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"I like to focus on aspects of life and the city that are very close to me, and plastic is a common and easily obtainable product of modern industry in our lives."

Xinyi Chen

Stop-motion animation “The Gummy Bear Killer” 2021

On a leisurely afternoon, a girl is bothered by an annoying gummy bear wandering around her house, causing mischief. In the end, the girl uses her juicer - the Gummy Bear Killer! This is actually an advertisement for a juicer.

Responsibilities: Director, Storyboarding, Gummy Bear Design, Scene Design, Scene Production, Animatio

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Stop-motion animation “The Gummy Bear Killer” 2021

Chenyu Lin: Hi! Xinyi, can you tell us the origin of the name “Mao-Se-Su Liao-Hua (Fluffy Plastic Flowers)”?

Xinyi Chen: About this name, “Mao” is myself, because my hair is naturally curly, which is a distinctive feature that my friends are accustomed to calling me. “Se,” color is a very important part for me, as colors evoke strong subjective emotions in me. Sky blue is my representative color because it is familiar and relaxing for me. It directly brings to mind many meaningful and comfortable images or scenes for me personally. “Su Liao,” plastic is a symbol of my creative concept. I like to focus on aspects of life and the city that are very close to me, and plastic is a common and easily obtainable product of modern industry in our lives. Therefore, “plastic flowers” symbolize in my concept a kind of simple, readily available, yet eternal beauty compared to perishable real flowers.

2D Animation “PASS” 2021

On a leisurely afternoon, a girl is bothered by an annoying gummy bear wandering around her house, causing mischief. In the end, the girl uses her juicer - the Gummy Bear Killer! This is actually an advertisement for a juicer.

Responsibilities: Director, Storyboarding, Gummy Bear Design, Scene Design, Scene Production, Animatio

2D Animation “CAGE” 2022

The story revolves around a single young man’s struggles in buying a house, where he encounters various obstacles. As the protagonist strives to obtain his dream house, he becomes ferocious, terrifying, and grotesque. His conscience, rationality, and principles gradually collapse with each ruthless act. In the end, he struggles to discard his “stuck in tradition” mindset, experiencing the liberation and joy of free thinking.

Responsibilities: Director, Script, Concept Design, Scene Art, and Original Animation

Chenyu Lin: I had an animation teacher and also worked as a tattoo artist for two years after graduation. So, when I heard that you became a tattoo artist, one thought that popped into my mind was, “An artist who cannot tattoo is not a good animator, lol.” What prompted you to start experimenting with tattoo creation?

Xinyi Chen: I do feel that my interest in tattoos developed during my animation studies! Firstly, it is the environment we were in, which was more open to various mediums, making it easier to encounter different tattoo styles. Through this exposure, I found that they were vastly different from my previous perceptions of tattoos being monotonous in style and color. This quickly intrigued me. After experiencing my first tattoo, the thought of “Why not try to make it by myself?” quickly arose, so I promptly delved into practicing it. There is a very intimate connection between tattoos and the body; their form is directly affected by people, they deform and age along with their owners. I find this aspect particularly appealing.

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Plastic Hospital

Chenyu Lin: In your view, what are the differences between tattoos as a form of artistic expression and traditional art forms, considering that tattoos involve more direct interaction with individuals, essentially serving as a medium for communication?

 

Xinyi Chen: Many forms of creation involve a dialogue with oneself during the creative process, sometimes without much feedback. However, with tattoos, it is not just a dialogue with oneself; there is a second person present who deeply engages in the creation process. When designing a tattoo, there is a need for communication to jointly complete the artwork. Additionally, the skin itself varies greatly between individuals, and different skin types and conditions can influence the outcome of the tattoo. As a result, each piece is unique, and through the interaction between individuals, new inspirations continually emerge. This collision of dialogues between people can even have a profound impact on my future creations. Thus, I find this interaction incredibly fascinating.

