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Global Filmmakers Explore Rural Artistry in Chongqing

By YAN DENG|Apr 29,2024

Chongqing—This year, the annual Looking China youth film project kicked off in southwest China in Chongqing. The initiative invited ten international filmmakers to document the region's renowned culinary delights and picturesque landscapes. On April 27, as part of their project, the team ventured into Chongqing's Qijiang District for an immersive exploration at the Farmers' Painting Institute, delving into the local urban and artistic culture.

The filmmaking team embarked on an immersive experience in Chongqing's Qijiang District on April 27, visiting the Farmers' Painting Institute to engage in urban exploration activity. (Photo/Qijiang District)

The team attentively explored the nuances of the Qijiang farmer's printmaking process, engaging deeply in the craft to enhance their understanding of the forthcoming micro-documentary shoots.

During the event, Mariia Bondarenko, a promising young director from the Petersburg State Institute of Film and Television, engaged in a detailed discussion with Li Chengzhi, a local printmaker. She invited Li to share her personal journey in printmaking, which would be featured prominently in the micro-documentary.

Mariia Bondarenko, a young director from Petersburg State Institute of Film and Television. (Photo/Qijiang District)

Bondarenko noted that Qijiang's blend of natural and humanistic landscapes aligns with the 'Looking China - Beautiful China' theme for this period. The region's traditional farmer's printmaking, with its long history, captures the essence of local culture and the simplicity of rural life. This art form, a fusion of local customs and humanistic values, holds significant cultural importance in China.

"Seeing the vibrant colors in these prints, I'm struck by their potential connections to symbolic meanings in Chinese culture," Bondarenko remarked. "The rural scenes depicted differ markedly from those in the villages I've personally visited. Over the past few decades, the transformation in these areas has been profound, reflecting the rapid development across rural China."

She added, "Art has the power to strengthen and enrich lives. During my time filming in Qijiang, I aim to discover individuals, perhaps non-professional artists or locals, who channel their unique emotional experiences into their artwork, finding inspiration and beauty in everyday life."

Dimitrios Georgios Koutsiampasakos, a film directing professor at the Faculty of Fine Arts at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece, who oversees all ten young directors, expressed his hope that the filmmakers would explore their chosen subjects thoroughly and articulate their perspectives through their cinematic work.

Dimitrios Georgios Koutsiampasakos, a film directing professor from the Faculty of Fine Arts at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece, immersed himself in the experience of printmaking production. (Photo/Qijiang District)

Koutsiampasakos engaged with the micro-documentary team, discussing various aspects of filmmaking, such as camera angles, narrative structure, and key points to consider during the shoot.

The visit concluded with a meaningful gesture from the Qijiang Farmer's Printmaking Institute, which presented the team with their completed zodiac printmaking artworks. This gift not only welcomed the filmmakers to Qijiang but also expressed gratitude for their focus on preserving intangible cultural heritage. The institute expressed hope that through these filmmakers' lenses, audiences worldwide would better appreciate China's rich traditions and the unique art of Qijiang's farmer's printmaking.


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