Week fives lecture was on the history of Chinese Animation and as given by Dr Yuanyuan Chen.
She began by telling us about the first golden era of Chinese animation between the 1950s and 1970s. It surprised me that Chinese animation had started that early in the century and was intrigued to see how it was created. I learned that some animations during this time were created using ink washes, such as ‘Feeling of Mountain and Water’ by Te Wei. Dr Chen defined some of the characteristics of animations during the first golden era, these included: using techniques from traditional Chinese paintings, using elements of Peking Opera and adaption from classic Chinese literature.
I learned about the second Golden era of Chinese animation from 1980 to the end of the 90s. These animations immediately appeared more advanced, however it was still possible to tell they were not modern animations. We looked at the work of A Da, an animation director in Shanghai. He created short animations like ‘Three Monks’, ‘Super Soap’ and ‘The New Doorbell’. During the second golden era the characteristics of Chinese animation differed from the first. These animations were now narrating modern subject and involving wider topics. They were also animating modern western modernist paintings such as Piet Mondrian.
After 2000 was the post-modernist, non-commercial era of animation. Now we see the use of digital, shift and flash films which are cheaper to produce due to the internet and user friendly software.
I found this lecture very interesting because I got to see how Chinese animation had involved over the past half of the century.