On October 22, the five-day world science fiction tour concluded at the Chengdu Science Fiction Museum. The winners of the “Fictional Enjoyment of Future” Fine Traditional Chinese Culture Theme Science Fiction Works Competition were also announced at the closing ceremony. The winners of the three categories and the Gold, Silver, Bronze, and Stars awards of the youth works category were unveiled one by one.
More than 7,000 works join the competition
Winners of each award are announced
The event is jointly hosted by the Chengdu Association for Science and Technology, Chengdu Municipal Bureau of Culture, Broadcast, TV and Tourism, Chengdu Federation of Literary and Art Circles, and co-organized by the Chengdu Science Fiction
Society. The competition consists of three categories: literature, art, and cultural and creative works. It is divided into groups for submissions and is open for all works, including a group specifically for individuals under the age of 18. Awards are presented in the three major categories as well as the Gold Award, Silver Award, Bronze Award, and Star Award for the youth works category.
Since its launch in January, the event has attracted the attention of sci-fi authors, employees, and fans. It has received 7,566 works during the six-month collection, including 1,920 literary works, 4,850 youth works, 550 art works, and 246 literature works. Winners of the Galaxy Awards and the Nebula Awards such as Bao Shu, A Que, Xie Yunning, Zhao Enzhe, Yang Wanqing, and Bai Ben all have submitted their works, making the competition a real worth.
“The submissions are rich in content with various forms, ranging from cyberpunk cityscape with to the vast universe and stars, from the mysterious history of the ancient Shu to the distant world of the future, the creators depict a China with profound culture and strong sci-fi vives with novels, scripts, illustrations, cultural and creative works, electronic music, videos, and CGs,” the organizer introduced.
After reviews by a heavyweight “jury” composed of well-known sci-fi writers, experts, and scholars, a group of sci-fi fine works were selected. The winners were announced at the closing ceremony on Oct. 22. The Jade Rabbit, a stop-motion animation short film created by the Shanghai Animation Film Studio and Shanghai Kuanyu Digital Technology won the Gold Award in the sci-fi art category. Zhu Yining and Zhu Xiran won the Gold Award in the youth works category for Interstellar Travel-Fantastic Panda City and Legend for Stone Rhino, respectively. The Gold Awards in the literature and cultural and creative categories are left vacant. Dong Renwei, Wang Yuan, Yang Wanqing, and many other well-known sci-fi writers won the Stars Awards.
Outstanding works pour in
Traditional Chinese culture gives wings to sci-fi creation
“The works collected demonstrate a higher level, reflecting the continuous development and rising trends of Chinese science fiction,” stated the organizer.
Outstanding works pour in during the collection, including the NZ Mobile Game by the TiMi Studio Group – J3 Studio of Tencent, Jie, the Gold Award winner of the Generated Awards Animated Short Film of the 19th CICAF Golden Monkey King Awards, the Thirteen Districts of Tianfu, winner the Galaxy Awards and the Chinese Nebula Awards; Bashu Weiyang by Zhao Enzhe, the recipient of the 2023 Hugo Awards, The Mysterious Signal by Kepler People, a video blogger who has over a million followers and has received many national awards in China; Cyberpunk Bashu·New Chinese Style Folk Music by the Crazy Folk, winner of the “Top Ten Outstanding Cases of International Communication”; Chuang Han Xi Ling Qian Qiu Xue, Men Bo Dong Wu Wan Li Chuan by Wu Qingsong, winner of the Gold Award for the Best Story Comics and the Best Comic Technique award of 15th CACC Golden Dragon Award.
With a broad overview of these works, we can see their “cultural imprints” from the titles. Wang Jinkang, a famous sci-fi writer and chairman of the jury, pointed out that one of the biggest features of the event is that excellent traditional Chinese culture, especially Bashu culture, has become the base of the creations. “The combination of traditional Chinese culture and sci-fi is becoming a direction of Chinese sci-fi creations, and it is also a beneficial attempt to promote cultural self-confidence through innovation,” Wang said.
Zhao Enzhe, the recipient of the 2023 Hugo Awards, specially created Bashu Weiyang for Chengdu. The 339 Television Tower, the Twin Towers of Tianfu, and the World Science Fiction Park stand tall on a vast plain adorned with an intricate network of waterways. Aircrafts soar through the towering buildings, a purple glow outlines iconic elements of Chengdu like the sun bird and giant pandas. Following the river, the image extends into the distance. Unlike many sci-fi artworks characterized by mist-laden skies, Chengdu in this painting is bathed in the rays of the sunset.
“Bashu culture itself is mysterious with sci-fi vibes that can give sci-fi creators unlimited rooms for creation and imagination,” Zhao Enzhe said. As an inheritor of these excellent traditional cultures from history, he hopes to breathe new life into them through artistic creation, allowing them to be passed down in an endless succession.
Zhao mentioned that local sci-fi creators are increasingly incorporating Chinese characteristics in their imagery choices, narrative methods, and story designs. “A sci-fi world belonging to the East is emerging.” He said. They are no longer confined to the traditional “motifs” like the search for extraterrestrial life but are consciously breaking free from Western sci-fi patterns and introducing new ideas.
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