Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Artist statement

I grew up as an only child in my family, having learned nothing about art, and starting learning how to draw at USC. However, thanks to this inexperience, my artistic approach has never been stuck on anyone. Animation had been a "kidstuff" for me until I saw a Japanese anime "Neon Genesis Evangelion" and Makoto Shinkai's works. I hence fell in love with such a great media that has no limitation at all in terms of visual style, at the same time is flexible to express personal thought, either naively or maturally. Stylistically and narratively, I love merging cinematic techniques and personal visions into my animations, namely, everything that the disney or pixar does, I don't do. Realistic background composition, subtle light effects and non-dialogue storytelling are what I've been pursueing to combine and in my works. Indeed, I'm still learning because I'm still new to this creative field. However, as an asian, I know my artistic goal should never end at the western animation style. I will take the advantage of learning the techniques from the western world and use it into my east Asian way of thinking about life, story, society and the nature.

Having been able to absorb the two extreme different cultures, I’m always confused about where and what I should go for with animation. The United States, the most powerful country in the entertainment industry, teaches me how to make things work in making animation. China, one of the least developed country in animation, reminds me that I should always refrain from mimicking the western style. Regardless of how many years I will spend in the U.S., I will need to go home and start my career all over again. That excites me, as well as scaring me. It is always a dilemma for me to decide if I should entirely follow the western education from the Hollywood, or the east Asian sense of making animation. Indeed, gaining both sounds the best choice, but it also means doubling my effort compared to my peers. I don’t make dialogues in my film, because I know I can’t use the language very well; I spend ages to write a page of a script, because there are too many unusual things I want to tell and don’t know how; I tend to use my personal editing style in storyboarding, even though I know it’s not going to please my professor; I experiment a lot with my work, while both my American and Chinese friends don’t like it; I work so hard on courses and grades, but I don’t know why because scholarships are always only giving to American citizens, Latinos, Lesbian and gay.

It seems that I’m enjoying my life and waiting for the promising career at USC, but the fact is totally opposite. Everyday I walk in a street, I think of animation. Animation becomes something that I want to use it to make money, also that I wish to recreate and build my experience on in order to be identified as neither Asian nor Western, but Yang’s.

1 comment:

Eric said...

It was interesting to read through your statement, especially the part dealing with style. Animation definitely has distinct styles depending on where it comes from, but I think that can only benefit you. You have seen both styles and can decide what works for your piece and what does not work. I found it particularly interesting when you mentioned that the fact that everything you are learning in the field will have to be reorganized properly when you begin your professional career. Developing style is what drives many artists and I think that is a process everyone struggles with at times, especially in regards to retaining a sense of originality. The time you spend between cultures will, as you said, help build your artistic experience.