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Video art production award winner Hao Jingban presents Opus One
Hao Jingban, Opus One, 2020. Produced by the Han Nefkens Foundation. Image: Roberto Ruiz.

MADRID.- As 2019 recipient of the Han Nefkens Foundation – ARCOmadrid Video Art Production Award, artist Hao Jingban presents Opus One a dual-channel video installation at Matadero Madrid as part of their “Depth of Field” programme which focuses on the production, screening and study of contemporary audiovisual practice.

“This film would like to offer itself as a fish-tank for future fishermen casting their net into the past.” Hao Jingban

Documenting the changing experiences of people has been an important part of Jingban’s work. Based in a country that is rapidly changing and where people tend to jump to conclusions in order to understand what is happening around them, she stresses the importance of simply observing, questioning and thinking within her work.

"I am particularly pleased to see that Hao Jingban used the opportunity offered by the award to create an unexpected, wonderfully layered and at times humorous new work.” Han Nefkens, Founder Han Nefkens Foundation

Opus One interweaves two seemingly distinct points in time and space in the history of music and dance movements. The film’s point of departure is 1930s Harlem in New York, when swing dance-forms such as ‘Lindy Hop’ and ‘The Charleston’ became widely popular as people turned to dance after the Great Depression. The film’s protagonists are Suzy and KC, a young Chinese couple in contemporary Beijing who trace the steps of the so-called “authentic jazz”, choreographing a set of dances while drawing references from vernacular and cheesy dance moves found on the popular Chinese digital video streaming platform, TikTok. The parallel narratives portray the irresistible attraction of synchronisation, affinity and the convergence of these two temporalities.

Hao Jingban also presents a piece from 2018, entitled From South Lake Park to Red Flag Street. This piece reflects on an area in the north-east of China - previously called Manchuria and also (from 1932-45 while under Japanese rule) Manchukuo - that today encompasses three provinces all sharing a long border with Russia and North Korea. In this piece, Jingban explores how both the Chinese and Japanese who had worked in a propaganda film studio which functioned from 1937 to the end of World War II were hesitant to talk about their time there. This piece is Jingban’s half imagined/half-factual deduction as to why they do not want to talk about it, it also marks her conclusion that the past will always be preserved and truth will always come out, no matter how fragmented or twisted the words that record it.

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