By Robert Hamilton
From the end of April through to the beginning of June the Chinese Arts Centre (CAC) devoted its exhibition space to a trilogy of 60-Minute Cinema shows. Transformed into a dark and relaxing environ, the CAC asked three curators from Hong Kong, Beijing and Taiwan to select a series of short films to represent the changing nature of their distinct cultures and their own filmic responses to those changes.
This unique festival of Chinese short films and animation brought some 15 films to Manchester and the attention of the growing audience for East Asian visual cultures that the Chinese Arts Centre has been promoting since its inception.
Each of the curators themed their choice of films to relate to their home environment. Producer and ifva Director, Teresa Kwong focused on the 15th anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong to China and selected a programme that reflected her ‘response to this special occasion’. Independent curator, Dong Bingfeng (formerly Deputy Director of the Iberia Centre for Contemporary Art in Beijing), chose a series of films to explore his ongoing research into the building of People’s Park in China since 1949 and how it ‘can create new social relationships and how this relates to social reality’. Lastly, art critic and independent curator, Amy Cheng curated her choice to ‘weave together the historical and cultural changes and scenes from local life in Taiwanese society’.
It was a vivid and exhilarating event that showcased the diverse talents of both emerging and established talents from the region as well as time spent in the company of old friends and new acquaintances to enjoy the films. And in true cinema style, munch on copious amounts of popcorn.
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