Animators’ Roundtable Forum: Hong Kong Animation, Zoom Webinar, May 12-14, 2022

The history of Hong Kong animation has always been translocal and transnational. It can be traced back to at least the late 1940s, when some mainland animators and cartoonists in exile like the Wan Brothers, Zhang Guangyu, Liao Bingxiong, and Te Wei made animated shorts and even experimented with the making of an animated feature film in postwar Hong Kong. But the local animated filmmaking did not begin until the 1950s, when advertising companies initiated the practice of using animation in commercials. Live-action filmmakers also began to skillfully incorporate animated special effects into martial arts cinema and experiment with animation techniques in short films. The early 1980s witnessed the rise of animated feature films with the release of Old Master Q series, which were co-productions between Hong Kong and Taiwan. Tsui Hark’s CGI feature A Chinese Ghost Story (1997) involved the professionals and studios in Japan, Taiwan, and mainland China. It was not until 2001 that a locally produced animated feature film, My Life as McDull, made its debut in Hong Kong. With the digital turn in the 1990s, independent animated filmmaking flourished, characterized by a variety of narrative and formal innovations that enriched the international film festivals around the world. Locally produced but marked by a distinct anime style with Hong Kong flavor, Kong Kee’s Dragon Delusions project (2018-present) opened a new path for Hong Kong independent animation. The co-production of Astro Boy (2009) between Hong Kong and the world also blazed a trail for Hong Kong commercial animation. Amidst the global flows of culture, can we still defend the “Hong Kongness” of Hong Kong animation in a floating city that is disappearing?          

This roundtable forum will discuss animated filmmaking in Hong Kong, past, present, and future, from the insider perspectives of these animators who have left their footprints in history of Hong Kong animation. They will discuss a diverse range of topics, including the history and heritage of Hong Kong animation, independent animation, commercial animation, experimental and abstract animation, and animation education. They will also share hidden histories and names never disclosed to the public, rarely seen animated films and photos, as well as their dreams, struggles, joys, regrets, and pains along the journey.   

Join the Conference: 

Zoom Webinar ID: 947 8384 3968

Passcode: ACASCMA

Zoom Link: https://hkust.zoom.us/j/94783843968    

In accordance with the Copyright Ordinance of Hong Kong, photographing and video recording are not allowed. Violation of copyright laws will result in legal action. 

Organizers:  

Jake Junjie ZHANG , Computational Media and Arts Thrust Area, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Guangzhou), PRC

Isabel GALWEY, Division of Humanities, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong SAR 

Sponsors:  

Division of Humanities, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong SAR

Computational Media and Arts Thrust Area, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Guangzhou), PRC

Panel 1: 9:00am-12pm, May 12 (Thursday, Hong Kong time), Hong Kong Animation Heritage, chaired by Daisy Yan DU, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong SAR

“Welcome Speech,” Steven B. MILES

  • Steven B. Miles earned a Ph.D. degree in history from the University of Washington in 2000, before taking up positions as visiting assistant professor at the College of William & Mary, as assistant professor at Southern Illinois University, and as assistant, associate, and full professor in the Department of History at Washington University in Saint Louis. In 2021, he became a professor and head of the Division of Humanities at HKUST. Since 2019, he has served as editor-in-chief of Late Imperial China.

    A sociocultural historian of early modern China, Professor Miles’ earlier published work focused on urban institutions and literati culture in nineteenth-century Guangzhou. His more recent publications explore migration, rivers, and frontiers in southern China from the sixteenth century through the nineteenth century, an interest that in turn led to a broader, comparative study of Chinese diasporas from the sixteenth century to the present. His current research projects include a database of stone inscriptions related to Cantonese commercial networks and a series of projects on urban life and seasonality in nineteenth-century China.

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, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong SAR

“My History of Animation: From Socialist Shanghai to Hong Kong and Taiwan,”

  • Fung Yuk Song tells a first-person history of Chinese animation through his personal experiences, starting as a young animator in Shanghai, before striking out independently in Hong Kong and founding a successful animation studio in Taiwan. He shares the creative processes he learnt working on a number of the Shanghai Animation Film Studio’s most famous works of the 1970’s, before relocating to Hong Kong and breaking into the animation business there, which had close links with Taiwan. He describes the do-it-yourself attitude of Hong Kong animators at that time, and how despite the challenges some young animators went on to do great work. Eventually, following the opportunity to work with accomplished director King Hu—who had once trained with the Wan Brothers, often regarded as the founders of Chinese animation—Fung Yuk Song recounts his relocation to Taiwan, where he worked on Zhang Yu Boils the Ocean, his great unfinished masterpiece in the 1980s. He explains the variety of artistic inspirations behind Zhang Yu’s visual style, including the illustrations of Aubrey Beardsley and Yoshitaka Amano, the architectural traditions of the Minnan region, and the natural landscape of Taiwan itself. Fung Yuk Song also gives an insight into the ever-changing requirements of the international animation outsourcing industry, and how he and his colleagues had the foresight to expand their operations from Taiwan back to the Mainland, helping to establish Zhuhai as a center for outsourcing work. Combining a deep understanding of the art of animation with an awareness for the rapidly evolving global animation industry, Fung Yuk-song describes how he learnt to balance the demands of running a business with the creative needs of his award-winning animations over the course of his long career.

