Yang Fudong: Estranged Paradise, Works 1993–2013

Author: Colin Chinnery, Rey Chow, Philippe Pirotte, Beatrix Ruf, Ho Rui An (Authors); Philippe Pirotte and Beatrix Ruf (Editors)

Chinese artist Yang Fudong’s work reflects the ideals and anxieties of a generation born after the Cultural Revolution, struggling to find its place in the fast-paced changes of society. His films and film installations feature an atemporal and dreamlike quality in long and suspended sequences, divided narratives, and multiple story lines. Fudong calls his protagonists “intellectuals,” recalling the tradition of the “literati” in ancient China: artists and intellectuals who escaped participation in worldly affairs. His films and photographs bring the literati’s impassive attitude, emptied of any suggestion of agency, from the daydream to the consumerist contexts of contemporary urban China. In other works Fudong diverges from this urbanity, focusing on the sense of isolation and loss increasingly present in China’s contemporary society as communities are scattered, traditional rural villages dissolved, and the fight for survival takes precedence. In his most recent multi channel film installations, Yang shifts his attention more and more toward a reflection on the process of filmmaking, transcending his traditional working process of shooting-editing-screening. Yang Fudong likens these spatially open-ended films to a contemporary form of the Chinese hand scroll.


Venue: Kunsthalle Zürich, UC Berkeley Art Musuem and Pacific Film Archive
Location Code: MON.YFD
Language: English, German
Published by: Kunsthalle Zürich, UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, and Sifang Art Museum, Nanjing.
Year of Publication: 2013
No. of Pages: 160
ISBN: 9783037643488