Xi Wang Sees Limitless Possibilities in Modern Animation

(Xi Wang — Animator and Digital Artist)

For Animator and Digital Artist Xi Wang, technology’s connection to the artistic perspective means more opportunities than ever before. In a very literal sense, it means creating works of art that human beings can interact with rather than simply gaze upon. Installations at world famous museums, live events for major motion picture productions, and rock concerts; all of these are found in Wang’s creative body of work that continually rebukes a designated description. A true modern master of the medium, Xi’s talent has made him valuable to a wide array of creative endeavors and collaborators. On the same day, Wang may find himself meeting and working on productions with other professionals on opposite sides of the planet. Wang’s ability for bringing imagination to reality is the component which has brought so many to seek him out and continues to provide new challenges for his growth as an artist.

(An example of Xi’s work at Getty Unshuttered)

The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles is world renowned for its collection that spans pre-twentieth-century through modern works of art. This institution is equally notable for a commitment to eliciting enthusiasm among the public with its embrace of modern means in bringing art to the people. Getty Unshuttered is the crowning achievement in this regard, attracting thousands to the museum grounds and even more to these events via digital interaction and awareness. Xi Wang has been an essential contributor to Getty Unshuttered for the past three years. Xi has designed and created 3D animations for these events, working in close collaboration with projection exhibit director Mike Patterson (Grammy and VMA Award Winner) and his team. Xi’s artistic and technical skills allowed massive outdoor structures on the museum grounds to be adorned with colorful and geometric designs of all sorts but even more impressively, they established an augmented reality that produced colorful and hallucinatory 3D animation patterns on the walls, bringing them to life. The effect on the public in attendance was essentially that of being thrust inside a VFX film. The surreal visuals must be viewed to be adequately appreciated. The Getty Unshuttered events have received massive public embrace and a slew of recognitions including AVA Digital Awards, Telly Awards, MuseWeb Conference GLAMi Awards, Shorty Social Good Awards, and more.

(Xi Wang and Michael Patterson)

In a prime example of Getty’s attempt to meet art enthusiasts “where they live”, Xi was part of a three-person team who created an animated piece titled “In Pursuit of Love, New Ideas, Better Earth, Friendship and Equality.” He relates, “This is a Real-time animation in a surreal style. I imagined a dream of a future utopia where the sea level rises and a new ecosystem is formed. Animals and plants also mutate and have skin with different colors and textures. There are new gardens on the ruins and people in a bubble float into the air like a sweet dream. This work was a technical and creative challenge. The message of this work is complex, ranging from multicultural coexistence to global climate change. It was done by three artists: Xiaotong Wen made the animal’s texture, Cheng Guo provided the main digital assets, and I put them together to create the atmosphere, the lighting, the character animation, and the camera movement.” The work was posted on the Getty Unshuttered Instagram and garnered rave reviews.

Displaying that he is equally connected to the creations of his fellow modern day artists, Xi worked with VT Pro Designs on a pop-up project for Warner Bros. Studios to promote the highly anticipated It Chapter Two film starring Oscar Nominee Jessica Chastain and Golden Globe Nominee James McAvoy. Located at the iconic Hollywood and Vine intersection of Hollywood, the “It Chapter Two Experience” was a forty-minute walk through of spaces inspired by the horror film. Xi’s technical proficiency in 3D texturing and traditional painting allowed him to create images in a manner that matched the spectacle of the film itself. VT Pro Design (via Xi Wang) met resounding praise from Warner Bros. on this project in the same way that their work with such companies as Google, Nike, Intel, and Amazon, and others has. With artists like Mr. Wang at their disposal, VT Pro Design has become known as a company capable of producing visuals unparalleled. Xi notes that working with the company always presents some new avenue with which to stretch his artistic muscle, as in a recent creation of nostalgic retro 80’s style animations for Intel’s Si100 conference, an invite-only event with 100 engineering leaders celebrating Intel’s past and future.

(3D texturing by Xi for the It Chapter Two Experience)

Xi currently finds himself creating for yet another very different project; this time it’s for Chinese rock band Orange Ocean. A fan of Mr. Wang’s work on Getty Unshuttered and the Boy documentary, the band reached out to him through their manager to create animation, VFX, and motion graphics for the group’s upcoming concerts. Noting that the convergence of music, lighting, and visuals is an exciting interaction, Xi confirms that the planning for this framework rivals that of any film project. It also means that between April 8th and August 6th, the largest cities in China will get a chance to experience what Xi designs for the modern concert experience. Xi Wang continues to spread his art and his influence throughout the world.

Kelly King writes for numerous popular online media outlets in addition to being a staff writer for NYC & LA based/internationally published Drumhead magazine.