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FUNG Yuk Song
  • FUNG Yuk Song (1940-): Fung joined the Shanghai Animation Film Studio after he graduated from the Zhejiang Fine Arts Academy in 1959. He participated in the production of around thirty animated films as designer and director, including The Hens’ Relocation to a New Home (Muji banjia, cel animation, 1979), One Night at the Art Studio (Hualang yiye, cel animation, 1978), and Young Heroes (Zigu yingxiong chu shaonian, cel animation, 1995-1996). He relocated to Hong Kong in 1978 and worked as a film director at the Hong Kong Animation Company. In 1984, he began to work as a film director and production director at the Wang Film Productions in Taiwan. During his stay in Taiwan, he collaborated with King Hu and co-directed Zhang Yu Boils the Sea (Zhang Yu zhu hai, cel animation, mid-1980s). He also directed and produced around 200 TV animation series outsourced from Europe and the U.S. His work In Quest of Magic (Xue xian ji, cel animation, 1992) won the Golden Horse Award in Taiwan in 1992, and he was invited to participate in the Annecy International Animated Film Festival in 1993. Another of his works, Golden Dream (Jusheng, 1992), was invited to be shown at the International Animation Festival Hiroshima in 1993. In 1990, he was invited by the Wang Film Productions to establish the Speedy Victory Animation Company (Chisheng yishu gongsi) in Zhuhai, Guangdong province.  

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, senior animator

“The Path of Independent Animation in Hong Kong,”

  • This is a brief history of the development of independent animation in Hong Kong. I will introduce the most influential independent animators, the platform to watch their works and the achievements they made.

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LO Che Ying
  • Neco Lo che-ying is an experienced animation producer and director who began working as an independent animator in 1977. Most of his animation shorts won gold awards at the Hong Kong Independent Short Film Festival (now IFVA) and were shown at numerous international film festivals. He worked as an animation designer at Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) between 1978 and 1993, and was responsible for numerous educational animation and opening titles. Since the 80s, he has written extensively about animation history as well as taught animation principles in various universities and colleges. In recent years, Neco has been a tireless campaigner for Hong Kong animation, and has curated a number of exhibitions on the history of Hong Kong and Taiwanese animation since 2006. He currently serves as the secretary general of the Hong Kong Animation Industry and Cultural Association and is producing a new animation feature in Hong Kong.

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, Hong Kong Animation Industry and Cultural Association, Hong Kong SAR

“Hong Kong Animation’s Cosmopolitan Characteristics,”

  • Whether it’s through visual design or narrative methods, being able to break regional boundaries and blend different cultures is one of the “survival instincts” of Hong Kong’s creative industries. If they can also give full play to the unique characteristics of Hong Kong itself, this is even more highly commendable. This talk will cover the last twenty years of collaboration and communication with the outside world and particularly with the Japanese animation industry, as well as Hong Kong animation creation’s future development.

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Keeto LAM
  • Keeto entered the Hong Kong animation industry in 1979 as an animation director and an ­­animator of special effects. Since then, he has worked in professional positions as an animation screenwriter, mentor, and creative consultant. As a screenwriter, Keeto entered the Hong Kong Who’s Who in the 1970s, and he is a founding member of the Hong Kong Screenwriters Association and Hong Kong Film Critics Association. His film works have won numerous awards. These include the television animation series for which he was director and production designer, Professor Panda Says (成語動畫廊,1978-89), which was Hong Kong’s first animated television series, and 2008’s Disney co-production The Secret of the Magic Gourd (寶葫蘆的秘密), which won that year’s Golden Rooster Award for the best children’s film.

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, senior animator 

“Animation in Transnational Digital Networks: Anime and Hong Kong’s Social Movement,”

  • Popular visual culture has had an important role in the contemporary Hong Kong social movement. A mixture of transnational popular references, from music to films and memes, helped build a popular iconography. Among these, Japanese animation has had a particularly important role.

    In this talk, I explore the relationship between Hong Kong’s social movement and Japanese animation since March 2019 through a theoretical framework of transnational anarchist civic imagination that focuses on the role of animation in the non-institutional cross-cultural networks between ordinary people. Such an approach invites us to notice new roles of animation in the digital media, social networks and cultural movements, as well as new phenomena related to imagining alternative realities and civic participation through animation.

    Animation is a composite part of digital networks that are also social and cultural. To understand its complexity with a focus on the people’s practices and mutual meaning-making, I bring together anthropology, history, visual, cultural, and science and technology studies.

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Mateja KOVACIC
  • Mateja KOVACIC teaches and researches at the intersections of science, technology and popular culture. Her work includes animation, robots, AI, cyborgs, and virtual “life-forms” from historical, anthropological, and philosophical perspectives with a transnational focus on Japan and East Asia.

