Wandering Spirits: Can the Urban Village Sound? A Conversation on Wandering Baishizhou
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This project ran during an artist residency in Shenzhen, inside the Baishizhou urban village located in the heart of megalopolis and intended for demolition within a few years. Involving the village community, the artist collected clothes and objects from the inhabitants, to make new clothes, then worn by three residents who performed in the village. These figures wandered through the streets, alleys, roofs, houses, shops, day and night, mingling with everyday situations of residents. Referring to Chinese culture, ancient Taoism, and the cult of ancestors, which sees the spirits of popular religious tradition as protectors and good luck charms, these wandering strange figures become local spirits, shamans who heal and protect the urban village. The project was developed through performances, a photographic project and a film.
The Italian premiere of the film was shown at the Macro Museum in Rome in May 2019, then at Chippendale Studio in Milan, OCT Loft gallery in Shenzhen, and DAMSLab in Bologna.
Sabrina Muzi, Artist
An anthropological view combined with a holistic vision inspired by symbols and archetypes, permeates Sabrina Muzi’s research. Interested in the relationship between different cultures and societies, the transformation of places, and the contemporary ways of interaction of the individual with its historical roots, she involves local people in actions and performance, especially in projects that explore specific cultural contexts.
Dr. Tong Lam, Associate Professor, Department of Historical Studies, University of Toronto
Tong Lam’s research areas include the modern and contemporary history of China, science and technology, politics and aesthetics, urbanism, and empire. His first book, A Passion for Facts: Social Surveys and the Construction of the Chinese Nation-State, 1900-1949 (2011), analyzes the profound consequences of the emergence of the technology of the “social fact” and social survey research in modern China. Professor Lam’s current research examines China’s urban infrastructures, ruins and ruination, as well as the renewed imperial ambitions of the later Qing empire. As a visual artist, he uses photographic and cinematographic techniques to dissect contemporary China’s transformation, as well as Cold War ruins around the world. He has published a photo-essay book, Abandoned Futures (2013), and has exhibited his work internationally.
Moderator: Ziyu Cheng, Ph.D. Student, Italian Studies, University of Toronto
This event is hosted by the East Asian Studies Graduate Student Union. Part of the The Fantastical and the Real: 2023 EASGSU Film Talk Series