Private Project

Dijiang's Tale

There lived a god named Dijiang, with six legs and four wings. Despite having no face, they’re said to be fond of music and dance. - Text from Classic of Mountains and Seas.

Inspired by Chinese classics Zhuangzi and Classic of Mountains and Seas, this film tells the story of two gods attempting to give Dijiang the one thing they're missing - a face. Would this be the finishing touch to an elaborate canvas? Or simply giving a snake a wasted pair of feet?

  • Junyan Liu
  • Andrei Ionescu
    Music and Sound Design
  • Junyan Liu
    Background Artist
  • Yixin He
    Background Artist
  • Junyan Liu
  • Max Pierce
  • Project Title (Original Language):
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Short, Student
  • Genres:
    Fantasy, Chinese, Literature
  • Runtime:
    4 minutes 32 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 5, 2022
  • Production Budget:
    0 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - University of the Arts London
  • Cannes Short Film Festival
    February 21, 2022
    Official Selection
  • UK Chinese Filmmaker Event
    United Kingdom
    February 27, 2022
    Official Selection
  • SHORT to the Point
    April 11, 2022
    Official Selection
  • 4theatre
    Official Selection
  • The Standalone Film Fest & Award
    United States
    March 11, 2022
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Junyan Liu

Junyan Liu is a London based animator. With experience in graphic design and advertising, she’s now creating her own animated worlds.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

Dijiang's Tale is my story told through a 2000-year-old fable. It is my story, as well as many's. It is about the choice between who one wants to be, and who others think one should be.

Growing up, I had a hard time matching up to the expectations of others. I was convinced I was problematic and I needed to be "normal". I squeezed myself into the shape of what others thought I should be and spent my teenagehood trying to fulfill other’s wishes. Then one day, I found out I had a life plan - but planned without me, and it sounded like someone else's life. I was terrified. That's when I realised no one but myself knows me enough to decide who I should be.

In the 3rd century BC, the same question had already been discussed through the fable from the texts of The Zhuangzi, where a face is forced onto a faceless god. Adapting the story felt like a conversation across 2000 years. The Zhuangzi and I share different beliefs, however, what we both believe is to respect the fact that each individual has their unique pattern.

Dijiang's Tale is not a solution to the choice. I don't have an answer to it yet and I believe it might take me a lifetime to figure out. Instead, Dijiang's Tale is a romantic wish for those that are on the journey of exploring who they are.