A Social Survey

1998 Betcam 7 min

Zhao Liang

After All, I Didn t Force You

1998 Betacam 2 min

Yang Fudong


1999 Betacam 17

MinFu Chee

In the Darkness

1998 Betacam 20 min

Wang Di

In the Elevator

1997 U-matic 13 min

Fang Gang Liang

Looking Around

1998 Betacam 5 min

Wu Ersan

The Smoker

1999 Betacam 3 min

Wu Ersan

by Zjou Fei

Films portray the times...

The time: the end of the century

Stemming from its social and political upheavals, China's traditional art has changed rapidly in both form and content. Chinese art's continuous evolution was halted after the wars against western powers at the beginning of the century. During the first half of the century dominated by military action, artistic forms remained rooted in Chinese tradition, yet the intellectual content was lost. When the People's Republic was founded, the government promoted "Red Art". Against the backdrop of the Cultural Revolution, the 1960s were characterized by ubiquitous propagandistic art. Resulting from the increased openness among politicians which began in the mid 1970s, the 1980s saw a juxtaposition of pop culture and propagandistic art. Wars and political clashes paled into memory during this decade. The 1990s brought new colorful impulses and themes no longer steeped in politics.

The evolution of Chinese film parallels this development from the propaganda films of the 1960s up to the 1980s. The "Fifth Generation" of filmmakers broke away from the academic regimens and established accreditation in the 1990s by the "Sixth Generation", these would soon be perceived as an impediment to "new Chinese film". Towards the end of the 1990s, new themes developed at an accelerated pace through experimental short subject films and multimedia art.

Films portray places...

The place: Beijing

Beijing has been the cultural center of China during this half of this millennium. Many traditional Chinese customs still have their place in bourgeois life, intermingling with modern trends. The 1950s saw the founding of the central film, theater and art academies. The art scene has been coalescing in Beijing since the 1980s, forming a tight mesh of musicians, authors and filmmakers all fostering each other's work in a climate of openness. The ranks of artists are growing consistently. Many themes from contemporary painting and modern music are reflected in "Sixth Generation" films. Young artists and musicians meet in various academic and private circles to discuss their quest for life topics beyond the mainstream.

Films portray contemplation...

It is a time to reflect; a time to explore new ways of living. It is a time to reflect on the people caught in the clash between tradition and modern trends. While the "Fifth Generation" examined China's 5,000-year history and the fate of the nation, the "Sixth Generation" centered on the personal feelings, the thoughts and the fate of the individual.

Contemplating the state, the nation and politics turns to reflection on one's own life environment and personal thoughts - the focus of art has shifted!

Young artists here present their life environments to the audience and communicate a different perspective on China, a perspective that cannot be found in this form in any of the other media.

Zhou Fei, Curator, Beijing

Born in China in 1971, Zhou Fei completed her studies at the Fine Arts Academy of China in 1995. Since 1996, she has been studying under Professors Birgit Hein and Gerhard Büttenbender at the Academy for the Visual Arts Film Class in Braunschweig, Germany.