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Animation (MA)

Mocong "Mo" Yuan

Mocong ‘Mo’ Yuan is an animator and visual development artist currently based in London.

Before coming to the Royal College of Art to pursue her Master of Arts degree in Experimental Animation, Mo received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the School of Visual Arts, New York City, in 2019 with Honours in 2D Animation. She was a recipient of pre-production and post-production grants in the Film and Animation Department.

Upon graduating from the School of Visual Arts, Mo worked as the lead designer and animator for an unreleased documentary film project in New York City. In 2021 she began to work as the lead visual development artist for Hi! Dinosaur, a children’s animation series developed in Bytedance Inc., the parent company of TikTok, before resuming her MA study at the Royal College of Art.

Her bachelor’s degree film Cosmos Express (2019) was made an official selection in several international film and animation festivals, including London International Animation Festival, Raindance Film Festival and National Film Festival for Talented Youth. The film evoked discourse over mental health issues and was a part of the Flyway Mental Health and Art Exhibition in Shanghai. It received a prize for Character-based Animation Short at Los Angeles Animation Festival, and was nominated for Best Character Design at Beijing Film Academy Animation Awards. 

Her first-year film at the Royal College of Art, Catastrophe (2022), has been shortlisted for BFI Future Film Festival in 2023.

Degree Details

School of CommunicationAnimation (MA)Experimental AnimationRCA2023 at Truman Brewery

Truman Brewery, F Block, Second floor

dir. photo

While having subtle discussions of politics, gender and sexual identity seeping into frames, I often work on a rather personal scope with self-reflexive themes. My past works articulated an intimate point of view on social taboos such as depression and suicide. I believe storytelling binds the filmmaker and their audience, yet at the same time this relationship is deemed intricate; the work itself always leaves room for the audience to interpret based on their own experiences, which ends up leading to unexpected directions and oftentimes disputations. Therefore, my works elucidate personal topics in the most straightforward narration possible; the genuine feelings and dilemmas of the characters lay flat on the screen, an honest anatomy rather than a curated display box.

Being brought up in mixed cultures has enabled me to perceive different subjects from multiple standpoints. However, the indirect detriments on a personal level, such as identity crisis, mental health and attachment issues, are equally prominent. Both sides accommodate each other as I continue to grapple with them and feed them into my projects.

The experience at the Royal College of Art has allowed me to explore various genres and techniques I had yet to experiment with in the past. I began to delve into the world of slapstick cartoon and comedy violence with whimsically drawn critters during my first year of study, whereas the focus point in the second year shifted into hand-drawn character animation with the use of limited palette, having been inspired by graphic novels and comic strips. The core message stays the same: to connect my audience with heartfelt storytelling.

I primarily work in 2D digital, hand-drawn, and frame-by-frame techniques, with the addition of stop-motion animation. My three-year experience as a sound design teaching assistant has also provided me with hands-on knowledge and attention to detail in sound-cooperated moving images.

A woman’s life has been turned upside down ever since she noticed those strange floating strings in her sight.

Floaters is a personal and fantastical interpretation of living with posterior vitreous detachment, known as floaters in the eyes. The subject matter serves as a self-reflecting discussion over the transient balance when conventional pain nurtures your creativity, as well as the dilemma of whether to embrace your difference or to assimilate.

Floaters (2023) Trailer
Floaters Still
Floaters Still
Floaters Still
Floaters Still
Character Design
character design extras

A cat was grabbed by a group of scientists for an experiment. Being unaware of its own interdimensional travel due to the experiment, it explored the surroundings out of its curious feline nature. Schrödinger’s Cat reinterpreted.

A satire in response to animal cruelty.

Catastrophe (2022) Trailer

Best Sound Design Nomination:

Watersprite Film Festival, Cambridge, UK, March 2023

Official Selections:

BFI Future Film Festival, London, UK, February 2023

Palm Springs Animation Festival, Cathedral City, CA, United States, July 2023

Newcastle International Short Film Festival, Newcastle, Australia, November 2022

15th Annual Short Short Story Film Festival, Bethel, CT, USA, November 2022


2D Animation, Stop Motion


16:9, 2 minutes 30 seconds

Passion & Strange Beast Prize