04.16.21 (Yang) In Search of a Chinese School of Animation: National Style, Landscape Painting, and Ink-and-Wash Animation
From Julia Karon Grimm
What makes Chinese animation special? What are the major stakes of forging a Chinese style of animation? This talk traces the concept of the “Chinese school of animation” to a series of groundbreaking fine art (meishu) animated films produced by Shanghai Animation Film Studio during the socialist era (1950s-1960s), with a focus on the ink-and-wash genre. By comparing Feeling from Mountain and Water (shanshui qing, 1988) and Fog Hill of Five Elements (wushan wuxing, 2020), this talk aims to not only demonstrate how traditional landscape painting informs our reading of ink-and-wash animated films, but also historicize the stylistic and technical innovations of the ink-and-wash animation from the socialist to the post-socialist period. Bio: Dr. Renren Yang is assistant professor of modern Chinese popular culture in the department of Asian studies at the University of British Columbia. He works on twentieth-and-twenty-first century Chinese literature, film, and Internet culture. He has published articles on Chinese time-travel imagination, surveillance cinema, and web novels. This lecture is a part of the Global Virtual Speaker Program series hosted by the MSU Asian Studies Center, and funded through area studies endowments.