This research aims to expand the audiovisual language in animation that tells stories of children's emotional neglect to provide audiences with empathy. It could positively affect the 90s generations who suffered from child neglect to overcome the negative influences. This proposed research focuses on the 90s generation in China, an influential group to target, as their experiences have been largely overlooked in current discussions on adults’ mental health problems. Therefore, my research can positively impact the mental well-being of this generation.
Firstly I want to explain why I created animations to express child neglect. According to Kant’s art theory—the logical self-critical tendency, art is a logical subject. It's attached to other disciplines, such as religion, philosophy, and science. From pedagogical and psychological perspectives, art has the potential to motivate people.
I continued to explore a form of art practice which could be easier for the public to comprehend.
My animation has a great tendency to be accepted by the public. In the early development of animation, it was not for entertainment aimed towards children but as a tool for adults, such as in political fields.
The first artwork (Hi Little Puppy, 2022) discusses the little girl’s desire for a pet and her mother's resistance. This artwork attempts to use narrative techniques from a child's perspective to express children's psychological experiences.
In the second artwork (Me and Goldie, 2022), I depict the loneliness and loss experienced by goldfishes, which can be seen as a metaphor(暗喻) for emotional neglect. Goldie's death and Red's deformity also illustrate the negative impact of emotional neglect on a child's development and mental health. I wish to explore another storytelling method in this artwork. It could allow individuals to share their experiences and promote greater awareness of the long-term impact.
The third artwork (After Growing Up, 2023) relates to children's development. This artwork is created based on analysing the emotional conflicts in the animations mentioned before. It predicts how the protagonist (the little girl) is influenced by childhood emotional neglect after growing up. The pets were forgotten after the girl became an adult. This work highlights how neglect can impact people’s relationships and memories. This artwork explored a new narrative method, which tells stories from adults' perspectives.
My installations consist of six ceramic sound-producing units. I aim to convey emotions to the audience through whimsical ceramic fragments. After watching my film, the audience can express their emotions by tapping on the ceramic pieces. Besides, they also can choose different colours to tap, which also helps them release their emotions.