Into the next tide

A castaway, Tofu, is found ashore by a group of musicians. Together, the band welcomes their newcomer. Meanwhile, at the other side of sea, something is calling upon Tofu in reminiscence of a past storm.

  • Yaya Xi-lin Wang
  • Yaya Xi-lin Wang
  • Yuki Marin Nakayama
    Key Cast
    "Mer sounds"
    Sound designer & music composer
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Experimental, Short, Student
  • Genres:
    Musical, Feel good, Self-discovery journey, Grief
  • Runtime:
    9 minutes 29 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    August 1, 2023
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Royal college of art
Director Biography - Yaya Xi-lin Wang

Yaya Wang (Xi-lin 王西林) is a non-binary & genderfluid animator, dancer and multidisciplinary artist. Yaya is French born Chinese, and currently based in London.
Yaya loves to work with water-based paints, clay, liquids and found objects that hold a special memory quality to them. Yaya's work melds those mediums into the 2D animation that is often improvisation-based, and the result of straight-ahead animating, that is inspired by Yaya's practice of contemporary dance and movement work.

Yaya is connected to their mother tongue and likes to translate words to find new possibilities, when one language, or the other, fails them. Into the next tide too, is born from back and forward of translating, especially words around grief. Yaya noticed that Mandarin doesn’t let grief be as forgiving as it can be in English or French. In Mandarin, Grief only ever equals sorrow, and death of a person. Failing only ever exists within the realm of being a failure. In that case, Mandarin failed Yaya to find a way to heal, so Yaya translated. Failing in French is ‘échouer’, which is also the verb used to describe the ebb and flow of waves, crashing onto the shore. They carried the protagonist of Into the next tide, Tofu, into this new place. Tofu discovers that grief is not of one color like Mandarin suggests, but that it is of all of them. Joy and sorrow do not need to cancel each other, when they can both be experienced at the same time, into grief. Tofu’s grief is of the colors of the ocean.

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Director Statement

Into the next tide was born at first with the idea of being a musical. It was first called “Into the next night”, like the Yura Yura Teikoku song, as an ode to moving in a new place, with a protagonist newly rooted in their queerness, and the blissful connections they start to make in the London nightlife, with a glimpse of nostalgia of something that has yet to come. The project evolved, along many real-life events, that led to losses, severed connections, and an urge to heal. Submerged in grievous thoughts, Into the next tide slowly danced its way back to the sea. Contemporary dance has been a door for Yaya to outgrow the very narrow, strict education from 2D animation, and embrace the joy and genuineness of improvisations. Movement wise, their biggest inspiration is the dancer Hu Shenyuan, who’s work also connects with the ocean, as a mother.

Into the next tide has stop-motions parts that are a mix-match of clay animation and real-life pebbles, seashells and sea glass, found across various shores. They carry great memory qualities with them — as things that wash ashore were part of a story long told, and that are now immobile witnesses. Even some of the foley, made in collaboration with Mer sounds – Yuki Nakayama – are recorded with those very same seashells.

Into the next tide is a fragmented reconstitution of thoughts and Yaya's experiences of grief, gathering everything from the loss of loved ones, end of friendships, and exploring the parts of themselves still to be found within the realm of gender questioning.
Yaya dedicate this film to the queer, East and South-East Asian communities in London and beyond, that have offered them a new, caring home. This film is an offering, gathering of past selves and a deep desire to be present. Into the next tide invites to a world where there's no need for binary opposition when all our sorrow and joy can exist at the same time.

Into the next tide is a set-free, and an ode to enjoying the process of making, while keeping it playful, open, and improvisational, as an act of honoring the love we have for drawing, and let ourselves into the unfurling, fertile surprise that freedom brings, weaving into the space of unknown.