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Tin House Reels: Xiangjun Shi

This week, Tin House Reels celebrates the season with the animated video “Fall (with Music)” by Xiangjun (Shixie) Shi. Shixie, who holds a B.A in Physics from Brown University and a B.F.A. in Film/Animation from Rhode Island School of Design, integrates her two academic fields in artwork that closely observes the physical world. She is fascinated with time–as a mystery in physics, an element in successful animation, and “the basis of effective human communication,” she said. Timing is on central stage in “Fall,” her homage to the shifting seasons.

The film was created with the traditional method of pencil on paper. “I bought a couple of rims of printing paper, and drew on a light table,” Shixie says. “The drawings are then photographed one by one to make up the animation you see. The software I used to photograph the drawings is Dragon.”

While following her loves of science and art, Shixie has worked as a “photographer and graphic designer [and also creating] documents for web and print publications.  [I am] still searching for the best avenue [to follow in] visual communication while make a living. I cannot promise I will not get distracted in the future by another medium and take off on an exploration again, but no matter how far I wander, I am confident animation will always have my back.”

In her sophomore year of her undergraduate work, Shixie worked with Brown’s Creative Arts Council  to design the cover of BCS: 50 Years (2010), a book on superconductivity  by Leon Cooper, a 1972 Nobel Laureate in Physics. She also directed and produced Across the Seas (2012), a documentary tracking the college experiences of two newly admitted Brown University students from China, exploring the large but isolated Chinese student population at Brown. She graduated from both Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design in 2013.

Andrew A. Watts, the film’s composer, is currently completing a graduate program in music in Oxford University.

Tin House Reels is a weekly feature on The Open Bar dedicated to the craft of short filmmaking. Curated by Ilana Simons, the series features videos by artists who are forming interesting new relationships between images and words.
We are now accepting submissions for Tin House Reels. Please upload your videos of 15 minutes or less to Youtube or Vimeo and send a link of your work to tinhousereels@gmail.com. You may also send us a file directly.



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