From March 21 to March 26, 2016, Art Basel
will present its ambitious Film program of over 70 films by and about artists, in Hong Kong. Alongside the selection of short films, the program will also include for the first time five feature-length films: the premiere of Zeng Fanzhi: YOU Art Project (2014 2015), the Asian premiere of The Chinese Lives of Uli Sigg (2016), Takashi Murakamis Jellyfish Eyes (2013), William Kentridge's renowned 10 Drawings for Projection (1989 2011), and Poet on a Business Trip (2014) by Beijing-based underground filmmaker Ju Anqi.
The Short Film Program consists of a total of 67 short films exploring six diverse themes, curated once again by Beijing and Zurich-based multi-media artist and producer Li Zhenhua. The program features works by artists Adel Abidin, John Akomfrah, Tony Albert, Martha Atienza, Breda Beban, Will Benedict, Chang Li-Ren, Chen I-Chun, Chen Qiulin, Chen Szu-Han, Chen Yin-Ju, Cheng Ran, Tiffany Chung, Juliet Darling, Quynh Dong, Christopher Doyle, Inci Eviner, Fang Lu, Gao Xingjian, Christoph Girardet, Yuki Hayashi, James T. Hong, Minseung Jang, Christian Jankowski, Joan Jonas, Tsubasa Kato, Karen Kilimnik, Aki Kondo, Kuo I-Chen, Lai Chih-Sheng, Lee Ji-Hong, Li Binyuan, Candice Lin, Ke Lin, Sřren Lind, Jawshing Arthur Liou, Liu Shiyuan, Lu Yang, Ma Qiusha, Matthias Müller, Kenta Nishimura, Hans Op de Beeck, Stephen Page, Jack and Leigh Ruby, Larissa Sansour, Vaibhav Raj Shah, Shi Jinsong, SHIMURAbros, Sussman&Lee, Yukihiro Taguchi, Tan Tian, Tao Hui, Stefanos Tsivopoulos, Kuang-Yu Tsui, Xavier Veilhan, Wu Chi-Yu, Wu Ding, Tintin Wulia, Yuan Goang-Ming, Yuan Keru, Zhang Xu Zhan and Zhao Zhao.
Art Basel is delighted to present the Asian premiere of The Chinese Lives of Uli Sigg (2016); a documentary film directed by Michael Schindhelm, reconstructing the adventures of the entrepreneur, diplomat and art collector during his 30 years in China. The film tells the unique story of how the life of a Swiss man, through chance circumstances, became embroiled in the history of China after Maos death.
Directed by Shi Li-Sanderson and Philipp Stölzl, Zeng Fanzhi: YOU Art Project (2014 2015) is a close study of the practice of distinguished Chinese artist, Zeng Fanzhi. Reflecting on the practice of academic research, the film studies the artist's painting process over the last 12 years under the concept of YOU, which in Chinese indicates the highest attainment of freedom. The screening at Art Basel is an edited version of the original 73-hour long film.
William Kentridge is widely known for his series of ten animated films titled 10 Drawings for Projection, (1989 2011) drawn over a period of 22 years which are for the most part set in his home city of Johannesburg. The timeline covers South Africa's transition from apartheid to democracy, but the films are not about political events. Instead, the saga traces a different and parallel arc the character Soho Eckstein's gradually awakening from a capitalist blockhead to a sober penitent.
Takashi Murakamis Jellyfish Eyes (2013) brings Murakamis brightly-colored fictional characters to the screen for the first time alongside human characters in a tale set in a small village in the Japanese countryside. The work manifests clear references to the Fukushima catastrophe in 2011, as the children save their fictional world from a disaster.
The low-budget black and white Poet on a Business Trip (2014) is written, directed and cinematographed by Beijing-based, underground filmmaker Ju Anqi. Shu, a poet who has never been on a business trip, decides to send himself on a 40-day train journey, crossing the whole of Xinjiang, China. The metaphorical title of the film presents an ineffable absurdity and satire.
The feature-length films will be screened at Theatre 2 within the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC), while the Short Film Program will be screened at the agnčs b. Cinema at Hong Kong Arts Centre. Film is free and open to the public. Due to limited capacity, tickets are available on a first-come-first-served basis.