Where am I? | 非我之我
2019-2020 | 4mins 16 sec | hand-drawn and mixed media animation | film and installation
What do you see inside the mist?
What do you see inside the mist? Did you find the question, did you find an answer? It doesn’t matter.
Through the abstract storytelling and scenes, also the Yin and Yang girls, the film trying to explore the boundary between dream and reality, conscious and subconscious, tells the stories metaphorically and poetically of the question ‘What is the real self?’.
The title of the film is taken from a saying of Buddha. On the one hand, this title will lead the question literally which is about the confusion of self-perception. On the other hand, it is the thinkings on the question of "I" from the perspective of Buddhism, and trying to seek relief from it.
Most parts of this film were drawn on the same paper frame-by-frame, I feel the charcoal mark seemed like trace of memory.
Besides, the narration of this film comes from some scattered poems I wrote during the early processing. When the words came out, the scenes unfold naturally. After the integration and modification of these scattered little poems, the film's muttering narration is formed. Through the abstract and metaphor words and scenes, different people will see different stories.
Space and character sketching.
There are some sketching for the story setting. I use ink to draw the space and the relation between the two girls.
Two girls are designed as Yin and Yang.
Performance and live-action reference
At the beginning of the film making, I went to a pool and took a large number of videos and photos underwater. The underwater experience created the first scene of this film I finished. It could say the film was born in water, haha (just joking).
About the performance, I experienced some setbacks and made many changes during the process. Finally, my friend and I completed an impromptu dance, which is a reference for most of the action in the film.
Mark of the film
The main technique of the film is hand-drawn by charcoal, the movement of the animation was drawn on the same paper frame to frame. Besides, I also use some mixed media in the film, like collage and live-action.
‘Charcoal, which is essentially burnt wood, that it’s a very primitive basic way of making a mark. It is so flexible, cause you could make a charcoal mark, and then with a cloth, you can just blow it off and it changes.’——William Kentridge
stills of the film
The film was shown as a video installation in an interactive space. The installation is made by 5 layers of chiffon changeant cloth, and one projector projects the film through the fabric. In this space, the audience can watch the film on different sides.
The light silk will flutter by the audience movement, and the scene of the film will also be waved or broken. It is like dream or fragile heart, a light touch will cause ripples and even big surging.