Parsons School of Design

BFA Communication Design

Thesis 2017

Junya Lin
Sour Sweet Bitter and Spicy
Junya Lin
Sour Sweet Bitter and Spicy

This project explores the use of editing and typography to communicate how space and story interact in motion graphics. The topic is about the four Chinese tastes (sour, sweet, bitter and spicy) in New York City. I got footage with the cooperation of four Chinese restaurants that each represent one of the four provinces of China: Hunan, Northeast China, Kwangtung, and Szechwan. With inspiration from Sans Soleil, Chris Marker’s documentary-like montage, I captured views of the city to act as the setting for the four flavors. Through this short film, I want to convey how Chinese people live in New York City and how, when they miss their hometown, they use those flavors to remember old memories. I also use my personal experience in the video, telling the experience about my studies abroad in New York. Some people said life is full of sour, sweet, bitter and spicy—I’d like to deepen that feeling with this video.

Typography is a significant part of this video. Letterforms in English mask the footage giving people general ideas about the four tastes. As a supplement to this text-based visual strategy, there are also circular glyphs used to represent four flavors that act as navigational devices. Yellow dot is sour, pink dot is sweet, brown dot is bitter and red dot is spicy. Edited video clips use typography to communicate how space and story interact in motion graphics. Flavor is untouchable, and documentary video could be a good way to store and convey them. Throughout, colors, typography and clips embody abstract elements.

Alice Lim
Yuchen Liu
Millennial Identity Encyclopedia