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and Yuqi ZHANG
  • Yuqi ZHANG is a PhD student at the Academy of Film, Hong Kong Baptist University. She has obtained a BA in Film Production at the University of Central Lancashire and Msc in Film Studies at the University of Edinburgh. Her research focuses on Hong Kong independent films and cultural activism in Hong Kong.

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, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong SAR

Panel 2: 4:00pm-6:30pm, May 12 (Thursday, Hong Kong time), Independent Animation, chaired by Jake Junjie Zhang, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Guangzhou), PRC  

“Hong Kong Independent Animation,”

  • This talk will take the form of a dialogue between Mak Siu Fung and Billy, the content will surround students who have studied animation courses in order to find employment. Will they be able to continue creating independent works, and set independent animation as their primary objective when they pursue an animation career? The talk will analyse and compare the operations of Hong Kong commercial animation with the operations of Hong Kong independent animation, consider the various difficulties of each, and so on.

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MAK Siu Fung
  • In 1991, Mak Siu Fung started working in different types of art work, including comics, illustration, sculpture and more. His works have mostly been seen as unique and alternative. In the early 1990’s, he was among the first generation of Hong Kong toy designers and alternative comics artists. In 1993, he went to Japan to study traditional hand-drawn animation, and in 2011 he won the independent short film Gold Prize in the annual Hong Kong Independent Film and Video Awards. In 2012 he received arts development support in making the animated film Disposition, and in 2016, he received support from the animation support program to make the animation Cross Blade Kill.

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and Billy TANG
  • At university, Billy Tang enjoyed studying Maths and Computer Science as his electives, though in 1998 he graduated from the mechanical engineering department. However, in 1999, out of interest, he self-studied to become an animator, and began working in animation. In 2007, he went to San Francisco in the USA to study courses in 2-legged and 4-legged motion, and to improve his character animation skills. These last few years, he has continuously worked as an animator, rigger and coder. At the moment, he is working as a principal technical artist.

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, independent animator, Hong Kong SAR

“Scribbled Thoughts About Negative and Dramatic Territories in Animation,”

  • It seems to be a watershed for me in terms of creation in 2022. Looking back at my animation works, I feel a kind of urge to break away from my old self. “Emotion” has always been the most important thing in my work, while “tension” has always been my desire to be better expressed. How could emotion and characters shift a story away from the “negative” to better reflect its core message? How could the character, when trying to cover up the things or issues they try to conceal, just highlight their shortcomings in the opposite direction? Though these are not any new points of view, I would like to explore them much more. By understanding more about the concepts and reality of human behaviours and empathy, the universal way of storytelling, narrative and description, dualism, Commedia dell’Arte, my own life and experience… All combined through the nature of animation, I hope to create an animation that is at least to myself, genuine, interesting, and able to touch others.  

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Emily WONG
  • Emily Wong is a mother and a stop-motion animator in Hong Kong. She studied stop-motion in Bristol, England. Her animation shorts “Flour & Mush,” “Trumpet Man,” “Such is Life” and “Tree as Company” had been invited to participate in more than 50 international film festivals and won several awards. She’s now the artist in residence in Hsinchu, Taiwan.

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, Animation Creative Director and artist in residence of Hsinchu, Taiwan

“Sustainability of Independent Animation Career,”

  • How to strike a balance between making animation for a living and doing personal independent works can be tricky, particularly for fresh graduates and junior animators.

    In this talk I will share my experiences on the mindset and strategies on swinging between commercial and independent animation making processes, how to approach employers, networking and getting art funding.

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Lilian FU
  • Since graduating from National Film and Television School in 2013, Lilian Fu has been an active animator with more than 10 years of animating experience. Her works Fishing with Popo (2011), First Light (2013) , TV series Kids Say (2015) have been in tour in numerous film festivals including Edinburgh Film Festival, Hiroshima Animation Festival, Anima Mundi(Brazil) etc. Lilian Fu has also directed and animated a broad range of TV and commercials with clients including BBC, Hong Kong Wetland Center Mosaic Films Ltd, Radio Television Hong Kong and Alaraby TV Networks. She is now working freelance in UK.

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, Independent Animator, United Kingdom 

"Pushing Boundaries: Short Independent Animations in Hong Kong during the Digital Turn,"

  • When conceptualizing and defining animation, there is a tendency to separate works by format or by genre: animated commercials and serialized cartoons are seldom studied alongside short-form independent animation and experimental “new media” works. However, in the case of Hong Kong animation, the widely accepted barriers between “independent” and “commercial” media are called into question, meriting a more holistic approach to animation as a medium. Through sharing archival research at the Asia Art Archive, the Hong Kong Film Archive and the Hong Kong Arts Centre, spanning from the mid-1990’s to the early 2000’s, this talk aims to shed light on the versatility of Hong Kong animators of this period. They were able not only to push boundaries between different production modes, but also to experiment and incorporate contemporary digital technologies and aesthetics into their animation practice.

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Isabel GALWEY
  • Isabel Galwey is an MPhil student in the Division of Humanities at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Before beginning her graduate study, Isabel received a Distinction in BA Chinese Studies at the University of Oxford, UK, where she was a St Hilda’s College Scholar, a Fung Scholar and a Laidlaw Scholar. She also spent time studying at Peking University, Beijing and East China Normal University, Shanghai. After her undergraduate she worked in a media company in the UK specialising in raising awareness around sustainability issues. At HKUST, her current research focus is Hong Kong animation in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. She also creates her own animation.

