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Chinese Artist Sun Xun Invites Everyone to Contribute Art to His Animated Feature

To celebrate being active in the face of the pandemic, famed painter and animator is looking for artists everywhere to participate in a special sequence within his new 90-minute film. 

Famed Chinese artist, painter, and animator Sun Xun has issued a unique call to artists around the world, asking them to submit an image of their own work to include in a special section within his new, 90-minute film.

Better known internationally and within China for his paintings and art exhibits, Xun is also a noted filmmaker; his animated short, Tears of Chiwen, was in competition at Annecy 2018, and a special retrospective of his work was exhibited at Annecy 2017 as part of the celebration of China. Writing about Chiwen for AWN, Ottawa Animation Festival director Chris Robinson shared:

“Starting with a long tracking shot, Tears of Chiwen takes us through an assortment of Asian-inspired mythical imagery and landscapes before being interrupted by an Abraham Lincoln-like figure standing outside what appears to be a temple. Slowly but surely, images and icons from Western culture begin to subtly invade the screen. Exquisitely animated, this beguiling work explores -- and laments -- the demise of Asian influence in the world, pushed aside by the often brash and facile voices of modern Western cultures that have infiltrated, effaced and increasingly silenced Asian traditions, and, with them, cultural and individual identities.”

In a translated note sent to AWN by his colleague, animation historian and former HAFF director Gerben Schermer, Xun reaches out to the animation community:

To Reflect the Current Condition Through a Film:

My name is Sun Xun, and I am an artist. I am currently working with my team at Pi Animation Studio, on a 90-minute feature art animation film. As this moment, the world is ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic and like everyone, not only are we fearful and distraught, but also overwhelmed by a sense of helplessness. This sudden viral outbreak and our own limitations have forced us to self-quarantine and social distance. However, as tragic as this situation is, to endure it inactively is not our only choice! There are a lot of things we can do, big or small. I plan to reserve one of the most special sequences of my film for you.

And now I am inviting all of you, undifferentiated in the face of this pandemic, to work together with me in completing this film. Let’s make it into a monumental feature unique to this special period of time, which will not only document the sorrow we share, but also works as a reference for the future in defining what we are today, to prevent us from solely relying on our often faulty memories. When we complete the film, the names of all contributors will be listed at the end. We will donate to the Red Cross to help those in need on behalf of the participants of this film.

Details on how you can participate in Xun’s project are as follows:

  1. Whether you have received any training on painting or not, you can contribute to this film. Send us an email for the animation script.
  2. Print out the script we send you on a A3 format paper.
  3. Draw a picture that you consider special with the provided pattern using whatever you have at hand as painting tools. Make sure your picture does not go beyond the frame we set.
  4. Take a photo of the work. Make sure you have decent and even light on the picture, so that you get a high-quality photo with sufficient details to add to the film. Please try to avoid capturing the shadow of the person taking photos. Of course, if you could send us a scanned image of your drawing, that would provide better image qualities to work with.
  5. Take a photo of the scenery in front of your window. You can include your window as the foreground.
  6. Send your painting and photo to: pianimationstudio@gmail.com
Dan Sarto's picture

Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.

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