Part of Now & Next
wūûūwūûū by Rae-Yen Song, commissioned as part of Now & Next in 2020, screened on BBC Four on 12 December 2021 as part of Animated Shorts: BBC Introducing Arts and is now available to watch on BBC iPlayer. wūûūwūûū is a 2D animation, in which digital drawing is combined with pen and fibre-tipped markers on paper, to create a vivid, self-contained realm of interconnected beings and spaces.
wūûūwūûū offers a mutating, ever-shifting vision of worlds within worlds within worlds. It introduces a cast of obscure, interconnected creatures, who variously consume, inhabit and host each other, in an ongoing, cyclical symbiosis of survival. Bodies do what bodies do: eat and excrete; sing and dance; come and go. Moments of levity and menace combine with elemental forces and unstoppable motions to form a distinctive, disorientating, but somehow harmonious process.
The characters and topographies of wūûūwūûū form a bewildering but balanced ecosystem: they end where they begin. They appear alien and transient, but seem to bear an oblique wisdom, having something to teach us about ego and impermanence, in a world in which our interdependence – with entities which seem radically different – is unavoidable.
Rae-Yen Song is an artist based in Glasgow. Working across sculpture, drawing, installation, video, sound, costume, family collaboration and performative actions in public, Song uses a striking visual language to explore an alternative dimension. Shaped according to the observed and imagined logics of Song’s own family, this dimension serves simultaneously as spectacle, memorial and refuge.
Now & Next was a talent development scheme in partnership with Creative Scotland and BBC Scotland that ran from 2019 to 2022.