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Love Languages

Interactive Animation

After Effects, Illustrator, HTML, CSS, JavaScript

Created in January – May 2022

“Love Languages” is a web-based interactive animation that contrasts actions with misunderstood expressions of love between me and my Chinese immigrant mother. By using mouse interactions to switch between hearing my mother’s and my own voice overs while watching the animation, users can uncover contrasting Chinese and American emotional perspectives on the same experiences.

View the full project on desktop here.


Mom doesn’t use the words “I love you” to tell us she loves us. Instead, she cuts us fruit, every single day, around the clock.

– Jennifer


I don't tell you “I love you” all the time, but I give you my love with what I do every day. That's the Chinese way. Just do it.

– Mom

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Differences in Chinese and American cultural conventions can cause conflicts in how Chinese immigrant parents and their American born children communicate emotions. While parents lean on acts of service, children learn that emotions should be vocalized. The contrast between parents’ action-based emotional expressions and children’s verbal-based emotional expressions can cause misunderstandings of each others’ intentions, which can exacerbate intergenerational conflict.

This capstone project was made to illuminate the common struggle that parents’ and children’s face to connect as they rely on two different modes of expressing their emotions. It aims to create intergenerational mutual understanding by validating both parents’ and children’s emotional and cultural experiences. Buried feelings are revealed through two narrations by my mother and myself that the audience can switch between by panning their mouse to either side of the screen. These concurrent points of view convey that the root of intergenerational conflict lies in the miscommunication of love.

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Storyboard with voice over planning


Research for this capstone project spanned the fall of 2021, while production lasted through the spring of 2022.


Interviews were conducted on three Chinese immigrant families, including my own, to better understand different perspectives and experiences with emotional expression. While the project currently only focuses on my own family, the different stories gathered through these interviews served as the foundation for the final voice over scripts.

The two scripts, spoken from the perspective of myself and my mother, were written to be spoken concurrently with the same animation. When viewing the animation on the web, moving the mouse to either side of the screen controls which voiceover viewers can hear. This interaction highlights two generations' different emotional experiences as they experience the same physical actions. The storyboard was planned so that each voice over would independently pair appropriately to the timing of the animation, while still thematically connecting to the other voice over.

The animation was completed in After Effects, then composited with the two voice overs on a web page. The website and mouse interactions were coded using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

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"Love Languages" was exhibited at the 2022 ITP/IMA Spring Show at NYU Tandon from May 16–17, 2022.

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