The Second Buddha: Master Of Time

Brief

Create a short animated film about the relativity of temporal perception for display in The Second Buddha: Master of Time and the Rubin Museum’s permanent collection.

Challenge

Develop a simple, easy-to-follow visual style to compliment the complexity of the source material, while igniting curiosity and providing a quiet place of contemplation within the exhibit.

Result

A three-minute video presenting three points of view on the understanding of time, animated with abstract linework, textural effects and an original soundtrack.

Services:

+ Animation + Experiential + Sound Design

Animation

The Second Buddha: Master of Time is a year-long  exhibit exploring the philosophies of Tibetan master Padmasambhava and his teachings that time is not absolute. The Rubin Museum asked us to create an animated piece distilling that message in a simple, organic style.

 

The resulting three-minute film uses abstract linework and moving illustrations of folding paper, clocks, temporal funnels, cocoons, and unraveling strands of time to explain and visually explore the museum’s complex message.

Experiential Strategy

The work we created was also designed for display among more than 40 artworks, sculptures and immersive AR experiences within the exhibit. We utilized the Rubin’s Far East aesthetic as a starting point for our process, exploring the look and feel of traditional Tibetan color pigments, Asian watercolors, and ancient paper-making techniques. Our experiential strategy was to create something that could easily embed within the flow of the exhibition, while giving context and dimension to the experience.

 

Photographs by Asya Danilova, courtesy of Rubin Museum of Art.

Sound Design

We casted and collaborated with three different voices for the piece — one explaining the common person’s experience of time, another explaining an astrophysicists understanding, and the last exploring the Buddhist perspective. Next, our sound design collaborators at YouTooCanWoo created original music to match the different messages. The result was a contemplative, yet dynamic sonic landscape that changes and moves along with the viewer’s own perception of their place within space and time.