Call it prediction or science-fiction, film maker Yuen Hsieh has all the ingredients to imagine scenarios for the future. With inspiration drawn from manga, technology and non-conforming cultures he creates sceneries which serve as a black mirror to our present days.
Tell us something about yourself?
I am YUEN HSIEH a film director / visual artist / DJ currently based in London and Shanghai.
What does your creative process look like? How do you make your ideas float?
It's just like the old days when I studied at the Royal College of Art back in London. I will start my process with a theme which I am interested in these days, such as committed suicide for example. I will research some of the motivations behind these different cases. Is there any new way to handle committed suicide in the near future? What if committed suicide will break the law in the near future and becomes illegal? I will ask myself some of the questions that allow me to imagine new possibilities in a creative way. I will start with the concept design once the idea is solid enough and I will start to look for different artists to discuss the topic with in order to upgrade my line of thought.
Your projects all seem set in dystopian worlds. What are your continuous sources of inspiration and where do you find these?
I guess it's from everywhere like everyone else. From film to manga, it depends per project. But mainly, I like the culture which is trying to break through the universal values and I guess that is where new cultures are born. One of the manga books I am reading these days is "殺し屋1 Ichi the Killer".
In what way is your work a reflection of our current society? Do you have a certain vision to share?
Such as my previous music video with 88Rising is called " Like A Mercedes". It's a Chinese female rapper who is only 19 years old. This song is about the feeling of falling love with someone. The feeling of it is just like riding a Mercedes. I came up with a virtual girlfriend scenario about the relationship between the lover is actually a new type of VR game produced by SHIYA ENTERTAINMENT. In the end, the reality is a single old man experiencing VR in his tiny room full of delivery food and trash. Undeniably, I was inspired by Black Mirror when it is still on Channel 4 back in 2011."A high-tech world where humanity's greatest innovations and darkest instincts collide."
Your use of colour and light makes me think of the works of Wong Kar-Wai and his philosophies behind it. Did Kar-Wai influence you and what is your own relationship to colour and light?
I was inspired by Wong Kar -Wai for sure. I do have philosophies behind the color and lights used in my videos as a metaphor for certain emotions from a character or the way he gradually becomes someone else due to some incidents within the story. I usually have a specific color palette for each project I want to play with. However, I am into unexpected result nowadays as well and I will allow photographers and gaffers to bring in new ideas and thoughts. At the end of the day, the aesthetics of color and light are very personal.
I noticed the concept of time travel in one of your projects. If you could be teleported to any given time. Which time would it be and why?
Send me back to 1990 and I want to learn some Japanese from my grand mom
What is your favourite project you did so far? What was it about?
I went to Tokyo and did a music video with a Japanese rapper "PETZ" from YENTOWN a few weeks ago. The song is called " BRO" and I came up with a story about a national prosperity law that has been passed in a dystopian nation. Citizens before the ages of 18 will be chosen by the government to die for the good of the nation before they become an adult. The government believes that the threat of unexpected death will increase prosperity and productivity for its citizens. Therefore, a group of citizens wants to go against this law by upper class elite to kill innocent lives. They called themselves the “Free Fighter Union" FFU.
金田 used to work at the largest robotic company in Neo Tokyo which is called "SHIYA ROBOTIC". He is ready to fight back with another high school girl 千草貴子.
It's pretty cool that I actually have a real Bosozoku gang and yakuza in the scene for an authentic look. The ”BRO" music video will launch in January 2019.
If you could collaborate with anyone from history to present, who would it be?
What can we expect from SHIYA in 2019?
SHIYA will provide more service related to youth culture in 2019.
courtesy YUEN HSIEH
interview ANIEK STROEKEN
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