CHINA / 2004 / Mandarin (Shaanxi dialect) / Color, B&W / Video / 29 min
Director: Lin Xin
Photography, Editing: Lin Xin, Zhang Tao
Source: Lin Xin
A panorama film consisting of three parts that stylistically depicts the Chinese pottery town of Chen Lu. Locals both young and old fill the screen with their vibrant commentaries regarding the town in one section that features a collection of monologues, and in another, the alluring beauty of traditional pottery is revealed through its production process. Shots of the guanguanqiang wall made of ceramic jars harmonize with sounds of folk music, accentuating the historic townscape. For a Chinese documentary, the film uniquely engages in the pursuit of visual elegance. The director, better known as a painter with fresh aesthetic sensibilities, makes his directorial debut with this film.
[Director’s Statement] As this is my first video work, it took one year to produce with many frustrations and obstacles along the way. I tried to incorporate experimentation, records and literature into one to make it possible for the audience to understand the work via different approaches. Forty-eight out of 100 Chen Lu residents were selected to illustrate, through their soliloquies, the Chen Lu seen from local eyes.
Lin Xin, a painter, is also an independent producer of experimental films. Born 1960 in Tongchuan, Shaanxi Province, his ancestors can be traced back to Taicang, Jiangsu Province. Several personal painting exhibitions held in Xi’an, the China Art Gallery in Beijing, and other places have been featured in Literary and Art Newspaper and Chinese Paintings. His award-winning work has been exhibited both at home and abroad; and has been featured in various newspapers, books and journals including Fine Arts, People’s Daily, China Daily (English edition), Prose World, and Chinese New Poetry Anthology. He has also published a number of academic papers. In 2000 Lin was featured in Chinese Fine Arts Today—a significant work on contemporary art history compiled by the Central Academy of Fine Arts and Peking University. Theorists called him one of the “key artists full of creativity.” In 2001, Jiangsu Art Journal published The Art Collection for Outstanding Artists of the 21st Century—Lin Xin, and in 2002, he published his poetry anthology Oh! Father—The Black Memory. Chen Lu is his first directorial effort.