Symbols: bridging cultures through abstract language

Abstract Bridging

Ke Ren, an esteemed artist based in London, has created a compelling short film titled “Symbols,” narrating her journey from Beijing to London. In a unique imagery comprising alphabets, numbers, and icons, she has defied traditional language norms to establish a language of universal appeal. The film offers a feast to the eyes with its vibrant colors, unconventional patterns, and imaginative doodles, presenting her abstract thoughts and bridging her past and present.

“Symbols” is a testament to the emotional upheaval and cultural shock she experienced while adjusting to a new culture and language. The movie addresses these complexities with authenticity, showcasing the struggle and eventual acceptance. It shines a light on the various emotional and psychological challenges one can face due to language barriers and the resilience in overcoming them.

Unconventionally structured, “Symbols” lets viewers interpret the continual stream of letters and symbols.

Bridging cultural gaps with abstract language

It was influenced by Ke Ren’s study of artificial languages, including Martian language and emojis, to facilitate communication across languages and cultures.

The creation of this animation was both remarkable and meticulous. It began with brush and ink illustrations on paper, transitioning to frame-by-frame animation using TVPaint. This symbiosis of traditional and contemporary art forms took over two months of rigorous work.

Enhancing the visual impact is a bespoke sound environment from composer James Ryan. The balanced musical score, ambient sounds, whispers, and subtle sound effects enrich the narrative and provide a detailed auditory landscape to the striking visuals to create an immersive experience for the viewers.

The resonating storytelling style of “Symbols” strikes a chord with viewers, regardless of their cultural or linguistic heritage. The film delves into an exploratory journey, navigating through a range of human emotions with authenticity. Today, “Symbols” boasts an international audience, testament to Ke Ren’s belief in the universal language of emotions.