At 16:00 May 31th, dim lights flashed alternately in the Beijing Arong Studio. The silhouette of sailing and the glistening water were reflected on the high blank wall and a long prepared show was in play. Wang Wen was surrounded by water, sitting or standing, and playing unique notes through the instrument in their hand. Their first music experiment would be played in the next hour, which was also a widely open cross-industry improvisation music experiment.
The coolest movie of year—-Miracle pursuit —–is anine-hour art work, consisting of three famous adventurous stories based on real events and real people. Half of this unconventional film was shot in
China’s East Sea area, Tibet, Switzerland and Amsterdam. Another half was shot in an indoor studio in Beijing, with ship and board scenery built inside. Soundtracks that run throughout the whole film was composed by China’s most prominent post rock band—Wang Wen.
In 1999, Wang Wen started in Dalian, known as a diligent band. As China’s leading post rock band, so far the band has released eight full long albums. At the beginning of 2015, Chen Ran, a video artist, told Sun (responsible person of New Noise) that he wanted to shot a movie and hoped to find a partner for the soundtrack.
Sun said, “The last scene of Chen’ nine-hour movie was shot in an indoor studio. We wanted to have an art open day for fans to see the real shooting site. Because the cost of scene was very high, it would be better to make a transboundary sound event. This was how the improvisation sound experiment came into being.”
On May 31st, the total length of the show was an hour. Wang Wen chose ocean as the theme. It was free-styled with multi-surfaced ocean, calm life origin and roaring earth. Wang Wen determined five chapters and the approximate time of each one, gradually processed with interacts. The show was very successful, which was beyond the expectation.
The ending was perfect but the process is twisted. At the beginning, the original lighting engineer was a foreigner, but he could not make it for some reason. “When Daniel said that he could not come, there was only a few days left before the show. At that time I was thinking that who could replace him. It was very important for the show.”
Later, He An, a member of the team recommended Chen Ran, the lighting engineer of This is Meng Studio to Sun. “I’ve watched several of Chen’s dramas and have a deep impression on his lighting design. He has aesthetic concepts and his own pace, which is very important for the show.” Expect the requirement of lighting design, Sun also hoped that the engineer had a complete aesthetic concept. Therefore, Chen was the best and most suitable person. Sun explained, “The aesthetic awareness of
someone is not set up in a short time. If lighting is strobe, it will destroy the show.”
After the show, both Wang Wen and Chen were shocked at the result. Deng Chenlong, the sound engineer made the track recording and post production. Wang Wen decided to record a vinyl for the show, which would be sold in China next year and the same time in the U.S and Europe.
The following is what Sun shared with CMNB:
Hangzhou is an amazing city, there are lots of excellent artists from different areas; and Chen is one of
them. As a prominent video artist, Chen has many good projects on independent video and installation works. This year, he had a breakthrough idea —- making a nine-hour long movie. When he talked about it with me, I found we had many common ideas.
The film market is very prosperous but fewer works seriously consider aesthetics. I remember when I was at a show in Caen, France, a fan said that he liked a Chinese documentary director called Wang Bing. In his nine-hour movieXitiequ, a railway worker was striking nails. Audience might feel boring about it, but actually it was the real reflection of the rail work. You can feel it through the long shot.
So as Director Chen saying, the length of domestic commercial movies is 100-120 min and 2-3 h when it comes to Hollywood movies. If this rule is broken, then the work is beyond your scope and there is no standard success or failure. The responsibility for artists is challenging themselves constantly, which is also what Wang Wen exactly does. If the cooperation can encourage more music fans to understand independent video and more video art fans to know indie music. This is worthwhile.
Chen’s movie consists of three real adventure stories, among which one story is very fascinating: There were a dozen of people on a Chinese fishing boat. After they set off, they arrived on a land where no law existed. People’s beast instinct was inspired and they began to kill each other. The number of people on the boat decreased. And in the end, all of them disappeared…
The moviepremieredon International Istanbul Biennial in Turkey and its trailer is available online. Let’s wait for its 2016 city tour in China!
(Translator: Ellie; Editor: Chuqian li)
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