Professor: Joseph Ayers
The historical event that I’ve chosen for this project is China's Cultural Revolution, taking place during the 1960s. It was an important time in the history of China where the old were erased and the new rise to power. One can say that this revolution allowed China to gain growth economically, which led to a huge step forward to the modern world and technology. However, I wanted to focus on the process of such doing. There were many consequences that this revolution has caused; the younger generations were lead under Chairman Mao to destroy the ancient artifacts, statues, and precious art pieces from the old. It was a time of chaos. Figures were taken down, art pieces were burnt to ashes, and books of past knowledge were destroyed recklessly. Leaving us with nothing left from the memories and history of China, the country. Therefore, I’ve used this project to express and show the consequences of how these disappeared artifacts or things that once defined who we are and how the culture of China was like it had upon the younger generation of China. Personally, due to what is said above, I’ve always felt that this one missing piece of my identity and origin can never be found—lost forever.
Starting with a water droplet, it forms a Chinese-style architecture where two Chinese opera actors appear. The magnified face paint, representing the art and history of China, is then taken down by the black figures running across the frame. First, the eyes are taken down, then the frame completely disappears from the flames, symbolizing the artworks and books burned down during the revolution. As the fallen empire disappeared, the hand of a student/child appears and tries to fit that piece into a puzzle. However, it doesn’t work. Just as the student attempt to try again, another hand representing the education system now, takes that away from the student and throws it away. The student then looks at their hands as they disappear in front of them. Then, repeating the animation's beginning, a water droplet or a drop of tear begins its journey again.