The Family Portrait animated installation was developed as an integral part of my PhD research at NTU/ADMSingapore in 2019 however, the production of this work in traditional puppet animation technique took a fewmore years to complete. The story depicts a (dys)functional family across seven projections addressing thecomplex and layered nature of the family relationship. Each family member, or sub-group, has its own story,which is simultaneously also a part of “the bigger picture.” The selected topic resonated ideally with theoverall aim of the PhD research: to examine fragmented, animated narrative structures in spatial context.The fragmented spatial narrative was a suitable platform on which to juxtapose the various layers ofrelationships between the family members. Since the work required a viewing experience that could facilitatethe objective of showing several situations in the house simultaneously, showing multiple projections at thesame time within the same venue was a viable option. Hence, the context of a (dys)functional family wassuitable because it matches the form of the fragmented narrative that is spatially dispersed, even while itrepresents a fractured whole.
The Family Portrait is a dark yet humorous social observation, depicting different types of human behaviouramong family members. It is presented as a synchronised, animated installation shown across sevenprojections, meant to challenge the viewer’s participatory potential and limitations. This work also exploresthe narrative potential of the gaps between the projections, as contemplative spaces for meaning-making orempty spaces that are charged with meaning. These are the spaces where the agency of the viewerbecomes relevant, if not the key to this work, since the work’s open structure offers a different experience foreach viewer. This presentation will analyse the methodological approach, creative style, processes andchallenges the installation required, along with choices of framing, editing, adding sound and using othertools for spatial storytelling in this animated, moving image installation.Keywords: animated installation, expanded animation, fragmented narratives, spatial storytelling, animationin a gallery/museum.