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  • MyJing
  • An Italian news producer lives with his wife and child in Beijing, collecting pictures to explain contemporary China to a faraway Western TV audience. He travels for work within the city and beyond, capturing tanks parading on Tian’anmen Square, following the chant of sutras in a remote Tibetan valley or reporting on megalomaniacal infrastructure projects. Yet, life is not easy in the mega-city: the ubiquitous crowds, the streams of traffic filling in the eight-lane streets, the pall of smog and the long daily commutes seem to anaesthetise the sense of wonder and set people apart from one another. Bewildered by the very place he’s now been living in for 10 years, a new world opens up when he meets local artists and craftsmen, outsiders of today’s China world-factory. With them, time slows down and thanks to them viewers are brought back to a dimension of intimacy and self-exploration, to small gestures and private rituals: the sculptress who uses porcelain to symbolise the thin line between sanity and madness, the cosplayer who stages rituals for new gods, the artist who conducts social experiments with bees, and many others. New perspectives on reality emerge through their eyes, and the narrator’s sense of disconnection from the people around him fades away. A new light illuminates the contradictions of contemporary China. The fragile nature of porcelain or the socialism of bees echoes what happens outside, where individuals are swallowed by collectivism, bombarded by slogans on ubiquitous screens, trapped in their daily routines. While talking about the here and now, the artists’ words and artworks also hint at an old wisdom, which the pace of modern life often overshadows. The narrator unveils the complexity of Myjing: a huge country whose ancient traditions are hidden in the background, a land turned into a magnifying glass of global issues by its extraordinary pace and size.

EDN Member
Lorenzo Cioffi


In Development