“Elegy,” regardless of its format, is an ode for the dead. We gain from losing, and lose from gaining.
Having ventured into illustration/comics/animation, Animo Chen began to focus on pure artistic creation after going abroad to Czech. He conceptualized for over a decade and worked for three years to depict the theme of “death” from three aspects:
“Dry River” depicts the indescribable shock and tender responses after witnessing death in childhood; “Home Mosquito” presents parallel storylines of the emotional struggles of human and mosquito moms trying to raise offspring; “The Ribbon” tells a fantasy story of “when longing kills,” depicting the sense of loss and ever-lasting memory of love. In other words, the three stories in “The Short Elegy” present Animo's three pictorial elegies regarding “little, insignificant deaths.”
Without any text, Animo uses highly artistic scenes to present these stories that have lingered on his mind for a long time, while also incorporating old-time visual and cultural elements of Taiwan in the backgrounds of the stories masterfully. Every frame, regardless of composition, colors, or details and layers, is measurable to an outstanding painting. The 300 pages of serial pictures require much creative effort, and the entire book is as touching as a long ensemble of poems, and the serial frames convey multilayered and complicated emotions and ideas that intrigue and mesmerize readers.