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LCFMA21: Graduates translate physical costume into digital performance

MA Costume Design for Performance: Siyao Gu
  • Written byJ Tilley
  • Published date 04 March 2021
MA Costume Design for Performance: Siyao Gu
Physical costume by Siyao Gu Digital interpretation by Uncharted Limbo Collective @ulcollective Performed by Jack Thomson

Showing remarkable resilience and creativity, this cohort of graduates have adapted to showcasing their projects within a digital space, incorporating into their work hopeful messages for the future. The new School of Media and Communication platform developed in collaboration with Twomuch Studio reflects an innovative approach to design, allowing the viewer to feel immersed and connected to each project. This year's MA Costume Design for Performance LCFMA21 cohort have taken the digital showcase to a new level, by translating physical costume into digital performance.

This year, performance disciplines had to be radically re-thought, as the pandemic closed not only performance arts venues but also workshops and studios where work is developed. In response, the MA Costume Design for Performance students prototyped an innovative approach by combining physical and virtual production to produce designs that spanned the two realms. You can view more of the work on the SMC platform and join us for a panel talk exploring new possibilities afforded by virtual production techniques and imagine the future of costume design for performance.

In the conversation, we are joined by the choreographer Alexander Whitley, known for experimental productions and groundbreaking use of technology, experimental digital collective Uncharted Limbo, who worked on translating the physical costumes and performances into digital abstractions, Agnes Treplin, course leader for MA Costume Design for Performance and Shuyi Zheng, costume designer and digital image-maker behind the stunning costume film Born For.

Why She Disappeared by Luiza Roithmann

"'Why she disappeared' explores the journey of a woman as she navigates through innocence and vulnerability, heartbreak and mistrust, and losing herself to pain, falling apart into a million pieces, and then fighting to get them back together."⁠ - Luiza Roithmann

The Human Chair by Siyao Gu

'My inspiration is from Edogawa Ranpo’s short story ”The Human Chair”. I made some changes from the original story and added some surrealistic elements into the film. This film tells a story based on a psychopath chair maker’s inner world. It is formed by two parts. One happens in the past, probably the chair maker’s memory. In this world, chair maker dreams to be a chair by making one. The other world happens in a more recent time. It can be seen as chair maker’s ghost/conscience trapped inside this chair. I prefer to show an abstract idea to let audience have different imaginations and their own stories after watching this short film.' - Siyao Gu

E.V.E by Lisha Zhang

'This project starts off with the cycle of life repeating itself. After a long period of evolution and growth life has flourished into the most glorious era surrounded by picturesque sceneries that channel beauty into the veins of earth breathing and exhaling life until the core of the earth is hit by crisis, with all the good that has accumulated, signs of danger have emerged. The apple in the Garden of Eden is the beginning of the negative emotions. In the apocalypse, life and death have no boundaries and meaning, because all civilization has collapsed. The human race has lost its mind and soul and is struggling to survive in a broken body. Self-destruction is, after all, of man's own making. However after the worst stage, life returns to peace and emerges in a new form or species.' - Lisha Zhang

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