Travelers

Chenyu Lin: Regarding “The Gummy Bear Killer,” after your animation work, you continued with a series of creations, including having it tattooed on your body. Would you intentionally pursue a series of cross-media creations?

 

Xinyi Chen: Different mediums have their unique functions and expressions. “The Gummy Bear Killer” is a character-centered story, and initially, people might mistakenly think the “gummy bear” is the “killer,” lol. I really like this cute character, and I believe it would translate well into a tattoo. So, I got it inked on my body, which was a strange experience. Only through this did I realize what the person being tattooed experiences during the process, while also maintaining focus. Afterward, I created a variant for a friend. As an epilogue to the story, I showcased the tattooing process and its outcome in comic form.

 

Chenyu Lin: Is the “Traveler” series your artistic expression of personal travel memories? Each painting has very different colors. Is it because different places evoke various feelings in you?

 

Xinyi Chen: It is about travel, but it is also about life because I often live in or pass through different places. This makes me feel that life is a journey; we arrive at a place and then depart. The works in this series are often sketches or creations based on real-life references. They are rooted in everything I see, with emotions and perceptions giving them different colors.

Tattoos

Chenyu Lin: Could you briefly introduce the “Plastic Ward” series? What was the initial intention behind its creation?

 

Xinyi Chen: “Plastic Ward” is a series of works with more imaginative elements compared to “Traveler.” Another partner and I both create around this theme. Plastic symbolizes the pursuit of immortality, so in this hospital made of plastic, people suffering from physical and mental harm and pain are healed through plastic treatments. Based on this simple imagination, we use various media such as resin, medical supplies, paintings, and tattoos to depict the healing process, treatment environment, and so on.

Chenyu Lin: What story does “Gift” tell?

 

Xinyi Chen: “Gift” portrays moments from my life with my boyfriend, from when we first met to establishing a romantic relationship. It is a gift I gave to him :D

Drawings

Chenyu Lin: Wow, that is quite surprising! Art comes from life, and I have noticed that your works are mostly centered around people and life. Additionally, many of your pieces feature bright and vibrant colors, with very bold color choices. I am curious, do all your artworks have something in common? Is color one of the defining characteristics?

 

Xinyi Chen: Yes! Most of my creations revolve around my personal experiences. I enjoy expressing firsthand experiences, which makes the content of my creations quite vivid. I also hope to bring vivid feelings to the viewers. Colors and lines are also common elements in my works. Perhaps the relaxed and clear lines and colors have become a creative habit. This is also the result of the influences from mediums like tattoos, graffiti, and animation.

 

In narrative animations, I enjoy extracting absurd representations from real environments, using many everyday objects as symbols for embellishing animations. In the design of the visuals, I focus more on the sense of composition and form, utilizing various shapes and colors to express the atmosphere and metaphorical essence. In terms of storytelling, I contrast the protagonist's actions and thoughts with those of others. The final outcome always culminates in the protagonist's wild fantasies about death and life.

INTERVIEWER: CHENYU LIN

CURATOR: KE ZHANG

EDITOR: CHENYU LIN

GRAPHIC DESIGNER: VIVI SHEN

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Xinyi Chen is a Beiijing-based Animation/Tattoo Artist who graduated from the Communication University of China, majoring in animation, and she is currently working as an animator at Deeeeer.Lab.

She integrates her artistic concepts into her creations, in which she likes to present what she sees and thinks in different media and forms, including tattoos, animations, digital paintings, etc., as well as some graphic and graffiti works, which are influenced by each other and merge with each other.

Her creations are not only influenced by graffiti culture and ACGN culture but also by the environment she lives in at the moment - the scene itself. When these are combined with some of the more childlike and abstract elements that she likes, they create some contrast and contrast between them, and even an inexplicable absurdity at times, and she feels that the chemistry that is created between these elements is also very interesting. Animation is what gives life to a painting, while the medium of tattooing is life itself, and she feels that this is what fascinates her the most about both forms of creativity and makes it hard for her to part with them.

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