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Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

The Chinese practice of Yi Jing (意境) and its application to animation

Zhang, Li (2022) The Chinese practice of Yi Jing (意境) and its application to animation. Doctoral thesis, UNSPECIFIED.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)


This practice-based research examines the relationship of traditional Chinese ink animation and the philosophical notion of Yi Jing. Traditionally, Yi Jing has been regarded as the aesthetic essence of traditional Chinese art and culture. Within that culture, it is highly regarded that traditional Chinese ink animation is influenced by Chinese ink paintings and the use of Yi Jing, which results in a unique form of animation. Early Chinese animation successfully presented the use of Yi Jing, but many traditional Chinese animators (Tang, 2011) believe that the excessive dependence on traditional techniques and materials has led to its demise. Over the decades, essential knowledge and skills, such as the use of ink work used in Chinese animation, are not being passed down, and digital media are replacing the use of celluloid and other materials. In some respects, one could argue that traditional Chinese animation is becoming redundant. This research has specifically analysed and identified the traditional Chinese philosophical notion of Yi Jing and how it is applied to traditional Chinese animation. It includes the analysis of three aesthetic principles that stem from Yi Jing and interpreted its theories into English that might benefit other scholars. These principles are: ‘Tian Ren He Yi’ 天人合一; ‘Yin-Yan’ 阴 阳 and ‘Chi-Yuen-Sheng-Tun’ 氣韻生動. In order to illustrate these principles being used in Chinese animation, a new painting software called ‘Expresii’ (Chu, 2015) was used. It replaces the need to use traditional ink on celluloid and at the same time speeds up the process. The practical research also explores the traditional Chinese techniques of ‘PoMo’ 泼墨 and ‘Rubbing Ink’ 拓墨. These restoration techniques may not be exactly the same as those which are historically documented (historical documents just recorded the existence of these two techniques, without describing the actual processes). This research also applied these two techniques to the background of ink animation. The purpose is not only to enrich the aesthetic forms of traditional Chinese animation, but also to re-discover and re-develop techniques so that they may be disseminated to future generations.

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SURE14724 LI ZHANG THESIS - FINAL 31 03 22.pdf - Accepted Version
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[img] PDF (RCDec SURE 14724)
SURE 14724 Research student Declaration form Li Zhang.pdf - Other
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Depositing User: Michelle Marshall


Item ID: 14724

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Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2022 14:31
Last Modified: 04 Apr 2022 14:45


Author: Li Zhang

University Divisions

Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries

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