3 dialogues x 3 filmmakers
He works as a multimedia artist combining video art, performance and graphic design. His research deals with the subject of memory, identity, emotion and pain. Louis Hothothot receives support from institutions such as Netherland Film Fonds, Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst, Eye Film Museum in Amsterdam, International Documentary Filmfestival Amsterdam and Netherlands Film Academy.
When the spring came, I was positive about the US-China trade war and thought it would soon end with China making a compromise. I started to gather Dutch-Chinese’ stories, first in Bos en Lommer, then in Den Haag, Haarlem, and Diemen.
Though a Chinese restaurant owner would not tell me her name, she truly opened up through telling me her story. She was disappointed about her role as both a mom and a daughter, having to take care of both her parents in China and her daughters in Holland. Mr Hu wished his paintings and antique clock collection could be a benefit to his family and kids, but they were against his ideas. René Liem’s family had moved to Indonesia from China 150 years ago, but his family and other Chinese Indonesians were discrimi- nated against by the Suharto government, etc. I enjoyed hearing their warm, sad family stories all through the spring.
Will there be a new wave of immigration from Asia? The idea made me nervous, and I realised that all of the characters I had been working with had moved to Holland dur- ing the first Cold War. Some of them had left China during the Cultural Revolution, one had moved after the Tiananmen Massacre, one family immigrated during the period of Suharto government, and so on. I was surprised that these histories, hidden by official Chinese media, had begun to be reveal themselves. Not in China, but here in a foreign land. Each story featured a soul that was hurt by politics, but still holding on to dignity. They had all spent more than half of their lives building up a new sense of belonging in a foreign place.
His work includes drawing & painting, paper-cuts, photo, video, installation and performance. His practice deals with issues of surrounding commercial- ization, environmentalism, globalization and cultural transmutation, often realized through playful metaphors when he merges concepts and mediums like an alchemist. Chen Hangfeng sees artists as present-day incarnations of the ancient philosopher, artisans and literati.
Tai Bai Yu Tou
This is a popular dish in China – a soupy dish cooks with the Big Head Carp and Tofu. The legendary was the great poet from Tang Dynasty – Li Bai, who loved this dish, and name was given after. This piece shows normally how people here will eat the fish, from buying the fish at the wet market, the process of killing, preparing and cooking the fish… It focuses on the eating technic which is picking the bones with teeth, tongue and lips, avoiding the fish bone stuck in the throat! The Big Head Carp is the exact fish that is highly invasive in the US at the moment. It is seen as a dangerous invasive spe- cies that threatens the ecosystem. But it’s considered as a delicious dish in China…
Minhong Yu stands simultaneously in two worlds and two systems, trying to start a dialogue between them. How can they find a relationship, how can they find a balance? Her work is concerned with visibilities and invisi- bilities relating to social issues in this digital world and ranges from prints to video installations which explore representations of power. She depicts existing systems of power, and questions symbols of identity. Minhong Yu graduated in 2013 from the China Central Academy of Fine Art in Bei- jing, and obtained her masters degree in design at the Sandberg Instituut, Rietveld Academy in 2016.
Breathe confronts opposing forces, and proposes a dialogue between poetry and rigid socio-political structures, between opacity and transparency. Breathe shows the polluting factories of Minhong’s hometown and her newly overseas residence as contributors of a beautiful landscape, where air, smoke and water are the links for transportation between these two continents. Smog is in both installations the invisible medium that connects these otherwise distant worlds softly together. Living in an unfamiliar environment, coping with a language barrier, and forced to explore the meaning of identity, Minhong wants to be- come invisible: to wear a smog-mask and disappear into the herd. Because in order to be stronger, one first has to be weaker. The voice of silence is the highest state of bonding. Transparency can be the perfect camouflage for any existence in this world.