HKMU invites the “Yao-Chinese Folktales” production team to Hong Kong for the first time to share their insights on animating Chinese mythology

News HKMU invites the “Yao-Chinese Folktales” production team to Hong Kong for the first time to share their insights on animating Chinese mythology
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HKMU invites the “Yao-Chinese Folktales” production team to Hong Kong for the first time to share their insights on animating Chinese mythology

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HKMU News Centre Campus Focus HKMU invites the “Yao-Chinese Folktales” production team to Hong Kong for the first time to share their insights on animating Chinese mythology

HKMU invites the “Yao-Chinese Folktales” production team to Hong Kong for the first time to share their insights on animating Chinese mythology

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Hong Kong Metropolitan University (HKMU) is committed to promoting Chinese culture through research and diversified activities. Coinciding with the University's 35th anniversary, the Research Institute for Digital Culture and Humanities (RIDCH) recently extended a special invitation to the director and production team of the acclaimed Chinese fantasy animation series Yao-Chinese Folktales to share their creative insights with the University community and the public. Their first public screening in Hong Kong was well received, attracting over 200 attendees.

Chinese animation has carried on the essence of Chinese culture, exploring the style of Chinese fantasy, and demonstrating unique cultural charm on the world stage. The Yao-Chinese Folktales series is composed of eight episodes, each directed by a different director, on the theme of traditional Chinese culture. Since its online premiere in early 2023, the series has sparked a craze for Chinese fantasy in the Mainland with its artistic style, rich and diverse stories, and exquisite animation techniques.

At the screening and sharing event on “Chinese Animation and Chinese Myths: Yao-Chinese Folktales” hosted by RIDCH, the chief director, Chen Liaoyu, and directors for three of the episodes of Yao-Chinese Folktales, Yang Mu, Xu Ning, and Chen Xi shared stories and insights from various perspectives, including the relationship between myths and animation, authenticity and fictionality in animated storytelling, the rich diversity of animation genres, the intricate details in animation techniques, and the growth of animation creators.

Using Chinese mythology as the source of inspiration for animated creations and presenting it through diverse directorial approaches to construct realism within fiction is one of the core concepts behind Yao-Chinese Folktales. Regarding animation techniques, chief director explained that the directors used their meticulous artisanship to create realism. For example, “Fly Me to the Earth” and “Ship Down the Well” both employed hand-drawn techniques to evoke poignant realism in lighting and texture that is beyond what computer software can achieve. Even with the impact of AI technology today, the directors believed that their devotion and eagerness to seek authenticity cannot be replaced.

Chen revealed that the second season of Yao-Chinese Folktales will invite directors from a wider range of regions, in particular from the South. Several directors who participated in the first series will also present works in completely different styles from the first season. He said he looks forward to future opportunities to collaborate with Hong Kong animators.

Director Xu Ning, of “Fly Me to the Earth”, used his own career development in stop motion animation to encourage animation students to hone their personal strengths while also learning the full production process. “Having clear goals, believing in yourself, and constantly striving for excellence will help you stand out in the animation industry,” he said.

The screening served as a highlight of the research project “Chinese Mythology in the Digital Age”, funded by Sin Wai Kin Foundation Limited. The project aims to explore how Chinese mythology, folklore and legends can attract public attention through digitisation, with a view to opening up new directions in the study of Chinese mythology and enhancing students' understanding and recognition of traditional Chinese culture.

The production team of Yao-Chinese Folktales share their creative insights with the HKMU community and the public.

Hong Kong Metropolitan University (HKMU) is committed to promoting Chinese culture through research and diversified activities. Coinciding with the University's 35th anniversary, the Research Institute for Digital Culture and Humanities (RIDCH) recently extended a special invitation to the director and production team of the acclaimed Chinese fantasy animation series Yao-Chinese Folktales to share their creative insights with the University community and the public. Their first public screening in Hong Kong was well received, attracting over 200 attendees.

Chinese animation has carried on the essence of Chinese culture, exploring the style of Chinese fantasy, and demonstrating unique cultural charm on the world stage. The Yao-Chinese Folktales series is composed of eight episodes, each directed by a different director, on the theme of traditional Chinese culture. Since its online premiere in early 2023, the series has sparked a craze for Chinese fantasy in the Mainland with its artistic style, rich and diverse stories, and exquisite animation techniques.

At the screening and sharing event on “Chinese Animation and Chinese Myths: Yao-Chinese Folktales” hosted by RIDCH, the chief director, Chen Liaoyu, and directors for three of the episodes of Yao-Chinese Folktales, Yang Mu, Xu Ning, and Chen Xi shared stories and insights from various perspectives, including the relationship between myths and animation, authenticity and fictionality in animated storytelling, the rich diversity of animation genres, the intricate details in animation techniques, and the growth of animation creators.

Using Chinese mythology as the source of inspiration for animated creations and presenting it through diverse directorial approaches to construct realism within fiction is one of the core concepts behind Yao-Chinese Folktales. Regarding animation techniques, chief director explained that the directors used their meticulous artisanship to create realism. For example, “Fly Me to the Earth” and “Ship Down the Well” both employed hand-drawn techniques to evoke poignant realism in lighting and texture that is beyond what computer software can achieve. Even with the impact of AI technology today, the directors believed that their devotion and eagerness to seek authenticity cannot be replaced.

Chen revealed that the second season of Yao-Chinese Folktales will invite directors from a wider range of regions, in particular from the South. Several directors who participated in the first series will also present works in completely different styles from the first season. He said he looks forward to future opportunities to collaborate with Hong Kong animators.

Director Xu Ning, of “Fly Me to the Earth”, used his own career development in stop motion animation to encourage animation students to hone their personal strengths while also learning the full production process. “Having clear goals, believing in yourself, and constantly striving for excellence will help you stand out in the animation industry,” he said.

The screening served as a highlight of the research project “Chinese Mythology in the Digital Age”, funded by Sin Wai Kin Foundation Limited. The project aims to explore how Chinese mythology, folklore and legends can attract public attention through digitisation, with a view to opening up new directions in the study of Chinese mythology and enhancing students' understanding and recognition of traditional Chinese culture.

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