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, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong SAR

Panel 3: 9:00am-12pm, May 13 (Friday, Hong Kong time), Experimental/Abstract Animation, chaired by Yiman Wang, University of California, Santa Cruz   

“Abstract and Experimental Animation in Hong Kong,”

  • In this presentation, Max Hattler reflects on the state of abstract and experimental animation in Hong Kong. For the past seven years, he has dedicated much of his time to promoting this kind of work in Hong Kong, and to putting Hong Kong-made experimental animation works on the map internationally. Through his teaching, he has trained a new generation of artists including Ho Tsz Wing, Wong Man Sze and Florence Yu Ki Lee, who have received international acclaim for their experimental animations. In his research, Hattler has published about abstraction and meaning in the animation of Hong Kong artists Choi Sai Ho, Carla Chan, Tobias Gremmler and Chris Cheung Hon Him. Hattler’s own experimental film Serial Parallels, which takes Hong Kong high-rises as its subject, screened at over 135 events and picked up 24 awards and mentions, including the Audience Award at Cinema Urbana Architecture Film Festival, and the Off-Limits Award at Annecy Animation Festival. Through the Relentless Melt society for abstract and experimental animation, Hattler regularly curates and organises screenings of local experimental animations, both in Hong Kong and internationally. He is currently concluding a teaching project collaboration with the Hong Kong Tourism Board, through which students created experimental films about different Hong Kong neighbourhoods.

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Max HATTLER
  • Max Hattler is an artist, researcher, curator and educator who works with abstract, experimental, and expanded animation. After studying in London at Goldsmiths and the Royal College of Art, he completed a Doctorate in Fine Art at the University of East London in 2014. Since then, he has been an Assistant Professor at School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong, where his research and teaching are focused on abstract animation. His award-winning films have been presented in retrospectives at Taichung International Animation Festival, Anifilm Festival, Filmfest Dresden International Short Film Festival, and many others. He has spoken widely at international conferences such as CONFIA, the Society for Animation Studies Conference, Animafest Scanner, Ars Electronica’s Expanded Animation Symposium, and the Annual China Animation Studies Conference in Chengdu. He is a new media consultant for the Beijing International Animation Exhibition and serves on the board of directors of the iotaCenter for abstract film, the programming committee of Seeing Sound symposium, and the editorial boards of Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal and Animation Practice, Process & Production.

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, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR

“Experimental 3D Animation,”

  • In this talk, I will discuss different approaches for creating experimental 3D animation using my own works as examples. I will discuss topics such as progression, processes, computer graphics technology, and the issues of narrative, representation, and abstraction.

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HU Rui
  • Rui Hu is an artist whose practice and research explore the issues of time and temporality from a multitude of perspectives and through a variety of media and technologies, including moving images, installation, games and virtual simulation. His work has been featured by Artforum, 艺术论坛 (Artforum China), Ocula, Killscreen, etc. He recently received the Best Experimental Animation Award at the 60th Ann Arbor Film Festival, an artist residency at the Swatch Art Peace Hotel Shanghai, and was a finalist for the ifva Award from Hong Kong Arts Centre. He has participated in exhibitions and screenings at art spaces, institutions, and film festivals internationally, including the International Film Festival Rotterdam, UCCA Center for Contemporary Art, Ann Arbor Film Festival, ifva Festival at the Hong Kong Arts Centre, International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA), Derby QUAD Arts Centre, Vienna Shorts Film Festival, Odense International Film Festival, LOOP Barcelona, Images Festival at the Art Gallery of Ontario, VIVO Media Arts Centre, Athens Digital Arts Festival, among others. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Practice in Computational Media and Arts at HKUST (GZ). He holds an MFA in Media Arts from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and a BFA in Film from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

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, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Guangzhou), PRC

“Alternative Perspectives,”

  • Louise PAU is a Hong Kong-based artist who is devoted to exploring new forms of narrative. She will present and examine a variety of media that she consumed in her formative years that had influenced her understanding of what animation “should” be. She will then trace how her understanding of the term has erupted, expanded and evolved since her postgraduate studies on experimental animation in the United States.

    In her talk, she will explore the following questions: What value can experimental animation bring to a city and culture that is so accustomed to traditional forms of narrative? What are the costs of producing experimental animation in a highly commercial environment? How does one balance their own art practice and commercial work?

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Louise PAU
  • Louise Pau is a moving image artist from Hong Kong whose work grapples with the identity of a Hong Konger in the face of post-colonialism and shifting power structures.

    She received her MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in Experimental Animation and her film bachelors from Hong Kong Baptist University.

    Her work explores the intentions of the present and imagines the slow unraveling of the future. She currently works on primarily hand drawn animation on paper and incorporates found objects and documents. Her works have been screened in festivals including Animafest Zagreb, GLAS, Fantoche, New Chitose Airport Animation Festival, VOID and IFVA.

