• facebook
  • instagram
  • mail

Senior Thesis Journal

Senior Thesis plan 

Shengyu Liu(Bryan)



4 proposals for my thesis:

  1. Globalization, cultural differences, internationality, environmental issue
  1. Traditional Chinese story
  1. Vapor wave, cyberpunk
  1. Who am I, a journey of the soul


  1. My first proposal is around the topic of globalization. 
  • As this is the third year I stayed in nyc, I had experienced plenty of cultural differences by conversing with people from different cultural background. I found that people like to discuss cultural differences, which include beliefs, perspectives, languages and so on. 
  • Other than cultural interest, globalization also creates problems like pollution, climate change, terrorism and so on. Apparently, as we are all living in this globalized world, 
  • we are all bonded together with each other’s’ fate. 
  • My plan for this globalization topic is to make a informative animation to show different cultural perspectives and explain the pros and cons of globalization and how does them affect our life. 
  • Pros and cons: this proposal has a great research potential. This proposal takes a lot of efforts and time. This proposal maybe less fun than the other too since it needs to be objective and informative.
  1. The second proposal is something Chinese, most likely a story based in old tales.
  • This is some sort of a safe plan. I’m from China and Chinese culture is what I find myself the most familiar of. There was a time I took inspirations from old Chinese poetries, and I am certainly able to do the same thing again. 
  • For this proposal I need to come up with a story and setting ASAP, it is relatively easy to do because I’m Chinese and so have the background to come up with a very standard production.
  • Pros and cons: easy to compose. It’s a field that I’m familiar with. However, it’s less comprehensible for non-Chinese audience, and I want to be a “Chinese animator” less than an “animator.”
  1. The third proposal is a simple and superficial one: Vaporwave
  • Vaporwave is a genre of art I fancy. It features glitch art, renaissance of the 90s, vintage computer art and old Japanese disco. 
  • Pros and cons: it’s an art movement I fancy, funny, playful… but I think I’m already giving up on this, maybe I’ll incorporate Vaporwave in another proposal because I think it is too powerless on its own. But I wrote it down anyway.
  1. The fourth proposal is about the big questions, which is the topic I have been fascinated by for 3 years but have never came up with the good enough production. 
  • I regard myself as a sensitive person, and my life as a journey, a trip, of which the goal or destination is always changing and the direction is always confusing. There were many times that I fell into a miserable state and got up, many times that I lost all my hope and found new light, many times that I see others suffer from the same overwhelming  conflicts between reality and dreams. Many times it seems that we are eternally cursed to be the prisoner of our own minds. 
  • The proposal explores the psychological and philosophical aspects of life as a conscious being. It might take the form of a fictional story, or just simply a stream-of-consciousness style film. The film will combine footages shot by camera and animations made in computer to create a sense of juxtaposition between the real and the imagined. 
  • This idea is what I truly wanna do. Actually in my opinion it has a more significant artistic value compare to the previous 3. But, it is also the most difficult one to achieve because of the same reason. I need to do a lot of research, a lot of editing, and a lot of thinking. Plus, thinking a lot could be really harmful for my mental health, which is an important factor for me to complete my work.
  • Pros and cons: my true passion. However, hard to realize such a broad/abstract idea.


Selected topic: Proposal 1+4

A sample sketch (3-5min)

Build a world-setup 


Dark Forest



Separation, Individuality&fear of the unknown 

Alienation(from oneself and from others)



Your life is not up to yourself 







A journey to the strange place 

A group of people never really meet each other 

Split screen





Locked doors

I have something u don’t










  1. Split screen, each screen has someone doing something, but lacking things which are present in the screens other than the needing one.
  2. An object is desired in scene A but disliked in B.


Unsatisfying videos

oneothrix point never


My photo stream

The Most Unsatisfying Video in the World ever made

Luksan Wunder


Cornelia Parker, The Distance, 2003

Brilliant ideas, Bloomberg-YouTube 

Can Fei

Cosplayers Series – Tussle, 2004


29 1/2 × 39 2/5 in; 75 × 100 cm

“Cao Fei” at MoMA PS1, Long Island City


Cal Fei

Whose Utopia?, 2006

Video, color, sound

“Chinese Whispers: Recent Art from the Sigg & M+ Sigg Collections” at Kunstmuseum Bern


Cap Fei

Un-Cosplayer Series: Bunny’s World, 2004


35 2/5 × 47 1/5 in; 90 × 120 cm

“Cao Fei” at MoMA PS1, Long Island City


Louis Bourgeois 

Spider, 1997

Steel, tapestry, wood, glass, fabric, rubber, silver, gold, and bone.

