[Ushering in Oscars] Director Erick Oh's Oscar-nominated short film 'Opera'
Updated: 2021-04-22 17:36:58 KST
An eight-minute visual metaphor, an exhibit that could fit in a museum.
Setting sights on something ambitious: all of humanity.
That is some of the praise toward animated short film 'Opera' nominated for this year's Academy Awards.
Through a large triangular structure the simplest format representing modern society, director Erick Oh says he tried to show how history goes through repetitive cycles.
He wanted to show how society is always split with different sides facing off against each other.
"That let me open my ears and eyes to more of a variety of social issues around us. That includes of course overall war, terrorism, racism, sexism, gender issues, natural disasters and all that. So at the end of the day I wanted to convey the reflection of human society, life and history and that's the genesis of opera."
He named the art piece 'Opera' not only because its Italian definition means work or labor, but also because 'Opera' looks like as one film critic puts it a "digital music box".
"I do think this piece is very musical. Because if you look at the world of opera, there are so many different characters interacting and just living together in harmony and they are creating this one rhythmical storyline and that's how I see opera."
He was an animator at Pixar Animation Studios for years, making the octopus character 'Hank' in the film 'Finding Dory'.
But to pursue his own ideas, he quit that job and challenged himself to make his own fine art.
He says the Oscar nomination is significant not only because it marks his tenth year as a professional animator, but also because his is the only Asian animation in the category.
"This means actually very much in a personal level and also in a bigger perspective too because as you probably know American society is suffering from these issues and this is not just today or yesterday thing, I feel so much weight and responsibility to be able to represent our voice and vision here."
Hoping his nomination could encourage other creators to push the limits of animation, Erick Oh seeks to present 'Opera' to the audience through a grand media exhibition in Korea.
Kim Bo-kyoung, Arirang News.