Museum Study: Tate Modern

Tate Modern reflects its uniqueness and modernity in every respect. First, its modern architectural structure and the Millennium Bridge that echoes it; second, it specializes in collecting 20th-century modern art; and third, its internal service facilities and interactive activities. In my opinion, if Tate Britain is a chronicle of history and has a clear history of British art development, then Tate Modern is like a classroom of informative activities.

The design is primarily intended to demonstrate spatial diversity and to present its collections to the public both indoors and outdoors. The diversity of the size of the Tate Modern is mainly to meet the exhibition needs of the classical art museum. Here, the designer added some new architectural structures: some structures are not necessarily right-angled, but they act more like channels; others have many large pillars that help to expand the space and enhance the art of current architecture. Potential and art charm.

Museum Study: VA Game Exhibition

has been curated by Marie Foulston and Kristian Volsing, curators of video games at the V&A, features everything from larger titles such as Nintendo’s Splatoon to smaller independent names, as well as delving into the DIY arcade scene and large-scale eSports events.

Speaking at the first view of the exhibition, Foulston says: “Design is the lens through which we are looking at video games.

“Even if you play games and are incredibly literate sometimes the concept and the thought of what it takes to make a video game can seem like an impenetrable black box.

“These are designers and creators who have been so generous in opening up their hard-drives and notebooks, letting us pore over rare and unseen artefacts that really illuminate their design practices.”

It not only has the introduction and design works of the popular games but also have indie games that are not easy to get on with.


Museum Study: Tate Britain 02

Tate Britain is the home of the annual and usually controversial Turner Prize exhibition, featuring four artists selected by a jury chaired by the director of Tate Britain. This is spread out over the year with the four nominees announced in May, the show of their work opened in October and the prize itself given in December. Each stage of the prize generates media coverage, and there have also been a number of demonstrations against the prize, notably since 2000 an annual picket by Stuckist artists. In recent years the exhibition and award ceremony have taken place at locations other than in Tate Britain: for example in Liverpool (2007), Derry-Londonderry (2013), Glasgow (2015) and Hull (2017).

Tate Britain and is known for its British paintings and modern art from the 15th century to the present. In 2000, the Tate Gallery split its collection and set up four museums: the Tate Britain Art Gallery (at the original site of the Tate Gallery) to showcase British art collections from 1500 to the present.

Museum Study: Tate Britain 01

The Tate Gallery is mainly used to collect 19th-century English paintings and sculptures presented to the country by Sir Henry Tate, as well as some British paintings transferred from the National Gallery of England. At the time, the Tate Gallery was dedicated to the collection of modern art from artists born in Britain after 1790.

The main display spaces show the permanent collection of historic British art, as well as contemporary work. It has rooms dedicated to works by one artist, such as: Tracey Emin, John Latham, Douglas Gordon, Sam Taylor-Wood, Tacita Dean, Marcus Gheeraerts II, though these, like the rest of the collection, are subject to rotation.


Animation History 04: Animation Before Film (Second Half)

01. A flip book is a small book with relatively springy pages, each having one in a series of animation images located near its unbound edge. The user bends all of the pages back, normally with the thumb, then by a gradual motion of the hand allows them to spring free one at a time. As with the phenakistoscope, zoetrope and praxinoscope, the illusion of motion is created by the apparent sudden replacement of each image by the next in the series, but unlike those other inventions no view-interrupting shutter or assembly of mirrors is required and no viewing device other than the user’s hand is absolutely necessary. Early film animators cited flip books as their inspiration more often than the earlier devices, which did not reach as wide an audience. It was patented by John Barnes Linnet under the name Kineograph in 1868.

02. The praxinoscope expanded on the zoetrope, using multiple wheels to rotate images.  It is considered to have shown the first prototypes of the animated cartoon.(1877)

03. Zoopraxiscope is an early device for displaying moving images and is considered an important predecessor of the movie animation projector.

04. Sallie Gardner at a Gallop, also known as The Horse in Motion, is a series of photographs consisting of a galloping horse, the result of a photographic experiment by Eadweard Muybridge on June 15, 1878.

05. Etienne Jules Marey’ s photography (1888)

Animation History 03: Animation Before Film (First Half)

01. The Magic Lantern is an image projector using pictures on sheets of glass. Since some sheets contain moving parts, it is considered the first example of projected animation. “Place a convex lens tube at both ends of the side of the lamp and draw a small image on the groove in the tube. When the candle is reflected by the concave mirror to the first lens, the lens focuses the light on the glass slide, and The second lens magnifies the image illuminated by the light and projects it onto the screen or wall.” (1603)

02. A Thaumatrope is an optical toy that was popular in the 19th century. A disk with a picture on each side is attached to two pieces of string. When the strings are twirled quickly between the fingers the two pictures appear to blend into one due to the persistence of vision. (1824)


03. Phenakistiscope was the first widespread device for showing animation that created a fluid illusion of motion, which is regarded as one of the first forms of moving media entertainment that paved the way for animation. One of the Phenakistoscope variants is a disc that is mounted vertically on a handle. A series of pictures are drawn around the center on the disc, which is the corresponding frame of the animation, and the picture is surrounded by a series of slits. The user rotates the disc and sees the reflection of the disc in the mirror through the moving slit. In this way, the user sees the pictures appear one after another, and the continuous play effect is obtained due to the persistence of the vision. Another variant has two platters, one with a slit and the other with a picture, so people would not need the reflection of the mirror to see the animation.

