Wanning Zhang

Harmonious World

Bachelor of Design Motion Capture 3D animation Video Abstract Dystopia Experimental

A Dystopian Utopia

Harmonious World is an abstract 3D short animation featuring a pig-like character that creates his own empire through the brainwashing of his subjects. The pig-like character is a metaphorical representation of an oppressive leader of a tyrannized society.  I was intrigued by the idea of how complex emotional frustrations as a result of a restrictive political system can be effectively communicated to an audience. This led me to create the research question of “to what extent can the frustrations of living in an authoritarian socialist society be visualised and expressed to an audience through symbolism, in an abstract manner”?

Harmonious World draws on works that use symbolism and metaphor to give a sense of societal discourse. The idea behind it was not to simply explain the meaning of the film, but rather, provoke the thoughts of the viewer, thus leaving them to decide how they interpret it. By expressing my frustrations with the power structures in the modern world in an abstract manner, it allows me to guide the audience through the underlying ideas, but not direct them. Harmonious World offers a tact critique of social norms and political systems through artistic expression. This is often a common feature in artistic styles displaying cynicism or irony, like that of cynical realism and other avant-garde styles. By studying closely how experimental artists have been able to successfully express themselves, I  was able to build on and take inspiration from their ideas and techniques to use in my short film.