    Apart from her own practice, she is currently an art director at Unsensible, a creative agency that creates emotionally intelligent content for brands that advance human health and wellbeing. She is also a part-time lecturer at the School of Creative Media at City University of Hong Kong. Her latest film is Survival HK (2019).

    f)

    Name: LOU PAU

    Title: Alternate perspectives

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, Unsensible, Hong Kong SAR

“Animation as Fine Art for Galleries and Museums,”

  • Since the eighties I have presented my animations in galleries and museums, from Budapest Digitart Festival in 1986 to the Venice Biennale in 2019. I am happy that nowadays more and more museums and galleries accept animations as exhibitable art objects or installations. When I arrived in Hong Kong in 2010 most of my students wanted to work in the film industry. During the last decade Hong Kong has changed a lot. Nowadays several of them want to work as exhibiting artists and fortunately some of them are successful in this rather difficult career. In my presentation I would like to present some of my artworks, mainly those which have connections to Hong Kong. Then I will present artworks from some of my Hong Kong students.                                 

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Tamas WALICZKY
  • Tamas Waliczky was born in 1959, Budapest, Hungary. Animation and New Media artist. He started out by creating animations at the age of nine. Then he worked as a painter, illustrator and photographer. He began working with computers in 1983. He was artist-in-residence at the ZKM Institute for Visual Media in 1992, and subsequently a member of the Institute’s research staff (1993- 1997) before taking up a guest professorship at the HBK Saar, Saarbrucken (1997-2002). The IAMAS in Gifu, Japan, has chosen Waliczky as an artist-in-residence from 1998-99. From 2010 to 2020 he is a professor at the School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong. His works won numerous international awards, including the Golden Nica of Prix Ars Electronica, Linz, were shown in several exhibitions worldwide, including the Biennial of Lyon, the ICC Gallery Tokyo, the Multimediale Karlsruhe or the Biennial of Seville, and are in different public collections, like the Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris), the Kunstmuseum Bonn or the Ludwig Museum (Budapest). Tamas Waliczky has been selected to represent Hungary at the Fifty-Eighth Venice Biennale, 2019.

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, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR 

Panel 4: 4:00pm-6:30pm, May 13 (Friday, Hong Kong time), Producing Animation, chaired by Isabel Galwey, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong SAR 

“Metaverse and Its Impact on the Animation Industry,”

  • Metaverse, Web3.0 and NFT are the hottest topics recently. What can be the impact of these on the animation industry?

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Lily LEUNG
  • Lily Leung is the CEO and co-founder of Nikopicto Limited, an award-winning one-stop digital entertainment creative studio based in Hong Kong. She is the executive producer of numerous international TV commercials and multi-media/interactive projects i.e. projection mapping and augmented reality. Lily was nominated and sponsored by CreateHK to attend the ANNECY Film Festival (MIFA in France), the master classes of Fantastic Film School at BUSHAN International Film Festival (Korea), and the master class in the Walt Disney Animation Studios (Burbank, US) together with the leading directors and producers from Asia and US. Lately, Lily is developing the metaverse platform “PICTOVERSE”.

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, Nikopicto Limited, Hong Kong SAR

“A Curious Toddler - the Animation Adventures of Studio Biped's Founders,”

  • Anita So is a project manager, writer, and simultaneous interpreter. Angela Wong is a director, animator, and creative coder. They get together to discuss their dreams and nightmares in producing commercial and independent animations.

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Angela WONG
  • Studio Biped is specialised in storytelling, 2D animation, and ink-painting animation technology. Like a toddler learning to walk with two feet, they are always excited to take on something new, something they’ve never done before.

    Angela Wong is always interested in how art and story could inspire one to initiate and, by doing so, discover the joy of participating. Abstraction is an aesthetic value she holds dearly. She’s most moved by works that examine the human experience and help them grow wiser. She believes in a place’s art being an important and timely witness of the place.

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and Anita SO
  • Studio Biped is specialised in storytelling, 2D animation, and ink-painting animation technology. Like a toddler learning to walk with two feet, they are always excited to take on something new, something they’ve never done before.

    Anita So is a project manager specialising in creating and cultivating an environment where artists shine. With solid experiences in chairing digital production projects, she has worked closely with creatives from distinct backgrounds. By applying animation to business, education, community, culture, and technology, Anita aspires to bridge the gap between animation production and our daily lives.

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, Studio Biped, United Kingdom

“Make Hong Kong Animation a Bigger World,”

  • Since 2017, I have been working on an animation short “Another World” which casts a vision with an animated movie project. Now in 2022, the preproduction commences. The courage and determination of us come from all the genuine recognition by the jury teams of the local and international animation festivals, the industry experts in the film markets we participated in, the professionals devoted to the project and the international projects our animation studio involved. I would love to share with you the journey of Another World around the globe and our vision to make Another World unique to the market.

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Polly YEUNG
  • Yeung has been producing feature films since 2011. Her recent works as producer include the comedy Hotel Soul Good (2018, Udine Far East Film Festival) and The Lady Improper (2019, closing film of CinemAsia Film Festival, in competition at the Osaka Asian Film Festival). She also wrote the film Rest on Your Shoulder (2001, Shanghai International Film Festival).

