A Kind of Diary: Artist Profile of Thinh Nguyen

A still from “Tom Has a Plant” (2019)

Thịnh Nguyễn found his love for drawing and storytelling at an early age, and as he grew up he discovered his passion for animation, which gave him a platform to tell his stories through moving images. Thịnh came across animation during his teen years, then decided to move to Denmark when he was 21, in the search for his voice in filmmaking and to learn about himself from a different perspective.

Still from “Tom Has a Plant” (2019)

Still from “Tom Has a Plant” (2019)

His approach in filmmaking is influenced by the fundamentals of minimalism of simplicity and functionality. All elements in his films have to mean something and serve a purpose, even one blink from a character is a story element, to show emotions and train of thoughts. His visual inspiration primarily comes from toy design and Scandinavian product design. He usually gets the idea for his characters from the shape of a lamp he saw at a restaurant or from a silhouette of a vase he saw during his shopping stroll. His set designs are heavily influenced by minimal theater stage design which he finds very fascinating, how just by using a few objects you can create a scene or an atmosphere.

A still from “Funeral” (2020)

Still from “Funeral” (2020)

His films are not just an artistic statement but also his diary, a place where he can tell his struggles in life, through fear and love, from his own feelings and emotions. To him, the story is an important part of the filmmaking process, where he tends to spend most of his time. Thịnh is now working on the script for his last film in a trilogy based on his personal experience as a human being, featuring the films: Tom Has a Plant (2019), Funeral (2020), and Hjem (2021).

Tom Has a Plant (2019)
Sound design: Sofie Birch
Supported by The Animation Workshop, Denmark.

Tom is living in a world where he doesn’t feel that he belongs, torn between staying or searching for a better place. On his last day, Tom decides to give all of his plants away to the ones he loves without knowing that they already have a secret plan for him.

Funeral (2020)
Sound design: Sofie Birch
Supported by The Open Workshop, Denmark.

From out of the universe, a little boy is born with a quest for a voyage to planet Earth. During his journey, he comes to an absurd small town where a mysterious funeral is happening. With curiosity, the boy attends the funeral to see who is dead.

Hjem (2021)

An ex-spaceman comes back to his planet Earth after a long decade of living on the Moon. He is now struggling with his new life and wondering where is home to him after all.


Artist Bio

Thịnh Nguyễn (b.1993, Saigon) is an independent filmmaker currently living and working in Copenhagen, Denmark. He graduated with a BA in Character Animation at The Animation Workshop with his first short film “Tom Has a Plant”, which was selected at more than 20 film festivals internationally. Thịnh’s approach in animation filmmaking is an unusual mix of naive characters design and tragic subject in storytelling. thinh-nguyen.com

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