A Girl Who’s Afraid of Touching People is Liang-Hsin Huang’s beautifully expressive new animation

In this way, Liang cleverly switches up the density of brush strokes and colour to communicate the change in mood. “I love the flow of oil paint,” she says on the aesthetic choice of why she opted to use labour-intensive paint as the main technique for the short. Creating slow moving paint brush lines to portray calmness, in contrast, to evoke chaos Liang opted for fast moving, messy strokes which effect the changing colours of our emotions.

A highly creative way of expressing her own emotions, A Girl Who’s Afraid of Touching People delves into the maker’s struggle with mental and physical distance in a relationship. Once she had come up with the concept of the short and initial references for how the film would look, Liang started making tests for how she could move from one scene to another. “Those tests and ideas of transitions helped me build up the final composition,” she adds on the meticulous process. Then, she went on to work on the sound. As sound plays an integral part in this emotive film, it was key to get it right.

Tacking it chapter by chapter, she wrote down all the actions that happen in that chapter by making a comprehensive timeline then found a sound effect to suitably match, collaborating with composter Sarah along the way. The sound became a script for how Liang would imagine the look of each scene, in turn, providing Liang with copious creatives freedom on how she wanted the visuals to enhance or detract from the sounds at play.

A Girl Who’s Afraid of Touching People marks Liang’s first funded animated project, and surely won’t be the last. Currently working on her new personal film Lethe about a father with Alzheimer’s going on a voyage down the river Lethe, Liang is also working on a music video that will be released later this summer. For this project, we’ll see some more character design from Liang including a Kung Fu master, a girl with braids and a bosozoku boy.

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