    In 2017, Yeung set up an animation studio with animation director Tommy Ng, Point Five Creations. She produced and wrote the animation short Another World(2019) that garnered eminent local and international awards and acclaims such as 21st Digicon6 Asia Award-Grand Prize (Japan), 25th ifva Awards Animation Category-Gold Award(Hong Kong) and CineCina Project Horizon-Best Animation Short (USA). Another Worldis extended to an animation film project which participated in Hong Kong Asia-Financing Forum (HAF) under Hong Kong Film Market and won Fiction Award (Hong Kong Project) in 2020. In 2021, it was selected in Tokyo Gap Financing Market under Tokyo Film Festival.

    Amid the coronavirus pandemic, she completed a professional course organized by Unity Technologies for Certificate in Virtual Reality Application Design and Development.  She then produced and created an animated VR project called Silili & Tree(2021), funded by Hong Kong Art Development Council. Since then, she explores ArtTech creativity. Yeung also makes her directorial debut in the documentary short The Cloud Learner (2021/22) and produces the Mexican documentary film The Siren Song (HAF 2020, WIP 2021, DocEdge2021, DocNYC 2022), expected to be released in 2023.

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, Point Five Creations, Hong Kong SAR

“Why Do You Want to Animate? This Is Art and Craft,”

  • The craft of animation and wider popular culture are connected in important ways. The development of one is closely linked to the other; popular culture draws out trends in animation, and vice-versa. This is especially true in the case of music and animated image-making, which have a unique synergy and often go hand-in-hand. In today’s cultural marketplace, which is being disrupted by new phenomena such as NFT’s, how should the animation industry develop and respond?

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Welby CHUNG
  • Welby, Chung Wai-Kuen is founder and director of Crossfade Creative Ltd. Welby practiced Hip Hop Dance since undergraduate study, was graduated in BA Visual Communication in Design and Master of Design from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and he started his animation and digital graphic design career in 1996. Prior to founding Crossfade Creative, Welby worked as an animator in music channel in TV Station, visual effect animator and as an art director. With a unique combination of animation and motion graphics design skills, Welby has developed his own style of visual design and was moved to be television commercials, music videos director and graphic design in 2008. He is a MV director for artists including Keung To, Anson Lo, GEM Tang, Chrissie Chau, Louis Cheung, Regen@Hotcha and Jing Chang (Zhāng Yúnjīng). In 2008, he got nominated award for Best MV Director in 19th Golden Melody Awards 08 Tai Pei, the biggest music award in Asia, DigiCon 2009 ‘s third prize in local competition, “My Dear Flower” has won the gold award in the 9th Hong Kong Independent Short Film and Video Award 2003 (IFVA) and “I am fine” in I-City IFVA 2005 and Super8 video work “My Good Time” in IFVA 2006 has been distributed as DVD project and it has been screened by festivals worldwide.

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, Crossfade Creative Ltd, Hong Kong SAR

Panel 5: 9:00am-12pm, May 14 (Saturday, Hong Kong time), Commercial Animation, chaired by Gigi Tze-yue Hu, independent scholar

“Avatar - From CG Character Design to Different Mediums,”

  • CG Characters are not only living in animation. Nicolas will share his unique creative experiences inCG character creation and applythem into different mediums such as toy design, installation, AR, VR, mobile games and Metaverse.

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Nicolas LESAFFRE
  • Nicolas Lesaffre is a French animation director, character and toy artist, and co-founder of Nikopicto Limited. Graduated from Supinfocom/Rubika in 2004, Nicolas debuted his career in feature film working on the first 3D animated film directed by Luc Besson. Over the years, Nicolas has created a colorful palette of films, illustrations, projection mapping, augmented reality, and IP creation in Paris, London, Los Angeles and for 10 years in Hong Kong, under the label of the creative animation studio, Nikopicto. Nicolas’s latest IP creations include GoingApe (NFT/metaverse/art toys), Hug the K (art toys/music/skateboard), Wuen (kids’ animation), and Shiny the Squirrel (toys/mall licensing). Nicolas has over a hundred collaborations with brands such as Gucci, Lacoste, Louis Vuitton, Wechat, Nissan, Hasbro, BNP, VW, American Express, McDonald’s, Hong Kong Tourism Board, Singapore Tourism Board, to name a few. Nicolas’ artwork has been awarded and showcased in many international film festivals and publications such as Shots Magazine, Luerzer’s Archive, Motiongrapher, Stash Media, Cannes Lions Festival, Annecy International Animation Film Festival, Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film, Australian International Animation Festival, etc.

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, Nikopicto Limited, Hong Kong SAR

“Creative Business: Develop Your Own Creative World,”

  • Lam Pei entered the creative industries as an illustrator. Through brand licensing, collaborating with retailers, making picture books, and even creating animation, she established her career with the goal of developing an independent illustration brand. Now, the illustration business that Lam Pei created has been running for thirteen years. Every creator has their own story of growth, and in this sharing talk Lam Pei will introduce her journey from illustration to animation creation.

