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Life & Work with Curry Sicong Tian

Today we’d like to introduce you to Curry Sicong Tian.

Hi Curry Sicong, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
When I was very young, I already knew that I wanted to be a storyteller with my drawings. I enrolled in Tsinghua University to study visual communication, then I applied and got into USC as a master’s student in animation & digital art. Born and raised in China, I am aiming to bridge the gap between eastern and western culture, video art and film, expanding beyond into 3d motion graphics and alternative modes of storytelling.

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. And for sure questioning how my Chinese heritage influences me in all aspects. Right now, I am working on my personal feature film, and I really want to establish connections among instruction-based works to create a deeper understanding of the design aesthetic and social impact.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
I would say I am definitely super lucky but born and raised in a traditional Chinese family, there are lots of challenges along the way. It is very hard to make the balance between paying bills and chasing dreams. I’m a director who is involved in every aspect of the production process. From sending hundreds of Instagram messages to dancers we cast, to attending every location scouts to ensure production design moves forward with the most specific directions possible, which makes me feel anxious all the time. I always fall into self-doubting/denying and I am always afraid of losing creativities. But feeling anxious means being challenged and therefore an opportunity to grow. Also being a woman can be challenging, we are in the minority of the room which means our voice is not as important as male. I actively enjoyed all the working pieces of film creation and I consider myself lucky to be surrounded by collaborators and colleagues who worked with me patiently to bring this surreal and exploratory concept to life.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
My name is Curry Tian and I am an LA-Based mographer/director, I have held various roles including 3d motion designer, concept/digital artist, illustrator, animator, photographer, creative director at studios internationally. Born and raised in China, I am aiming to bridge the gap between eastern and western culture, video art and film, expanding beyond into 3d motion graphics and alternative modes of storytelling. In 2019, I was invited to speak at MotionPlusDesign in Tokyo(Motion Plus Design has produced sold-out events in Paris, Tokyo and Los Angeles (900 attendees/city) where they invited the cream of the crop of international Motion Design Artists.) My most recent work is my thesis SIMULACRA, which won the Student Academy Best Experimental this year. Simulacra is a multi-immersive experience which integrates live-action/motion capture/3D scan and 3D motion digital art. 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. 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 is not merely a 6:10 mins short visual film, it will also expand beyond into experimental theater, immersive performance, 3d motion graphics, installation and alternative modes of storytelling in the future.

How can people work with you, collaborate with you or support you?
Just hit me up through Instagram @Curry_ Tian or email me if you feel like you are doing cool stuff. The best project are always richer when we include different people. My working process takes on many forms. While I work and conceive, I’m truly and fully led by imagination and intuition, not so much a specific structure. There are always fresh ideas building upon an ever-changing, very much alive visual direction. So I am definitely open to any cool collaboration and I do have lots of projects coming along recently, so stay tuned!

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Curry Sicong Tian

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