Japanese anime has had its impact on her. As one takes a closer look at the elements of decoration and the overall atmosphere of the room, it becomes clear that the place possesses the typical features of the Japanese anime.
Take a look at the way in which the idea of magic is interpreted in the room design: the shapes o the chairs and the table, the numerous lucky charms and knick-knacks remind of the fairy-tales about wizards and magic.
Portraying a typical “magic girl” from a Japanese comic strip, these elements contribute to the overall image of the room and its owner. This room reflects the idea of the magical girl that Drazen was speaking about:
Her powers include a magic pen that allows her to transform into an adolescent version of herself – an older Minky Momo who can do anything perfectly, which is surely the wish of any child who has been told, “You’re too young.” (Drazen 43).
Indeed, the mirror framed with the magic-like patterns, the traditional sharp shapes of the Japanese anime and other “magical” elements can be found everywhere in the room. The entire place looks like a trip to a fairy-tale.
With help of the peculiar design and several essential details a nameless room turned into the place where a teenage Chinese dreamer lives. Combining the incompatible, the girl created a unique place that is the reflection of her inimitable self. This charming room is a perfect example of how cultural background mixed with taste preferences and the hobby can add the room an incredible flavor of authenticity.
Crouch, Christopher. Contemporary Chinese Visual Culture: Tradition, Modernity, and Globalization. Amherst, NY: Cambria Press, 2010. Print.
Drazden, Patric. Anime Explosion! The What? Why? & Wow! of Japanese Animation. Berkeley, CA: Stone Bridge Press, 2003. Print.
Moore, Gary T., and Robert W. Marans. Towards the Integration of Theory, Methods, Research, and Utilization. Heidelberg, Berlin: Springler, 1997. Print.
Webster, Richard. The Complete Book of Auras: Learn to See, Read, Strengthen and Heal Auras. Woodbury, MN: Llewellyn Worldwide, 2010. Print.