Jonathan Ng

Animation / Art / Design

Films · Requiem for Romance

Requiem for Romance Trailer

A modern-day couple’s secret love affair comes to a bittersweet end during an evening phone call. Cell phone static creates distance between them as they anguish over details of their relationship. But the visuals of the film reveal something entirely different: the epic re-imagining of their relationship set in feudal China, where family influence, cultural pressures and their lust for adventure makes more sense. Coming this spring, love goes to war over art.















Photos from my Artist Residency at Charles Street Video

These are photos of me working creating the ink wash footage. I worked on the Red camera, filming time-lapse footage of ink and water on different types of paper. I had to be very inventive to use indirect drawing techniques so as to not get my hands or brushes in the frame.

I brought a wide range of different kinds of paper. Some were really smooth, which worked well for the sky and fire elements. Some were really toothy which tended to work better for the architecture and forest scenes in the film.

I would alternate between shooting ink footage with the Red camera and working on the character animation on my Cintiq.


  1. Meimei says:

    man i love the colours….i can get lost in that world for hours with its movement its wind..

  2. Ben says:

    Love the concept. Great use of flowing colors in the background and character movement in the foreground.

  3. Marie Fournier says:

    Ton travail est remarquable, à mon humble avis, non seulement par la (les) technique(s) utilisée(s), mais également par la manière dont tu as illustré cette histoire… cet appel téléphonique, et qui peut s’appliquer non seulement à ce court espace-temps, mais également à des relations plus longues. Cette histoire montre ta sensibilité et une magnifique façon de la rendre palpable et de la concrétiser, … la figurer. Magnifique méthaphore. Félicitations et merci.

  4. Manu says:

    Jonathan! I just saw your film Requiem for Romance!!!! A friend of mine bought your dvd, and I just gotta say, I WANT TO BUY ONE TOO!!!! AMAZING!!!!

    Keep doin what you do man! You’re inspiring the heck outta me!


  5. Richard says:

    Hey Jon. I saw your film in Dresden last week. I’d really like to buy a DVD. Where can I do this? Greetings from Germany!

  6. Erica says:

    Hello! I watched Requiem for Romance (at my high school, you were also present) and I absolutely loved it! You did a fantastic job. I would just like to know where I can watch it so I can see it again. :) Thank you!

  7. aysha says:

    Hi Jon, saw your film at Melbourne International Film Fest last night and it was a definite highlight. Will definitely be following your future works! All the best.

  8. Saad says:

    Hi Jonathan, I just watched your short and have to say: it’s automatically become one of my favourite shorts of all time. You are incredible and I just discovered your work. Really connected with it as well. Thank you for making this.

  9. Alex Ching says:

    Thank you for sharing your talent and beautiful artwork

  10. Raphael says:

    Hey :)
    How exactly did you create all that fantastic color movement in the background? I mean the really smooth, blurred movements.
    Great Work!

  11. Tu says:

    Hello Jonathan!

    I was one of the students who came to see the 15th annual Animation Show of Shows at California College of the Arts. Thank you for coming to talk to us! Although you told us a little bit about your process, it is definitely another thing to see you at work and to follow your progress through the storyboards. I loved your experimentation with inks in your piece! I really like multimedia works and this is such an inspiration. Will be on the lookout for more of your work.

  12. ChristinaSchank says:

    I just attended the Animation Show of Shows in Philadelphia this past Wednesday for the first time and saw Requiem for Romance. I was really excited about going and seeing cool shorts that I had never seen before, but unfortunately I found my self drifting into sleep. =[ However, the second to last short played was yours, and I immediately woke up, leaned forward, and lost myself in your story. I had never seen anything like it before and the beauty of your backgrounds, simplicity and design of your characters, and the dialogue overall just overwhelmed me. Admittedly I’m a sucker for all things midevil- esque and Asian, but it wasn’t just that part that held my attention. The conversation was so personal and raw and the idea of the background was just mind blowing to me. It was all just pure genius. It is amazing what you have done. Thank you for your work!

