Fishing with Popo (2011) by Lilian Fu is among the artist-animator’s first experiments with documentary animation. Several students have responded… Two pictograms on this work, by William Phuong and Louise Chan, are exhibited at The Ventriloquists…Thinking Narratively, 4-19 July 2020. In this post, a third pictogram by Stephanie Ng is included, which is not displayed on site, but will be shown on an on-gallery coming soon.
Other works and descriptions: Ventriloquists Series
About Lilian Fu’s Fishing with Popo
“Two years after my grandmother’s death, I decided to do a documentary about her. I had no footage of her except a half-hour interview and some photographs. I interviewed my relatives as they revealed how her simplicity and humility always concealed her sacrifices in her lifetime. In those interviews, I realized, that ‘true accounts’ would, however, be shadowed by the interviewee’s personality and vocabulary. The more I dug for her stories and physical traces, the more I realized my memories of her were the most powerful images to build a portrait of her. In animation I have tried to relive those memories and stories and express my longing for her.” (Lilian Fu)
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Louise Chan (Chan Pui-sze): Conscious Mind and Depth of Emotions: Revisiting memories
A pictogram for Lillian Fu’s Fishing With Popo
I chose this work because I felt the power of delivering the story and expressing the emotion
through a simple but beautiful animation. I took an in-depth look at its narrative
structure, how emotions acquire depth, and the use of colors and symbolism. In my pictogram, I combined the format of a storyboard, a landscape map, and photo collage. I interpret the fish to be a symbol of Popo, and water of the memories flowing in Lillian’s mind. And so I divided each scene into layers of waves that also function as the landscape of Popo’s life. The layers are in chronological order in both the x and y-axis. The thickness of each wave represents the depth of the emotion developed through pictures and music.
William Phuong (Phuong Chi-fung): Swim · Weave · Life 游走•編織•跑馬燈
A pictogram on Lilian Fu’s animated documentary Fishing with Popo
The purpose of my pictogram is to turn the visual storytelling of the original animation Fishing with Popo into a single image. My pictogram not only incorporates the concept and elements of Fu’s artwork, but also my personal opinion presented with my own creative method and design concept. Central to the pictogram is a timeline which is the sound wave or sound curve captured from the original work. Different objects are used to mark the point in time when they appear. With all this, I hope to facilitate visitors’ recall or imagination of the life of a stranger, perhaps then to also wonder the meaning of life in general. I also hope visitors will be intrigued by my creative reproduction and to come up with their own methods to extend a work, such as using a pictogram, which is a way to behold the beauty of a person’s soul.
NG Wing-yan Stephanie: Tangling Memories: Memories of Popo
The orientation of my pictogram is from bottom to top. Lilian hugging the blue clothing of popo and standing in the graveyard appears in an early moment of the animation, and that’s where she starts to recall her popo.
The path of hair shows the flow of emotions in the animation. More swirls and bigger portion of hair suggests stronger emotional flow of a certain moment, e.g. when popo went to hospital, large scale of hair appeared; when popo passed away, her emotion freezes so the hair only appears as a single line. The hair also represents the timeline of the animation. I choose to use the element of hair because I think hair relates with a “tangle”. Lilian is tangled with the memories of popo deeply.
The water ripple in the background shows how the music goes. Bigger and tenser ripples represent tenser and richer background music, smaller represents soothing/ fade away music. Koi fishes’ silhouette in the background shows the direction of reading the pictogram. The elements are inspired from the koi pond that appears in the start and end section of the animation.
About Lilian Fu, maker of Fishing with Popo
Since graduated from the School of Creative Media, the City University of Hong Kong in 2008, Lilian Fu has been an active animator with over 10 years’ animating experience. She has won several awards in local competitions and international film festivals, including the IFVA (Hong Kong). Lilian Fu has also worked with the Hong Kong Arts Centre, Greenpeace and RTHK. She finished her MA in animation directing in the National Film and Television School (NFTS) in the United Kingdom with Distinction. Currently she resides in London and is working as freelancer with BBC, Mosaic Films Limited and Alaraby TV in London.
Lilian Fu on Vimeo