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Sara Duan

Wenjie Duan (Sara)


Artist biography

Wenjie Duan (Sara) is an Australian immigrant who was born and raised in Xi'an, a famous historic city in the centre of China, which has made her a culture and art lover. She has always been interested in digital media and related technologies. She started her career in the digital media industry as a part-time poster designer and music video coordinator when she was studying in Xi'an Academy of Fine Art, then she decided to come to Australia to expand her skills. This year she has just finished the second year study in digital media at the Australian National University, and she's continuing her career as a freelance designer. 

As a digital media artist, Wenjie has always been passionate and creative in her projects. Her main interests are animation and films, most of which focus on 3D and 2D animations. She is also attracted by the traditional narratives and techniques. The Gold Diggings Game is her first trial in a stop motion animation. Music and photography have been Wenjie's inspiration and also part of her life. She loves to record and share different moments with others. Her desktop wallpaper design work has been published by many well-known websites and blogs such as the 'smashing magazine'. 

Artist statement

The Gold Diggings Game is a stop motion animation based on the children's board game Race to the Gold Diggings of Australia.  In the 1850s, the Australian Gold Rush brought  not only  thousands of people who had a dream of fortune, but also all kinds of attention and imaginations to this land. 

The focus of this animation is to use the board game as a medium to connect the traditional game and the new technology such as the smart phone games. It is an imagination of the Gold Rush from the digital era.

Artist work

Title: The Gold Diggings Game
Medium: video
Date: October 2011

Artist inspiration

For 1850s middle-class children in Britain, most of their imaginations of the Australian Gold Rush are about fancy adventures and exciting stories. The popular board game Race to the Gold Diggings of Australia is a way to imagine themselves involved in this big adventure. 

Using 'Play-Doh' as the material supports the artist's consideration of children's views. This animation is a modern fantasy based on children's imagination in the nineteenth century.