Date & Time: 21st March, 13.00 GMT | Format: Live on Zoom
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Biography of Wu Wenguang
Born in Yunnan Province, China, and as one of the founding figures of the Chinese independent documentary, Wu Wenguang is undoubtedly a prominent and prolific artist who continues to create art projects that concern about the non-mainstream, marginalised and often-neglected groups, individuals and history facts of China. His debut Bumming in Beijing (1990) is a groundbreaking work which strikingly contrasts with previous Chinese documentaries both subject and technique wise.
There has also been a transition in his filmmaking method and subject matter, as a commentator suggests: “Since around 1999, Wu Wenguang began to shift his focus from photographing urban cultural elites and focusing on historical subjects of the “Cultural Revolution” to those at the bottom. Turning the subject into the cinematographer and letting the subject record his own life is his new idea and exploration about documentaries, as well as his innovation of documentary shooting methods, which comes from his breaking away from the ethical dilemma that traditional documentary shooting is of no help to the photographed. It is also a self-denial and innovation of Wu in his documentary career. Such innovation belongs to Wu and also belongs to Chinese independent documentaries. Such a new way of shooting and recording created by Wu is not only a revolution for himself, but also has a broad and profound impact of enriching the theory and practice on the field of Chinese independent documentaries.”
Host: Luke Robinson
Luke Robinson is Senior Lecturer in Film Studies in the Department of Media and Film, University of Sussex, UK. He is the author of Independent Chinese Documentary: From the Studio to the Street (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), and the editor, with Chris Berry, of Chinese Film Festivals: Sites of Translation (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017). His writing has appeared in books and journals including DV-made China, The New Chinese Documentary Movement, Vocal Projections, Screening China’s Soft Power, positions: asia cultures critique, Film Studies, Screen, and Journal of Chinese Cinemas.