Which World Is Truly Real, LA-Based Motion Designer Curry Tian

Curry Tian is a Los Angeles-based filmmaker who has held various roles including 3d motion designer, concept/digital artist, illustrator, animator, photographer, creative director at studios internationally. Born and raised in China, she is aiming to bridge the gap between eastern and western culture, video art and film, expanding beyond into 3d motion graphic and alternative modes of storytelling. 

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

My name is Curry Sicong Tian and I am a Los Angeles-based filmmaker/visual artist. I have held various roles including 3d motion designer, concept/digital artist, illustrator, animator, I am Curry, when I was very young, I already knew that I wanted to be a storyteller with my drawings. I am always asking questions about identity, perception, relationships and circularity, and finally I discovered how powerful my cultural identity was and how strongly I related to my Chinese heritage.  Accepting your identity can help you figure out how you like to work and what motivates you.

What ideas are you exploring in your practice? Is there a theme you are currently addressing?

As a female storyteller, through my art, I’m always questioning and exploring the various definitions and expressions of true beauty. I’m always seeking the meaning of true existence and in doing so, attempting to convey the concept of duality in my work, a duality that is particularly related to the many permutations one undergoes through his or her lifetimes. For example my latest project Simulacra comes from a philosophical treatise set forth by the sociologist Jean Baudrillard in which he explores the connections between reality, society and symbols. In order to reflect and expand on these themes, the film also incorporates a prayer from Won Buddhism in Korean, Chinese calligraphy, Japanese Butoh the Noh play from Japan. All of these mediums examine the relationship between truth and society, especially the symbolism of culture and media involved in constructing a shared existence. In this film I would like to pose the question – which world is truly real?

There is a gentle touch of Zen in your projects, which is very impressive. Can you share with us the ideas behind it?

Again I think my latest personal project is also a good example: The film depicts an elderly Buddhist nun’s journey through her memory, a journey to a moment in her past where she and several of her identities enacted a sacred ritual to transform a dark entity into a graceful spirit. The film explores concepts of birth, multiple personalities, struggling with self awareness and ultimately using the power of one’s will to turn obstacles into complementary forces. Inspired by nature’s movement and the sacred Japanese dance, Butoh, the film transforms classical movement into a synesthesia of immersive experience using a variety of visual and graphic technologies and modes of design. With the use of motion graphic visuals and captivating sound designs, Simulacra even entices touch and smell as part of the viewing experience.

Simulacra explores the silent shout, the coldness of reds. This exploration of duality ultimately aims to find stillness in motion, motion in stillness. It is in the spaces between breaths where Simulacra inquires into the nature of cycles and one’s ever present, never-ending duality. SIMULACRA is not merely a 6:10 mins short visual film, it will also expand beyond into experimental theater, immersive performance, 3d motion graphic, installation and alternative modes of storytelling in the future.

You’ve been very active during the past few years. What is the most exciting thing you’ve done or accomplished so far?

You might notice, I think it is my thesis which is still running around the festivals and will be released soon. Please wait for it hahaha.

What are you working on right now as moving forward?

Working on festivals/distribution, looking for a full time job, dealing with freelancing work, graduating, confusing with future plans, meditation.

text & photo courtesy of Curry Tian

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