Artist: Lily & Honglei, email@example.com
Medium: Oil on Paper, Digital Animation, Soundtrack
Video Duration: 5-minute, 40-second
Year of Completion: 2009
The Butterfly Lovers is an experimental animation that reinterprets the Chinese folk tale Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai. It aims to develop traditional aesthetics with new media art. In our version, the lovers, dressed in traditional Chinese opera costume, roam Manhattan at night. The two protagonists repeat scenarios from the original story such as “Seeing off for Eighteen Miles” and “Meeting at the Balcony.” With dreamlike dislocation, the film depicts the characters’ isolation, which metaphorically implies the vulnerability and resistance of the Chinese culture during the process of westernization. Living in self-exile for years, the artists have experienced and witnessed the reality of Chinese diaspora in America. We created the film to share our experience of foreignness and cultural displacement while envisioning a spiritually homeless mind who struggles to preserve true humanity.