177 × 262 × 204 in; 449.6 × 665.5 × 518.2 cm

The Museum of Modern Art


Felix Gonzalez-Torres – Untitled (Portrait of Ross in L.A.), 1991, Candies individually wrapped in multicolor cellophane, endless supply. Dimensions vary with installation; ideal weight 175 lbs. At The Art Institute of Chicago


Meret Oppenheim

Object, Paris-1936

Fur-covered cup, saucer, and spoon, cup 4 3/8″ (10.9 cm) in diameter; saucer 9 3/8″ (23.7 cm) in diameter; spoon 8″ (20.2 cm) long, overall height 2 7/8

The Museum of Modern Art


Johan Deckmann






Life story of:

  • international people
  • Gender non-conforming people

Little details:

  1. The characters use smart phone to do homework, while playing music.
  2. Emojis are ©️

sources of images:

Emojis: https://emojipedia.org/apple/

Cave painting 1: picture of cave art in the Chauvet Cave, South France, First Impressions, Judith Thurman, The New Yorker, June 23, 2008 issue. 

Cave painting 2- : 10 Prehistoric cave paintings, last updated on April 21, 2018 in Culture, Tourtopia.com 

  • 2: The Magura Cave is one of the largest caves in Bulgaria, located in the northwest part of the country. The cave walls are decorated by prehistoric cave paintings back about 8000 to 4000 years ago. More than 700 drawings have been discovered on the cave walls. They are painted with bat guano(bat excrement) and represent hunting and dancing people as well as a large variety of animals.
  • 3: Bhimbetka, Located in central India, depict the lives and times of the people who lived in the caves, the oldest paintings are considered to be 12,000 years old.  
  • 4. The Serra da Capivara National Park in northeast Brazil, oldest paintings in the park are created 25,000 years ago.

Your Name, 2016, Dvdcover.com

When Queer = Diversity = Complicated

Posted by Guest Blogger on June 4, 2015, https://learn.uvm.edu/blog-education/complexities-of-gender-identity


Week 4 to do list

Make 50 storyboards, put into timeline (+-5min)

Interviewing people about their experiences of feeling different from others.

What I have now:



B is a bit girlish 

Story guide:

5 chapters

  1. Art in 15 
  2. 去你妈的爱情17
  3. I’m a freak bite me 19
  4. 我会死 21
  5. 23.

Lonely kid 15

Experience of being the only kid in the class who’s interested in art.


A: 数学课上大家都在认真听课,只有我偷偷在课本上画画。

B: I was the only kid in my drawing class who actually liked to draw.


B realized that she was the only one left in the class room when she heard other kids making fun of her.



语音聊天&text messages


B: I got a letter from someone.


B: I’m not sure how should I answer him… I don’t want to hurt him…

I’m a freak bite me/与自己的婚礼 19

Gave it up, fine, so what. I’m a freak, look how fucked up I am. —Stage of trying too hard to be different.

Rage&Cynicism profund bullshitting on social media



我会死/I am alive! 21


梦的内容&Trip Report 日记


B: I had a bad dream this morning.


B: I dreamed of nothingness. BLANK. 


B: I was confused.




B&A are different phases of one person.


Oct 5

Thesis statement

The central topic of my thesis project is identity. 

My thesis project is going to be a 5-chapter animation demonstrating different attitudes, perspectives and personalities of the same person in different time and space. The goal is to create an illusion of two totally different personas and break the illusion in the end.

The chapters are divided across different stages in life of the character, the first being age 15 and the last being age 23. Each chapter is different in style, combining pictographs, ideographs and Rotoscope.

By showing different personas, what I want is to expand the possibilities of life, stating that a person is not to be stereotyped and categorized, that every living being has individuality which cannot be replaced of made identical. 

Stage 1

sketches of ideas, the main point was to create juxtaposition of two incomplete images that would be complete if merged together, or two individuals envying each other. It’s less confusing to just look at the sketches.

Stage 2

Further developed ideas & refined subject

I got into this really digital representation of things, which I find quite workable because digital representation gives me a minimum feeling that has the potential for me to really make my message clear. The idea developed from random juxtapositions to a story based dual character narration. The incompleteness & envying each other theme is preserved, and represented by the choice of color, the shapes and placing, and the environment.

Stage 3

visual decisions and storyboarding, script writing, plot planing.

The story further developed to have a more complete start-to-end outline. 5 chapters are planed, representing different age starting from 15, adding 2 by each chapter, to 23. Different styles are planed and every chapter are expected to look different. The juxtaposition is still there, but I reduced the envying part, because I decided to merge the two characters into one person in the end.


Stage 4

work my a** off

Well… I’m kinda running out of time so this stage is mostly working on the actual footage, adding details & motion, recording the narration, and completing storyboard, everything the same time… so far (2018 Oct 23) I’ve been working mainly on the actual footage so there’re not really a lot of new stuff to show. They look just like the images up there in stage 3 with minor details and some motion, with some minor changes… uh, I’ll just put them up anyway.


Leave a reply

Skip to toolbar