Doll+: Body Transmigration in its Ideal Fantasy

In a posthuman world, a Chinese factory meticulously crafts the ideal figure from vibrant orange-yellow plastic. Devoid of gender and untethered to biological constraints, this entity exists within a virtual realm where notions of sickness, death, and beauty are rendered utterly absurd. Through the surreal spectacle of plastic dolls gyrating in the heavens to the rhythms of electronic music, the film ponders on capitalism, virtual existence, and the very essence of the human body.

  • Ran Zhou
  • Ran Zhou
  • Ran Zhou
  • Thomas Moore
  • Tin Liu
  • Project Title (Original Language):
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Experimental, Short
  • Runtime:
    13 minutes 22 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 15, 2022
  • Production Budget:
    3,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    Canada, China, United Kingdom
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Royal College of Art
  • Emerging Artists Film Festival
    Calgary, Alberta
    Official Selection
  • London International Short Film Festival
    United Kingdom
    Official Selection
    Korea, Republic of
  • Animex Screen
    Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire
    United Kingdom
    May 15, 2022
    World Premiere
Distribution Information
  • Thomas Moore
    Sales Agent
    Country: United Kingdom
Director Biography - Ran Zhou

Ran Zhou’s practice is informed by her cultural migration throughout Canada, the United States, and China. She currently resides in London, UK.

Experimenting with 3D animation, multimedia installation and sculptures, Zhou investigates how the pharmaceutical industry, the pornography industry, and late capitalism integrate into the cycles of reproductive and social control through the regulation of bodies. Zhou considers her explorations in poetic absurdity and black humour as an antecedent to a deeper examination of the contemporary cohabitation with technology. Through exploring issues of immigration, gender, education, history and memories, Zhou further explores the notion of cultural identity, resilience and hybridity.

Zhou holds a BFA in Visual Arts (Hons) and Art History (Hons) from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, CA, and is currently completing an MA in Contemporary Art Practice at the Royal College of Art, London UK. She has had solo/dual exhibitions in Vancouver, New York, and Paris.

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Director Statement

Our body is a troublesome thing.

It never changes in conjunction with our own will. On the contrary, it is awkward and resistant to change. My long history of grappling with the imperfect body was the catalyst for me to start work on this project. Quoting Nietzsche's "The farthest thing from us is our own self"; our subtle relationship with the body and the subconscious starts with the fact that we cannot fully see our own body. Our struggle between the 'ideal' and the 'real' body is also a process of self-recognition and identification – it reflects a desperate obsession with 'beauty' and a deeper aesthetic standardisation defined and solidified by society.

The doll is considered a cyborg, which Donna Haraway defined as "a hybrid of machine and organism, a creature of social reality as well as a creature of fiction." The doll is us; we are cyborgs – the condensed image of both the subconscious and material reality. In the video, the virtual world is chaos located between the two and three-dimensional worlds, which contains many trans-cultural elements and references: video games, films, fashion culture, western art theory and eastern ideology (Taoism, Buddism), etc. Its storyline is a process of transmigration, which begins with a 'preface' followed by three chapters.