03.5. Normally the next one will be Zoetrope, however I consider one of the very first photograph La Table servie as an animation experiment. (1833?)

04. Zoetrope was invented in 1834 by William George Horner, which was an early form of motion picture projector that consisted of a drum containing a set of still images, that was turned in a circular fashion in order to create the illusion of motion.

Animation History 02: Early Ways of Showing Motion (Second Half)

01. A Volvelle is a type of slide chart, a paper construction with rotating parts. It is considered an early example of a paper analog computer. Volvelles have been produced to accommodate organisation and calculation in many diverse subjects. It was first found from the works of Abu Rayhan Biruni (1000 AD) the Persian astronomer..

02. Since before 1000 CE the Chinese had a rotating lantern which had silhouettes projected on its thin paper sides that appeared to chase each other. This was called the “trotting horse lamp” (走马灯). There is a flat impeller on the trotting horse lamp, and there is a burning candle under it. The rising of the hot air drives the impeller to rotate. This is the original application of the modern gas turbine working principle.


03. The medieval codex Sigenot (circa 1470) has sequential illuminations with relatively short intervals between different phases of action. Each page has a picture inside a frame above the text, with great consistency in size and position throughout the book (with a consistent difference in size for the recto and verso sides of each page)

04. Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man (1490) drawing shows
multiple angles, implying movement. Also, Anatomical Studies of the Muscles of the Neck, Shoulder, Chest, and Arm, have detailed renderings of the upper body and less-detailed facial features. The sequence shows multiple angles of the figure as it rotates and the arm extends. Because the drawings show only small changes from one image to the next, together they imply the movement of a single figure.

Animation History 01: Early Ways of Showing Motion (First Half)

Animation is the best media, in my opinion, to convey a story from one to another. `Archeological artifacts prove that people have been attempting to depict things in motion since the ancient times, as well as examples from the
European Renaissance.

01. Running Bisons in the Cave of Altamira (Between 36000 BC-20000BC)

02. Neolithic Pottery Basin(舞蹈纹彩陶盆) from Majiayao Cluture(马家窑文化) in Qinghai(青海), China (4000BC-3000BC)

03. Pottery vessel found in Shahr-e-Sukhteh (3000 BC)

04. An Egyptian burial chamber mural, approximately 4000 years old, showing wrestlers in action.

05. Shadow play (皮影戏) from China, first recored in Book of Han(汉书), the first dynastic history in China, written in the first century. Started during Han Dynasty(206 BC–220 AD), became eminent during Tang Dynasty, and finally became one of the most popular folk art in Qing Dynasty. It requires professional level of singing from Beijing Opera and experienced performers and the characters are made from skins of animals and paper.


06. Lucretius (99BC-55BC) wrote in his poem De serum natura(On the Nature of Things)  a few lines that come close to the basic principles of animation: “…when the first image perishes and a second is then produced in another position, the former seems to have altered its pose. Of course this must be supposed to take place very swiftly: so great is their velocity, so great the store of particles in any single moment of sensation, to enable the supply to come up.”


Animator Study: Jan Svankmajer

Svankmajer is one of my personal favorite animator, he labeled his works as half-surrealism. The ubiquitous mysticism and surrealism in his animations are expressed in the simplest and most direct way, completely abandoning Hollywood-like tricks and routines. Svankmajer‘s animation often shows the subconscious desire in the human soul world with human animality as the objects to present. His dark sense of humorous inspired me a lot and his works has influenced my choice to start studying animation.



Darkness/Light/Darkness (1989)

Dimensions of Dialogue

Animator Study: Joanna Quinn


Women’s Movement peaked in the 1960s and 70s and touched on every area of Women’s experience, including family, sexuality and work. Feminism was discussed in many fields like phycology, literature in various angles and views. However, at the very same time period, in the field of Animation, there were not so many strong female characters. Female protagonists in animated films were more likely to be similar to Snow White: dreamy, lovely and meek, and their virginities were unquestionably important in the films.

Joanna Quinn, however, managed to avoid this popular trend when designing female characters. Most of her female protagonists are overweighted, sexually crazed without covering. Beryl is a fat person without beauty, not confident in her body and being mocked by other people, however she is very relatable by female audiences, unlike those “ultimate male fantasies”. Also, Beryl’s story of being a worker was very relatable, like her company was merged by a Japanese company.

Her animation style realistic, exaggerated with strong liquidity, even the imperfect parts where the previous frames were not being cleaned entirely, can be enjoyable to watch.