Thursday, June 12, 2008

Chinese short-film festival in London

A SERIES of short films showcasing the creative voice of 25 Chinese artists was launched last week at the Hayward Gallery in London's South Bank, Britain's largest arts centre.
Capturing the prevailing mood of life in China today, My China Now is a collection of 33 short documentaries, animations, art house films and features that are to be screened for the first time in Britain. Throughout June and July this year, the collection will be screened at the Hayward and selected venues across Britain as part of China Now, the country's largest ever festival of Chinese culture.
"With the limited funding, we try to commission Chinese artists to explore in a visual sense the transformation, economy, people's life and the human part of China," said Karen Smith, curator of the project, who is based in China.
"We want the artists who are not necessarily film-makers to make their own expressions through documentaries, youth culture or animation, and challenge the many negative British perceptions of China with humour, art, talent and freedom," added Smith who is considered one of the leading Chinese contemporary art specialists.
My China Now, in collaboration with Intelligent Alternative Beijing, approached 25 leading creative talents, each of whom is helping to define contemporary culture in modern China, and asked them to provide a film for the project that captured their impressions of China today. The collection includes 12 new commissions by China's leading contemporary artists Wang Qingsong, Cao Fei and Xue Li and award-winning film director Pan Baocheng.
The collection, which ranges from the social effects of urbanisation and the fascination with China's new wealth to skateboarding, fashion and pop culture, presents humorous animations alongside social documentaries to celebrate the diversity of life in China today.
Through a diverse range of subjects that address the burning issues of the times, the short films explore the many facets of everyday life in China, including alienation, consumer consumption, poverty, economy and human ambition. Produced by members of China's growing creative community, the collection contains 12 new commissions, 16 short films and five special edits.
The screening at the gallery will last until 30th July.
China Now is a six-month nationwide festival of over 1,000 Chinese events, including exhibitions, performances and activities spanning Chinese film, cuisine, comics, art, literature, science, technology, business, education and sport across Britain. It's intended to celebrate the Chinese culture in the run up to the Beijing Olympics slated for August.
Xinhua news agency

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