The Master of Civil Engineering is an Illustrator Inside
【CICAF in Search of Overseas Folk Promotion Ambassador V】
Jiang Ran: Chinese animations must have a Chinese style. I want to promote the most typical Chinese animations to the world.
Jiang Ran, 24, found her first job in life in Austin, USA. This girl, who graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, is a top student of science and engineering. But surprisingly, she has an artist's heart hidden under the guise of an engineering student.
From Japan to the United States, she has seen the cutest Kumamon, as well as American-style animation works such as Pixar. This native girl of Hangzhou still thinks of the good things in her hometown and the beauty of China. “I think animation should be based on life. Foreigners are excited to see Chinese cheongsam, so I would like to spread the traditional Chinese culture to the world.”
Born in 1994, Jiang Ran grew up beating others by a mile. Her parents won’t worry about her learning. She draws pictures well.
In 2006, Jiang ran entered Hangzhou Xuejun High School, a school of many top students, and began three years of high school study. She thought her days in the high school would be filled with all kinds of exam papers and questions, but the club she joined in the first year opened up her new world.
“I remember when I was in the first grade of the high school, COSPLAY was very popular. In that year, COS club came to recruit new members. I joined in merely to have a try, and found surprisingly it was a whole new world."
In Jiang Ran's high school days, Japanese animations like GINTAMA and Axis Powers had a lot of fans in China. Comic characters such as Sakata Gintoki, Feliciano Vargas, were hot characters in COSPLAY. Putting on customized clothes, and performing the comic stories according to adapted plots, she had a deeper understanding of animation. “Previously, these animation characters stayed in the 2D world. But through COSPLAY, you seem able to walk into the hearts of comic characters. This was my first deep contact with comics.”
Jiang Ran, keen on animation, will surely not miss China International Cartoon & Animation Festival. As a student, every year she and her classmates would visit the animation festival to clock in, buy peripheral products, stroll around the exhibition, and watch COSPLAY shows. In the blossom age of 17, she looked youthful and energetic in the atmosphere of animation capital.
After graduating from high school, Jiang Ran went to study for the bachelor’s degree of life environment science in the University of Tsukuba in Japan. Having left China and come to the palace of global animation, the heart of art, blanketed by studies for a long time, began to sprout.
“Actually, I've always liked art. Because of the need to study, I didn't go on much later. But when I came to Japan, I was given a new chance.” The University of Tsukuba regularly organized Chinese corner activities. Each time, it needed to design a new poster. Jiang Ran, an amateur, tried to make a couple of posters, highly praised by the students.
For four years in Japan, Jiang Ran was surrounded by a strong atmosphere of comics. A careful girl, she found that Japanese animations were full of life. Every city, even a police station, would have a cartoon image. The most famous one is Kumamon. “I read a report saying that because Kumamoto-ken did not have many famous scenic spot, it introduced Kumamon to make a series of funny actions to revitalize the local economy. It helped to drive up the local GDP. So you see, animation is full of life, and very influential.”
Having obtained her bachelor degree, Jiang Ran came to the United States to study for a master's degree. In the United States, she felt Pixar animation and Disney animation that were completely different from Japanese comics. “American cartoons tend to reflect some social realities.”
Although separated by the Pacific Ocean, Jiang Ran found that with the rise of the Chinese cartoon and animation, she has been accompanied by many excellent Chinese cartoons and animations. “Recently, I’ve found that Under One Man is very popular. I’ve seen a lot of people around me are watching it.” Jiang Ran found that foreigners were obsessed with Chinese traditional culture. Chinese chopsticks are simply too cool for foreigners. So in her view, Chinese cartoons and animations must rely on contents to go global. “Chinese animations must carry Chinese imprint. “Only those integrated with Chinese elements can represent China.”
Now Jiang Ran has started her first job in the United States. She is looking forward to encountering more "Chinese" animations, so that she could tell the world that such excellent works come from her hometown, Hangzhou, the "capital of animation".