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Maybe I am another Jia Zhangke in China!'

NOT over-modest Wang Chao claims there are only 10 people doing significant animation art in China - and he's one of them.

"There couldn't be more than 10, the circle is so tiny that I know every one and their art," says 28-year-old Wang from the 80s generation.

He expects a great future.

"New media that mixes painting and film has so many possibilities," he says. "Even if I dedicated my whole life to it, I could not fully express everything I want to say."

Like most people born in the 1980s, Wang is a big fan of animation.

"Name any animation of our time, there is none that I haven't watched," he says.

Wang majored in art education at the China Academy of Fine Art in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, but taught himself to make animation films.

His animation deals with serious, even dark subjects. There's nothing fluffy, light and popular about it. No cute cartoons.

His four-minute-long first animated film in 2008 focuses on the harsh and dangerous lives of China's mine workers.

"I wanted to mirror the life of the people I am familiar with," he explains. "I don't come from a rich family, and I know the pain and struggle of people at the bottom of society."

The film is based on several thousand sketches and took half a year to make. It's black and white - with contrasting splashes of red and blue.

Wang was able to rent expensive animation equipment by selling paintings and designing advertising.

"You know the saying that no student from an art academy is short of money," he says. They can always sell some paintings.

His second animation film, "Little Stone," "is about a nobody, a small potato, in a huge, changing society," he says.

He is working on his third film, related to Buddhism.

"What's it about? It would be meaningless if everything is told."

He enjoys producing his animation from scratch, every step of the way.

"I am ready to embrace all frustration and trials, which are absolutely necessary to nurture a real artist," he says.

Maybe one day he will make a "real" movie.

"Currently I am in the basic phase, but who knows? Maybe I am another Jia Zhangke in China!"

Wang Chao

Born in 1985 in Jiangxi Province

Won the title of "Third Duolun Grand Prix of Young Artists" in 2008

Major in art education of China Academy of Fine Art


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