Drawing on the worldview of Shan Hai Jing (the Classic of Mountains and Seas), a Chinese classic text of mythic geography and beasts, we instill contemporary, philosophical contemplations into a newly conceived story. Against the mythical backdrop is the idea of "avatar," or modes of "alter-being," through which we elaborate the inner journey of human beings' coming to terms with the unknown: the birth of life, the struggle for survival, the revelation via love, hate, and fear, and the ultimate transcendence and release with inner peace.
If the mythical world filled with Eastern totemic symbols represents the birth of the unknown, the "beasts" that are the "alter-beings" of humans render visually our inner complexes. This piece combines semi-immersive video space and media art to let the audience inhabit the "unknown" and experience their "alter-beings" with the dancers, as we journey into the mysteries of life.
In correspondence, the digital media design features technological "avatars" by way of motion capture, interactive animation, and remote control, linking backstage manipulation with frontstage performance. With these all-permeating technological "avatars" as metaphorical "alter-beings," the performance also embodies the merge between modern technology and traditional arts.
PhD, lecturer of College of Design and Innovation, Tongji University, Digital Media Designer. Cofounder of Integrated Media Design Lab at Tongji University, main member of Tongji-Soundlab, visiting scholar of Parsons School of Design, New York.
Zhang Yinan dedicates to education and research focusing on digital media design and motion graphics design as well as the creative practice of new media art. He has rich interdisciplinary cooperation and innovation experience, including video art, 3D animation, creative coding, sound design, new media performance and other comprehensive fields.