Date and Time: Friday 7 May 13:00 BST | Format: Live on Zoom | This Q&A is exclusive to audience who have viewed this film and participants for “The Myth of ‘Made in China’” event only.
China’s van Goghs Introduction
Masterterpieces for sale in the West. Over the past twenty years Zhao Xiaoyong and his family have produced over 90,000 copies of Vincent van Gogh’s paintings. Despite having no formal training in painting before he left his small village in Hunan province, Zhao soon learned how to copy van Gogh’s work to make a living in Dafen. After marrying a migrant girl, the couple started a small studio and raised a family together. Zhao and his family and friends live, work, marry and raise children under the constant gaze of van Goghs. Constrained by repetitive labour, but inspired by van Gogh’s passionate brushwork, Zhao searches for a new means of self-expression.
About Kiki Yu
Dr Kiki Tianqi Yu is currently Lecturer in Film at Queen Mary, University of London.
After receiving an MPhil in social political science at Cambridge University, Kiki pursued her doctorate research on documentary film and personal cinema with a focus on China at CREAM, Westminster University. Examining how philosophies in non-western cultures and approaches in other disciplines enhance our understanding of global cinema, her researches, in theory and practice, are often interdisciplinary and echo the ethos of decolonising film studies.
Kiki works on two strands: one area is documentary image and nonfiction film, especially on the social, ethical and aesthetic aspects of first person expression, the essayistic nonfiction in non-western cinemas, amateur cinema, the political economy of international co-productions. The other area is cinema and artists moving image in China and East Asia, especially in relation to eastern philosophies and aesthetics, on women’s cinema, ‘image-writing’ practice, and independent cinema culture.
As a filmmaker, her first feature documentary China’s van Goghs (co-directed with Haibo Yu, 2016) involves art history, labour politics, and globalization, asking: could the act of copying be a path towards originality? Successfully raised funding from IDFA Bertha fund, Denmark International Support, Dutch Film Fund, Shenzhen Cultural Fund, CBC, DR, etc, the film also did very well after its completion, shown at over 30 international festivals, won 8 awards, theatrically released in 4 countries, shown on KLM and Cathay Pacific airlines, received very positive reviews in the Hollywood Reporter, Artnet, de Volkstrant, VPRO, etc.
This Q&A will be hosted by Alexei Hampson, Chief Editor for Film Dialectic as well as Film & Political Analyst at UK-China Film Collab.
This is exclusive to audience who have viewed this film and participants for “The Myth of ‘Made in China’” event only.