    • jon says:

      Thank you so much for taking the time to write this awesome review Christina! I’m happy that my work has had such an effect on you :)

  13. Will says:

    This film was amazing! I watched it at RIT as part of the Animation Show of Shows. This is a huge inspiration! I hope that you continue to make more films like this!

  14. Will says:

    This film was amazing! I watched it at RIT as part of the Animation Show of Shows. This is a huge inspiration to me! I hope that you continue to make more films like this!

  15. Kyle Toy says:

    Hey Jon, I missed this at VAFF so I bought a copy which I’m going to watch tonight. Reading about the process here is super interesting!

  16. Kayla says:

    I watched your short at Popcorn and Pasties in DC several weeks ago. After weeks, it had stuck with me and I hoped I could find it online. What an amazing creation. I cried without care the first time I saw it; it’s so raw and beautiful. Thank you for it!

  17. Cat says:

    This animation is amazing. I’m translating it for a mexican festival. Hate to say it but need a little help with it, cause there is a part I just cannot figure out. Where he is saying something about korean dramas, and he says “It’s so depressing, and they always use…(?) for everything.” Sorry but I’m lost when it comes to korean dramas. Thanks and congratulations, is beautiful piece.

  18. Betty Wu-Lawrence says:

    Hi Johnathan,

    I have enjoyed this piece which reflects your talent.
    You also are honest for presenting only from you as a guy’s point of view.
    The following are the 3 important factors in a healthy relationship as suggested by the WHO’, World Health Organization:
    - Equality
    - Maturity
    - Fulfillment
    However, it’ s better to have loved and loss than not to have loved at all.
    Best wishes!

  19. Matthew says:

    Wow. Amazing. Well done.
    I’ll give the same praise that many above have, but my mind begs the question: what would this art style be called? I know that this particular style is seen in more places than just this, but I can’t seem to find what it would be called. Why do I care? Mostly so that I can look up a tutorial online (I’m not asking you for one because I figure you’re too busy, but if you happened respond with a few pointers, that would be appreciated), and so that I can learn to draw like this myself. Do you happen to know its name?

    • jon says:

      Thank you very much Matthew. As far as a name of this art style, I don’t know if there is a name, but the work takes heavy influence from Chinese and east asian water ink paintings from over many centuries ago, Shanghai water ink animations from the 50s, and 80s martial arts live action films. The movement style is more or less my own personal approach which combines a mixture of realistic and floaty movement. As far as the drawings themselves, the line work is very loose and sketchy, which is characteristic of the speed and energy with which I draw. When I was in drawing college, I studied structural drawing approaches from a German artist named Gottfried Bammes, I dabbled with the work of Vilppu and Bridgeman and looked at a lot of impressionist painters such as Manet and John Singer Sargent, and later the expressionists Klimt and Schiele. I hope that helps you!

  20. marie says:

    Hi Jon! I found your film through the short of the week website and I literally fell in love with it. What’s probably the most memorable for me, aside from the beautiful art style, is the way you combined modern and traditional elements. If I could ask you just one question, where did your inspiration for this piece came from?
    Thanks for your stunning work and best wishes for the future!

  21. Stephanie says:

    Hello :)
    I know this question has probably been asked a lot but about the name of the water ink technique, if I were to look up tutorials, archives, references or lectures, what should I search for? And what is that technique called? I really love the flowy water and ink background and I would like to know how to achieve it. Your film is beautiful and sweet :) loved it

  22. Jiro says:

    It’s my first time hearing about your work. I kind of just stumble upon it. I was shocked and so happy that you made this. It was kind of my story about my decade long relationship. I was in awe and tearful cause I like the lines along how the characters portrayed their role were just so realistic (referring to my own experience). It was just like that one day, one call, one big heartbreak. I’ll be looking forward to more of your work! Godspeed.

Leave a Reply to jon