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LAM Pei
  • Lam Pei is Hong Kong-based illustrator and visual artist who records her life through doodling, painting, comics, and illustration. She creates wonderful and professional artwork and takes inspiration from inner identity and nature, and especially cherishes nostalgic things. She has also published an array of picture books, comics, and zines under The Flying Sofye series.

    “Flying Sofye” is a signature illustration brand; the gentle, pretty, lively yet mysterious image of Flying Sofye explores the story behind old things and people. In recent years, Lam Pei Studio has also launched related Vinyl Toys and exhibited them in different international trendy toy shows in Beijing, Shanghai, Japan, Thailand, Taipei, etc. Award: “start-ups Bronze Award 2020” of the “Seventh Animation Support Program”.

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, Lam Pei Studio, Hong Kong SAR

“Hong Kong Comics X Animation Unique Advantages and Future Development Opportunities,”

  • Peter Ng will discuss the character design and IP brand development he carried out for the radio serial “芝see菇bi Family,” as well as his animation for the RTHK programme “Comic Road,” and his animation “Shadow Play,” a tribute to Wong Sze Ma made in collaboration with RTHK.

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Peter NG
  • Mr. Peter NG, the founder of Pai Pai Shou Studio.

    He has won the Gold and Silver Awards in ifva (Animation Category) with Mr. Salmon and Dandelion respectively. He was the winner of the 2004 My Hong Kong Banknote Design Competition co-organised by HSBC and the Hong Kong Heritage Museum.

    In 2005, he took part in the making of i-city with nine other animators.  He has also worked on the character design and comic creation for G C Goo-bi Family, one of the famous programmes of Commercial Radio. He was also invited by Hongkong Post to design stamps with different themes for official issue, and has also collaborated with many famous brands and organisations, including Volkswagen, Hong Kong Arts Centre, Levi’s, Kirin Co. Ltd., Arts in Hospital, MTR, and various government departments, etc..  He was also the animation director of the RTHK programme Comic Road, and has served as a judge in various art competitions. The Chairman of the Hong Kong Society of Illustrators 2016-2018.

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, Pai Pai Shou Studio, Hong Kong SAR

"An Uphill Battle: Making a Famous Japanese Animation Title (Astro Boy) for the International Markets,"

  • Japan, the anime and manga kingdom, has produced large numbers of famous animation titles in the last century. Legendary characters and epic storylines have become animation history with fans and readers all over the world. The readers and audiences, aka die-hard fans, are the true supporters and are always hungry for more of their beloved characters and storylines. Transforming a famous Japanese animation title like a traditional manga 2D character into a digital 3D character for the international markets has huge potential to be a mega-hit and make huge profits. But in reality, is it really that simple? Let’s take a look from the perspective of a former employee of the Animation studio who made Japanese titles for the world.

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Kinson Cheung
  • I have spent my last twenty years between digital media education and production. I got my Bachelor of Architecture from the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, University of Toronto, Canada in 1998. I went on to study Computer Animation and Modeling before I came back to Hong Kong and worked as an instructor in SCOPE, City University of Hong Kong. I got my Master of Science in Computing from City University of Hong Kong in 2005. I joined animated feature production company, IMAGI Studios in 2007 as Training Manager to produce animated films. I was the Professor of Animation of SCAD Hong Kong from 2011 to 2017. I am now teaching at Caritas Institute of Higher Education as a Senior Lecturer.

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, Caritas Institute of Higher Education, Hong Kong SAR

 

Panel 6: 4:00pm-6:30pm, May 14 (Saturday, Hong Kong time), Hong Kong Animation and Higher Education, chaired by Kenny Ng, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong SAR

“10 Years of Teaching Animation and More in Hong Kong,”

  • Mr. Robinson will share his experience of teaching animation and design in Hong Kong.  He has worked in a variety of educational contexts: Programme Director; Full-Time and Adjunct teaching positions; Public and Private schools; Local and International students, and even some experience in the 2ndary school system. He will share insights gained along the way for a discussion about arts education in Hong Kong and beyond. 

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Michael ROBINSON
  • Michael Robinson is a Senior Lecturer and Programme Director of the Animation and Media Arts Programme, at Hong Kong Baptist University’s Academy of Film. He has also taught at SCAD HK, PolyU/Speed, and many other schools.  He has extensive background and experience in animation, motion graphics, animation for documentaries, storytelling, interactive media, and graphic design. He has done senior design work for MTV, Comedy Central, Microsoft and Target Stores. He has an MFA in Animation from USC’s film school and a PGCE teaching certification from Sunderland University. 

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, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong SAR

“Project-driven Animation Education and Practice Based on my Teaching in Hong Kong,”

  • Animation is a comprehensive subject involving artistic, scientific, and cinematic mindsets and many different techniques. Sometimes it’s easy for students to get lost in the study and become unsure what the focus should be. “Learning by doing” is one of the important educational approaches. How to motivate and lead students to study and work in a practical context? How to make sure they understand the animation pipeline and encourage them to collaborate with each other? How to teach them to direct and manage projects? 

