Chinese Artists and Filmmakers at the Beginning of a New Century
This postlude looks at Chinese avant-garde artists and independent filmmakers in the first decade of the twenty-first century, focusing on Huang Yongping, Xu Bing, Paul Chan, and Qin Yufen, whose latest works challenge a Western “master discourse” on politics, religion, and culture. In Bat Project I–IV (2001–2005), Huang Yongping “reconstructed” the U.S. EP-3 spy plane that collided with a Chinese fighter jet over the South China Sea on April 1, 2001—an incident that caused the death of a young Chinese pilot. In Where Does the Dust Collect Itself? (2004), Xu Bing “deconstructed” a handful of dust he had gathered from the streets of Manhattan soon after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center towers. Likewise, Paul Chan’s 1st Light (2005) can be seen as an “elegiac” commentary on the 9/11 events in New York City.
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