China Up Close Exhibition at ACMI

ACMI is presenting China Up Close, a deeply rich program of art, film, talks and live events exploring Chinese culture and society in Melbourne.

ACMI Director & CEO, Tony Sweeney said that China Up Close represents the most significant exploration of a major trading and cultural partner ever undertaken by the organisation across the breadth of its programming streams.

“China Up Close will provide audiences with truly unique insights into Chinese screen-based practice and its symbiotic relationship with the powerful changes experienced in China, the world’s fastest growing economy,” said Sweeney.

“China Up Close reflects ACMI’s strong commitment to international collaboration with a country that’s undergoing a dramatic spike in individual enterprise and rapid urbanisation, at the same time that its screen culture is exploding. The impact of this transformation on Chinese culture and society is at the core of what China Up Close will investigate,” added Sweeney.

The expansive program showcases a range of China’s greatest screen artists, including pre-eminent moving image artist, Yang Fudong. Yang Fudong: Filmscapes is the first-ever survey exhibition in Australia of the acclaimed artist’s works. It features four extraordinary film installations, including a brand new five-channel work proudly co-commissioned by ACMI and the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki.

The exhibition is complemented by a substantial program of film and public events ranging from an expert symposium to family green screen workshops, film and talk events, and an augmented reality ‘fingernail bar’, which takes tech and fashion to new realms.

Program highlights include:

China Up Close Symposium
A one-day, industry focused forum examining contemporary video art and culture in China, and ways to deepen Australia-China cultural engagement. Featuring renowned Chinese artist, Yang Fudong, Chief Curator of Hong Kong’s new cultural institution M+, Doryun Chong, and a panel of Australia-China cultural experts.

Seven Intellectuals in a Bamboo Forest (2003 – 2007)
To celebrate Yang Fudong: Filmscapes, ACMI will present a special one-off screening of the artist’s acclaimed Seven Intellectuals in a Bamboo Forest (2003 – 2007). This event marks the first-ever presentation of all five films in a cinema.

Luring the Tiger from the Mountain
Luring the Tiger from the Mountain is a platform for local industry to explore the development of Chinese-Australian transnational co-production. Featuring experts and film industry practitioners from China and Australia, the discussion focuses on the significance of the Chinese film industry in a global context.

The Art of Dissent + Ai Weiwei Never Sorry M (2012)
This is one of four ACMI talk and film events exploring topical themes of contemporary China. Dr Claire Roberts, Aaron Seeto and Scott Rankin examine conceptual art as an expression of freedom and discuss the way artists such as Ai Weiwei have become commentators on the issues impacting modern Chinese identity.

The talk is followed by the screening of Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, an illuminating and essential portrait of the renowned Chinese artist from director Alison Klayman.

Monkey! Holiday Green Screen Workshop
Kids will have the opportunity to create and act out their own story in a professional TV studio. Green screen technology will enable them to fly on their own magic cloud in this one-day workshop.

Augmented Manicures
Learn how to paint your nails using augmented reality (4D) with Metaverse Makeovers, where traditional and futuristic beauty technology collide.

China Up Close
December 2014 to March 2015
Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Melbourne