The Heart of Spring
Chen’s practice-led, artistic PhD thesis develops the film poem the Heart of Spring using the Xiang system (a philosophical and aesthetic system adapted from Chinese poetry) as both the central creative strategy and methodology to heighten poetic thinking within practice. This approach becomes a mediator between film poetry and the researcher as a lyrically reflective practitioner. The project also explores menglong (enigma) as an artistic and narrative device in communicating emotion, meaning and lyrical nuance.
This enigmatic film poem traces a woman’s return to find her mother who disappeared during the Chinese Cultural Revolution in a rural land. It draws inspiration from a poem Jinse [锦瑟] of the Chinese Tang dynasty poet Shangyin Li [李商隐]. Significantly, it considers the potential application in film poetry of the restraint and delicacy that is indicative of the Xiang system.
Auckland University of Technology
Chen Chen finished her PhD journey at Auckland University of Technology (AUT) in 2018. Chen is teaching in Digital Design and postgraduate as a lecturer at AUT. She is currently supervising students from Master of Design and Master of Creative Practice programs.
As director, screenwriter, and designer, Chen’s three film poems were officially selected by 20 international film festivals including the New Zealand International film festival. She has taught across a number of disciplines including short film making, and theory and context in film, animation and gaming.