    Educators should treat each student as a unique one and can identify each student’s strengths and weakness; and lead them on a right track. A project-driven approach does not simply mean ‘more projects the better’. Instead, a project-driven approach requires educators to identify students’ uniqueness and try to apply long-term training in a series of specific in-school assignments as well as collaborative real projects. 

    In this talk, I will use students’ projects from my teaching in Hong Kong and projects I collaborated with them to demonstrate strategies and approaches of project-driven animation education. 

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Jake Junjie ZHANG
  • Junjie “Jake” Zhang is an award-winning independent animation artist, illustrator and educator living in LA and Hong Kong. He likes to explore and develop different visual styles to express his artistic opinions and stories. Most of his films are dark-humorous, ironic and fantastic, reflecting social and political issues indirectly. Jake Zhang holds a BA in Digital Media from China Central Academy of Fine Arts and an MFA in Animation and Digital Arts from the University of Southern California. His films have been awarded and selected in festivals all over the world, including Jury Award at 55th Ann Arbor Film Festival (2017), Storytelling Designation Winner in Adobe Design and Achievement Award (2015), Nomination in 58th CINE Golden Eagle Award (2015), the Best 2D project in The Vision Feast, Distinction Award in Athens Animation Festival (2016), Winner in Animaze Animation Day in Cannes Film Festival (2016), Official selection in KLIK! Amsterdam Animation Festival (2015), Corfu Animation Festival (2015), Cutout Fest International Animation and Digital Art Festival (2015), Animasyros International Animation Festival (2015) and  Melbourne International Animation Festival (2014). Currently, Jake lives in Hong Kong. After serving as Professor of Animation at Savannah College of Art and Design for five years, he is now one of founding faculties and Assistant Professor of Practice in Digital Arts at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Computational Media and Arts thrust area. His research interest includes storytelling in virtual reality, screen design & world building strategies, Creator & user experience in process of creating. Besides, he has founded his artist studio Jake Weird Power in Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre since August, 2019.

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, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Guangzhou), PRC

“Difference as Motor: An Outsider’s Perspective on Developing and Creating Authentic Hong Kong Film,”

  • As filmmakers we create content drawn from our own authentic experiences and interests, making work unique to each of us. But what if our current experiences, interests, and research are located in a cultural context which is not ‘our own’? Today, in the identitarian political climate, we see an increasingly limited possibility of being: A narrower and narrower definition now being propagated by different states and stakeholders about what kind of identity one is allowed to inhabit. How do we – and should we – operate and move against such politics, towards an intersectional paradigm?

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Tim PATTINSON
  • Tim Pattinson is a UK-born animated filmmaker and university lecturer. He earned a BA (Hons) degree at Staffordshire University where he studied under guidance from Bob Godfrey Studios, before earning an MFA in Animation and Digital Arts from University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. Tim’s MFA film “Lion Dance” was shortlisted in the Student category of the 2016 Academy Awards, and has screened in over 100 international festivals winning many accolades. Tim’s films “Lion Dance” and “Domestic Cat” have been broadcast on US TV and been licensed for distribution in Japanese and North American territories, while he has worked at Hollywood’s ShadowMachine studio (creating content for Comedy Central) and in the UK creating content for Bob Godfrey Studios. Tim has lectured undergrad and graduate programs at universities in England and North America, and served as Professor and Chair of Digital Media for SCAD Hong Kong as well as teaching weekly animation workshops for local children and teenagers. He is currently an RPg student at Hong Kong Baptist University, researching his PhD in animation, having been awarded the prestigious HKPFS fellowship grant.

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, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong SAR

“Where Are We Going Next? Sharing an Insight on the Animation Education and Industry in Hong Kong,”

  • Higher educational institutions in Hong Kong, especially animation-related courses, produce a pool of talented graduates every year. However, it seems that only a small number of graduates pursue long term careers within the Hong Kong animation industry. Furthermore, the sector has been downsized, thereby making it difficult for students to envision and pursue their dream within the industry. This lack of opportunity occurs despite there being local funding bodies and film festivals for animators to contribute towards. In this regard, educators, industry professionals, and policymakers need to question if we provide proper guidance for students’ career sustainability within Hong Kong. Nevertheless, we must develop further opportunities to address students’ long-term goals in the animation field. This talk will identify ways to nurture the career goals of young and talented graduates. It then proposes a feasible solution for aspiring animators to realize their dreams within a dynamic, yet evolving local animation industry.

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Jae-Eun OH
  • Dr. Jae-Eun Oh is an assistant professor and program leader for the BA (Hons) in Digital Media at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University School of Design. She received an MFA from the School of TV, Film and Media Department at UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) and a Doctorate from the Department of Film, Performance, and Animation at Sejong University, South Korea. Before moving to Hong Kong, she held teaching positions at higher educational institutes in South Korea and Singapore. Her research interests lie primarily in the area of animation storytelling, animation nostalgia, and theme park attractions that adopt animation content to attract visitors. Besides animation-related research, another research area of hers demonstrates how to motivate creative media students using studio/project-based learning, where they learn to create their own media artifacts. 

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, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong SAR

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