Skip to main content
Animation (MA)


Chilies CHILIES —— Director / Heuxuan Zhang,Composer / Bonsai

Intro for the film


This is a fresh, serene narrative animation. Hexuan tries to build a novelistic plot around the two lives of the two characters. The protagonist has a reserved and refined life, but after realizing another completely different fragrance of life, he unconsciously approached it, producing peeping and imaginary behavior...

The aim

Finally, the protagonist jumped out of the anxiety caused by the influence of others and chose to grow his own plants in an introverted way. He placed the new chili seeds in his ceramic cup. These little seeds seem to continue to grow quietly with the personality of the protagonist, and one day in the future, the new tenants will find the audience surprised to find these vigorous little vitalities is so lovely and tenacious.

The director hopes to use this story to comfort people who are struggling with social pressure and public opinion pressure. Guarding the original intention is often the most touching kindness one can offer to this world.

The biggest challenge / Split-lens design

The film is a narrative animation with no lines and no timeline. What the audience can feel is the environment in which the protagonist is in and his behavior. Plenty of picture narration takes the viewer to the story's hidden non-mainstream Spaces, which may be far from the protagonist's and neighbor's back garden, a cloud-covered meadow, a fantastical jungle, or a wedding. Even later, when the protagonist is settling his chili seeds before leaving, it is like entering no man's land, and the sound echoes remind us of the time and space warp, and everything becomes repetitive. Hexuan tries to use these non-mainstream spaces to lead the audience to the psychological dimension of the protagonist, in order to prove that the protagonist is surrounded by subtle positive and negative emotional transitions in the moment of dialectics.

Back to the beginning / Technical testingIn technical tests, different combinations of paper and pen can make a big difference because of their hardness and oil absorption performance. The difference may seem subtle to the audience, but it is a serious consideration for the animator who needs to spend months on production.
Behind the Scenes


Technique: oil paint、DALER ROWNEY Frosted Gold paper、Automatic pencil


Chilie Chess
Chilie jungle
Holding flowers
Christmas Wind chimes
The Neighbor's Garden
Writer's Home1
Writer's Home2
Three picture storytelling exercises
Three picture storytelling exercises
Three picture storytelling exercises

Hexuan is an illustrator and animator from China. She graduated from the illustration department of Soochow University with a bachelor's degree. Hexuan's current job is working on a narrative animation for her graduation film. After learning a historical anecdote about Lu Xun's refusal to compete for the Nobel Prize in Literature, she was inspired to write a new story that tells the tale of a man who cultivates little chillies while his neighbour has a prosperous large flower bed.

Hexuan has chosen a printmaking method pioneered by Bauhaus artist Paul Klee as her technique. This creates more blank space, and the three-to-four screen size gives people a more limited close-up view, allowing them to focus on any detail. In this film without dialogue, Hexuan explored nonlinear narrative sequence and composition creativity to describe the subtle emotions of individuals when they face temptation and opportunity.

Whether people's ideals gradually deviate from the original direction in trivial real life has become the fundamental discussion brought by the film. In Hexuan's opinion, guarding the original intention is often the most touching kindness one can offer to this world.

She is now completing the animated film, entitled CHILIES, with the sponsorship of the China Scholarship Council.

Degree Details

School of CommunicationAnimation (MA)RCA2023 at Battersea and Kensington

RCA Kensington, Stevens Building, Ground floor

In Iceland, I felt the shape of the wind

I am a creator who likes to draw inspiration from life. I believe in myself as a medium of nature and a vessel for emotions. I am a unique symbol that makes a sound in the world, a task for which I was born.

China Scholarship Council