Yishu - Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art

Hometown Boy: A Documentary Film About Liu Xiaodong at Pacific Cinémathèque

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

Presented by Yellow Signal: New Media in China and Pacific Cinémathèque. Taiwan 2011. Director: Yao Hung-I | With: Liu Xiaodong

Directed and shot by Yao Hung-I — a protégé of the great Taiwanese filmmaker Hou Hsiao-Hsien — Hometown Boy profiles the acclaimed contemporary Chinese artist Liu Xiaodong, known for his paintings of ordinary people. In 1980, Liu left his hometown of Jincheng, a small factory town in Liaoning province, to study painting in Beijing. Hometown Boy, winner of Best Documentary honours at the 2011 Golden Horse Awards (Taiwan’s Oscars), follows Liu on a return visit to Jincheng, where he visits family and old friends, contemplates the changes he encounters, and sets out to capture it all on canvas. Liu’s work was previously the subject of Dong, a 2006 documentary by pre-eminent Chinese filmmaker Jia Zhang-ke. “Yao’s agile camera produces a visually arresting portrait of Liu, who freely gives his ideas about art and life, while adding an idyllic charm to the village and its working-class residents who, in the painter’s view, have been long overlooked and forgotten” (Taipei Times). “Every one of Liu’s paintings is a part of the whole, a frozen moment infused with his childhood memories and current existence. He confronts the objects in his painting from an honest, independent, and daring point of view. In these moments, he comes out of himself and his personality and expression penetrate the surface of the painting. Hometown Boy hopes to record this process” (Hou Hsiao-Hsien). Colour, HDCAM, in Mandarin with English subtitles. 72 mins.

Presented in conjunction with Yellow Signal: New Media in China, a city-wide exhibition of the best contemporary video and new media artwork made by Chinese artists in recent years. The project is initiated by Centre A — Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, with Shengtian Zheng, a Vancouver-based curator and internationally recognized expert on Chinese contemporary art. He is currently the managing editor of Yishu: Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art.

Yellow Signal: New Media in China is a multi-event celebration of contemporary Chinese video and new media artwork running March to September 2012 at various venues in the Vancouver area, including Center A — Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery at UBC, the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Surrey Art Gallery, Republic Gallery, and the Charles H. Scott Gallery at the Emily Carr University of Art + Design.

For more information, visit http://www.centrea.org and http://www.cinematheque.bc.ca

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