Thousands of You

"Thousands of You "is an experimental animation work in the style of magical reality. Various forms of language composition and reconstruction, such as animation, live filming, hand drawing, performance, poetry narration, and AI intervention, allow the audience to wander in the real constructed room and the author's free imaginative world. The work showcases the emotional changes and inner fantasy world of a girl during her upbringing through specific visual colors and imagery, in a chapter narrative manner. Memory fragments, fantasies, and subconsciousness have become important elements in the film.

The hand-painted box serves as a thread that runs through the entire film, imbued with symbolism and symbolism in the work, closely related to the girl's memory. The girl constructed her own utopian "room" through boxes (such as "milk candy", "flames", "flowers", "castles", etc.). Here is both her innocent childhood and the pain of growth. At the same time, this increasingly "complex" inner world also puts girls into emotional distress and isolation from the outside world.

The theme of self-acceptance tells the self healing process that "thousands of you" will experience. The author believes that 'the life we experience is the meaning of our existence'.

The intervention of AI has made the work more open. The experimental exploration of AI painting, the close connection between the uncertainty of each frame and the fairy tale like fantasy world, brings more dimensions of interpretation space to the audience.

This work takes the audience on an artistic journey full of fantasy and emotion, while also challenging the boundaries of traditional art forms. Through a unique narrative structure and the fusion of multiple artistic forms, "Thousands of You "will stimulate the audience's imagination and trigger reflection on the inner world and the meaning of human existence.

  • Xian Zhang
  • Xian Zhang
  • Yujuan Song
    Music Production
  • Chenyu Liu
    Assistant Director
  • Project Title (Original Language):
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Experimental, Short, Student
  • Runtime:
    5 minutes 6 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 20, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    2,000 CNY
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
    Mandarin Chinese
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Nanjing University of the Arts
Director Biography - Xian Zhang

Undergraduate student majoring in Experimental Animation at the Animation Department ,School of Media Arts and Communication , Nanjing University of the Arts

The screenwriter's work “ CongCong's Paradise ” has been nominated for the First Time Filmmaker Sessions at the UK's 2022‘LIFT-OFF' International Film Festival

The screenwriter's work “CongCong's Paradise”won the 2022 Online Isolation Short Videos Festival - Super final honor

The screenwriter's work “ CongCong's Paradise ” has been nominated for the 2022 International Children's Film Festival

The screenwriter's work “ CongCong's Paradise ” has been nominated for the 2022 Student World Impact Film Festival

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

1.Reasons for creating "Thousands of You":
My inner world is a room. At the beginning of my existence, it was pristine white, with a faint yet beautiful glow at its center. I loved this intangible yet radiant entity. I don't know when exactly, but my room acquired a door, beyond which were the voices of many unexpected guests. These voices have accompanied me since my childhood. Sometimes, I am drawn to the sounds outside and can't resist opening the door. Some people give me boxes, and I began using my fingers to smear colors and patterns on them, recording memories associated with these individuals. As the number of boxes in my room grew, I adorned my room with them. Over time, I developed a fondness for smearing colors not only on the boxes but also on the walls of my room and my own body, transforming my room into a kaleidoscope of hues.
Eventually, I would show these people, who had given me the boxes, around my room. Some liked my room and the other boxes, while others despised my room and even destroyed the other boxes. I found myself trapped in fluctuating emotions. Regardless, they would always leave. With time, my room became overwhelmed by these boxes, and the vivid colors became stifling. I grew weary of acquiring new boxes, suffocated by the emotions tied to the memories on the boxes. I also became increasingly fearful and apprehensive of people who wanted to give me boxes. Slowly, I withdrew into a corner of my room. I grew weary of the boxes and their flamboyant colors. I wanted to destroy all of them. But just then, there came a knocking on the door. Must I dance one final dance with him? Regardless of the outcome, the story concludes with me continuing to smear the sun in my room.

2. "Thousands of You"is based on my hand-painted and digital painting art style, live shooting, original split shots, and original animation. In addition, it integrates artificial intelligence painting technology for several reasons:
"Thousands of You" utilizes AI-generated artwork as an innovative artistic medium. This application not only enhances the film's smooth and natural visual presentation but also adds a unique aesthetic quality inherent to this new medium.
AI painting, through its learning and analysis of data, generates artwork characterized by uncertainty, fluidity, and variability. The generative process often involves randomness and variations, resulting in different outcomes even with identical inputs and algorithms. AI painting can generate multiple potential frames based on the previous frame, infusing vitality and dynamism into the artwork. This dynamic texture and transformation reflect the richness and complexity of female emotions.
AI painting shares similarities with postmodern art, deconstructionist philosophy, and existentialist philosophy. Postmodern artists aim to challenge traditional artistic concepts, pursuing plurality and openness. They believe that the true value of art lies not in expressing a specific viewpoint or position but in its multiplicity and openness. The characteristics of AI painting, such as uncertainty, fluidity, and variability, align with these features. Deconstructionist philosophy posits that there is no fixed and immutable essence to things; rather, they are constituted by a series of relationships and symbols. This idea resonates with the generative process of AI painting, which creates artwork with uncertainty and variability. These artworks are comprised of a series of symbols, data, and parameters, lacking fixed meanings or essences. Existentialist philosophy asserts that the essence of human existence is uncertain, and the uncertainty embodied in AI painting can be seen as a concrete manifestation of this philosophical concept. Both challenge fixity, singularity, and stability, demonstrating a penchant for diversity, change, and uncertainty. Thus, in contemporary society, AI painting stands as an experimental artistic medium with these characteristics.
Furthermore, AI's involvement inspired the concept of "Thousands of You." I wanted to showcase the process of self-healing and self-acceptance through the AI-generated "thousands of you." These randomly generated girl faces represent the diversity and uniqueness of women, emphasizing their freedom of choice. This diversity extends beyond physical appearance and is embedded in each girl's emotional experience. The uncertainty and variability of AI painting grant each frame a dynamic texture and transformation, reflecting the richness and complexity of female emotions. Through artistic expression, these artworks portray the emotional worlds of women, allowing us to deeply immerse ourselves in their experiences of joy, anger, sorrow, and happiness.
Therefore, "Thousands of You" also embodies feminist care and exploration. It breaks free from stereotypes and reveals that every girl has the right to showcase her unique beauty and delicate emotions. Through its fluid form and diverse modes of expression, AI painting injects poetry and boundless possibilities into feminist artistic creation. It challenges the traditions of contemporary art with its distinctive qualities, offering us an aesthetic experience full of exploration and expression.