“Continuous War Train” was a piece I was fortunate enough to be a part of. It was done at The Ohio State University by Ken Rinaldo. I started on this project as an intern in June 2018 and worked until November 2018, where it had its international debut in Taiwan before heading to Portugal and Italy. For this project, I ended up working as a 3D animator, modeler, town stager and worked on the modeling, lighting, train rigging, rendering, and nature scenography of the project.

The stills below are captured from the final project. This piece is set in a Midwestern town with a continuous train that goes on for miles and miles without an end. The weapons on it become more and more extravagant and extreme with every passing. During the animation, the camera slowly shift views from one portion of the street to another, which reveals a long line of cars waiting. Throughout the animation, footage from different sources pertaining to war and weapons are interjected to accompany what is seen on the train. The piece is meant to provoke thought on not only policies pertaining to weapons and war but also how media and Hollywood play a part in how we glorify/perceive certain aspects of war.

For an intern learning along the way, this project went through many versions with each new discovery. Here are some stills from the beginning phase. As one can see, there were a lot of problems with texturing on the ground as well as the sizing of the buildings to other objects. This process taught me a lot about how to properly utilize objects as well as scale. Ken Rinaldo was very patient with my learning and the little bumps that came up along the way. This process helped me reflect on what I can do better and how to be more efficient in terms of time as well as how I create and develop models and settings.

As the piece was wrapping up and getting ready to be sent out, I did not expect the opportunity to go see the piece in person. It was a magical moment in my life. I had already learned so much working on the piece, but getting to travel and socialize with people that make these exhibits happen as well as those that put their whole life into art was amazing. I think this moment in my life changed how I looked at my part in the art world. On opening night as I walked around with my professor, we saw a young woman cry and run off. She later came back to tell us about her feelings and her connections with the message of the piece. It was a brief moment, but it impacted me greatly.

I am so grateful to Ken Rinaldo, who gave me this opportunity to grow as an artist and as a person. He took me under his wing and showed me the art world. His critiques and his guidence helped me to never settle and always push what I could do. It was a tough internship that led to little sleep, tears, and frustration, but I wouldn’t trade those moments for the world because they helped me take one big step forward. I am also so grateful for the Taiwan Contemporary Culture Lab for providing me the opportunity to fly to Taiwan for this once in a life-time experience.

Here is a look at my time in Taiwan!