The Reversed Journey is my final project from MA Character Animation of Central Saint Martins, University Arts of London, 2013. It has been nominated for the Nova Ward.
It is an original story I created about what could have occurred before The Journey to The West, one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature.
My intention was to begin with the audiences’ knowledge of the Monk and the Monkey King, the main characters in the traditional story. Thereby, offering me an opportunity to tell a story about the instincts and subconscious of human beings, and my own understanding of Karma and Samsara.
In The Journey to The West the Monkey King is a violent and unruly character; he protects the Monk on a journey from the East to the West to obtain the Buddhist texts. The monkey fights hundreds of evil beings that try to consume the Monk during the journey. In contrast to the Monkey King, the monk is merciful and self-disciplined.
Inspired by the theory of subconscious, I imagined that the Monk and the Monkey King could have been two sides of the same being in a previous life, before The Journey to The West. As a Buddhist, the Monk must not kill any living beings. However, despite his Buddhist status, the Monk is still a human being, and when faced with the attack of the evil beings he reverts to a human instinct to defend himself at whatever cost. Thus, I envisioned the Monkey King as the untamed subconscious instinct of the Monk.
Furthermore, I tried to create the reasons for the events that would happen in the traditional story, and explain the origin of the significant articles pertaining to the characters.