We’re no experts on the Chinese calendar and so, rather embarrassingly, were quite unaware of the recent dragon boat festivities that take place annually in remembrance of Qu Yan, Chinese poet and ancient political activist. To celebrate the event Nowness commissioned Dutch animator and art director Christian Borstlap to produce a moving image work that took the viewer on a journey though China’s pivotal industrial and cultural achievements, from gunpowder to Bruce Lee (is he a cultural achievement?) culminating in the Beijing Olympics.
Bortslap’s beautiful animation takes it’s visual cues from the rich ornamentation traditionally carved into the body of the dragon boat, updating it with a contemporary colour palette and a bit of Futura. Stunning work for a festival we’ll be sure to pay more attention to in the future.