Nova comprises a feature film, as well as AR and VR enhanced versions of the film, a book and a series of photos.
The film explores the relationship between a father and a son, Nova. It is set in China, from the 1950s onwards, the backdrop is the beginnings of the electronics industry which coincided with the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
Fei tells us the story of China as she explores socialism in both China and Russia, as well as the relationship between Chinese socialism and science fiction. For Fei, Chinese sci-fi is quite different from that of the Western world and its development, with Chinese socialism is quintessentially Chinese. The pop culture images and storylines are shaped by national priorities, namely the Communist party’s priorities. Fei wanted to use and reflect the aesthetics of this movement, and explore its connection with a wider Chinese identity.
“My goal in creating Nova was to create an artwork that has true Chinese style to it”. The film can be viewed as a documentary, but as she added creative, sci-fi and VR elements to create the city of Nova, Fei was less restricted than if she were just making a documentary and was able to go beyond factual description to bring her story to life.
The varied media she used to create Nova are complementary, but offer the audience a different experience. Photos capture single moments of the story giving off a mysterious vibe, while the AR and VR versions of the film offer a more immersive experience and invite the viewer to connect with the main character, Nova.