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Do you believe in reincarnation? If you do, have you ever wondered why you couldn't remember anything from your past lives? What happened in the afterworld? In Chinese culture, in order to move on to the next life, all you have to do is to let go of the past.

The Soup

2D Animation / Paused


I have always been an enthusiast of mythology. While I was informed to start the preparation of my graduation project, I knew from my heart that I got to make something related to mythology. To be more specific, Chinese mythology.


There is one unique myth in Chinese mythology, Meng Po, the Lady of Forgetfulness. Much like the river Lethe, her task is to ensure that souls who are ready to reincarnate do not remember their previous life or their time in the underworld. She brews soup (or soup) to each soul to drink so they can purge themselves from all the emotion and memories they had before moving to the next life. During my time in Europe, I found people go to a bar to buy a couple of beer after a long hard day. They poured out their heart to bartenders and drank to forget all the unpleasant things that were happening. One day, I realized that alcohol us just like the soup Meng Po makes. It makes forget everything. Somehow, Meng Po is like a bartender to the souls in the underworlds. Maybe she did hear their stories while brewing their soup.




Lady Meng


It's said that Meng Po is a kind old lady. For someone who tends to see things differently like me, gods are ageless. True, they might have a true form. In many literature and stories, they sometimes appeared in different forms. From my point of view, Meng Po will change her form depending on the soul who is coming to drink the soup. To David, she is like a sister he never had.


Due to the high temperature caused by cooking, the night market vendors usually dress in a lightweight outfit. To dress like a night market vendors, she has a red "du dou", a Chinese undergarment, a pair of shorts, a beige apron, and a bun hairdo with an emerald-green headkerchief (hygienic reason). She doesn't have much makeout but only slight eyeshadow in light blue and lip gloss in red.


Like her appearance, different souls see her in a different way. Sometimes, she is moody, irrational; sometimes, she is kind and patient. The reason she changes her personality is to help the lost souls accept their past and drink the soup in order to move on. To a shy and reserved soul like David, she pretended to be jumpy and irritable to tease David. When David learned the truth, she showed great kindness and love to purify his darkening soul.


The whole background is set at a night market. So I took some photos of the night market near my place as the references. Because of lacking the skill of drawing perspective pictures, I built and arranged the models in a 3D software. Then I rendered the pictures at the desired angle for later process. It's time-consuming with no doubt but the result is really worth it.


I wanted Meng Po's stand to look like a combination of a Taiwanese temple and a night market stand. So I replaced the top of the stand with a roof of traditional Taiwanese temple.

I made four dragon pillars to support the roof. Also in the middle of the pot where Meng Po cook her soup is a fountain with four small figures drinking the soup.

3D modeling of the night market

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