15 January 2015

Awaiting (待つ, 2012)

They say that “absence makes the heart grow stronger”, but the time one awaits for the return of one’s beloved can be filled with agony.  Hakhyun Kim’s first year film project at Geidai’s graduate programme in animation is a short study of the agony of waiting. 

A man sits hunched in a small boat, seemingly adrift in a black sea of misery.  His suffering is expressed in a series of overlapping mini-vignettes through his body language.  He quivers curled forward in the fetal position, he covers his eyes with his arm, and he holds a smaller even more impatient version of himself in his hand, his body tumbles from the sky.  He stands awkwardly in the boat, a forlorn figure in a sparse landscape of barren trees. 

In the distance, the sound of a ringing bell grows louder and the man’s bleak face slowly transforms into one of shock.  He then closes his eyes, his tiny ears still moving as if reverberating with the sound of the bell, and imagines the return of his love.  His face broadens with a smile as he embraces her, and the dark sky alights with the colours of a sunrise.  It is a poetic, moving short-short that promises great work to come from this young animator. 

Hakhyun Kim (キム・ハケン, 1982) was born in Seoul, South Korea. He did his BA in Animation at Tokyo Polytechnic University (2010) before coming to Geidai for his MA in Animation (2013).  You can follow him on vimeo.

Cathy Munroe Hotes 2015