A love for Chinese Lion Dancing as a child has prompted Swinburne alumnus Ching Tan to launch his own Kickstarter campaign, with the hope of sharing his passion for the tradition with children.
Growing up in Australia, but with a Chinese heritage, Ching said that he was surrounded by lion dancing during Chinese New Year, but realised many of his family members didn’t know a lot about its heritage.
“Even though lion dancing was all around us, most of my family didn’t know the meaning behind the dance. I’ve been a lion dancer for over 13 years with the Chinese Youth Society of Melbourne and there’s a lot of history, culture and stories behind the dance that not many people are aware of. I really wanted to share this history with others,” Ching said.
This was where the idea for Ching’s Kickstarter campaign came from. Kickstarter, a funding platform for creative projects, helps individuals and groups to launch their independent projects and ideas. Every project creator sets their project's funding goal and deadline. If people like the project, they can pledge money to make it happen.
“Our motto is ‘teaching kids culture through play’ and we have done this by creating an interactive experience for kids. Kwan the Chinese Lion is an interactive kit that includes a cardboard lion head, booklet and access to the online portal,” Ching said.
Ching, and his wife Linda, who both studied a Bachelor of Design (Industrial Design) (Honours) at Swinburne, said that the kit helps kids to learn due to its interactivity.
“We’ve designed a range of activities that are aimed at teaching children the art of lion dancing through play. These activities can be completed with the child themselves or accompanied with parent or sibling.
“With each kit, participants will be able to build and colour Kwan, read the stories and practice the dance.”
If Ching and Linda are successful in raising $30,000 during their Kickstarter campaign, they will be able to:
- Create a short production run of booklets
- Engage web developers to design and build the online portal
- Record quality videos for online tutorials.
After completing his Bachelor of Industrial Design, Ching went on to study Swinburne’s Master of Design (Design Anthropology).
“My Masters helped me to understand the value of cultural learnings and how to create a product experience that will resonate with children.
“These two courses combined have given me the confidence and knowledge to launch what I hope will be a successful Kickstarter campaign.”