Ink History (2010, China)

Director: Chen Shaoxiong
Genre: Experimental, History
Language: Mandarin
My Rating: 4/5

“Chen Shaoxiong’s remarkable new video, Ink History (2010), compresses the history of modern China into a rapidly advancing parade of images, offering up for scrutiny not only particular moments of the past, but the ways that representations are used to construct the historical record. Comprised of carefully edited and sequenced shots of Chen’s ink and wash paintings—based on well-known photographs of events ranging from the May 4th demonstrations of 1919 to the 2008 Olympic games—Ink History reinterprets these familiar images, juxtaposing them against a dense soundscape of overlapping patriotic anthems, military marches and explosions, all hastened by the relentless ticking of a stopwatch. The work marks a point of departure for Chen, whose previous ink painting videos, such as Ink City (2005) and Ink Diary (2006), have often used the artist’s daily experiences of living and working in Guangzhou as a window onto the region’s rapid urbanization and social transformation. With this new work, however, Chen focuses squarely on the role of images in shaping public memory and national identity, personalizing China’s grand narrative by recasting its key images in his own hand and setting them in motion. Rendered in a palette of overlapping, translucent gray brushstrokes, indelible flashpoints in history become fragile, transitory, even ghostly.”

FULL MOVIE: 3 minutes

This entry was published on July 20, 2012 at 12:58 am and is filed under 2010, 4/5 Great, China, Experimental, History. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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