Friday, March 05, 2004
Some astonishingly beautiful flash animations by 卜桦 (Bu Hua). If you can't read Chinese, just click on the images arrayed in the middle of the page; the first two, "A Seed's Journey" and "Cat", are particularly outstanding. Be patient with the slow download; it is well worth the wait.

I am a little reluctant to call them flash animations, which is what they are, because they do not feel at all similar to the glitzy, bandwidth-hogging stuff that stand in for content so many places else. These remind me of the Chinese and East European animated films of the 1960-80's, where animation was taken seriously as a visual art in the broad context of visual arts, from painting to sculpture to photography.

Can a film, or at least a short film, stand as a purely visual work of art minus the narrative? Western painting traditionally has had a strong narrative view, like glorified comic strips — think of the Sistine Chapel. But what is the narrative in the Mona Lisa or a Jackson Pollock? Why can't a canvas be viewed as a film with a single frame?