Facts and Poetry: Documentary Films and Video Works by Zhong Chen

Zhong Chen, Filmmaker


The Department of Art & Art History, together with the Stanford Institute for Creativity and the Arts (SiCa) presents a special screening and lecture by Zhong Chen, Chengdu- and Beijing-based filmmaker, video artist, and photographer. In his film and video works, Chen combines the brutal hard facts in the face of natural and man-made disasters with an almost surrealist visual quality, achieving poetic and powerful effects.

Zhong Chen is from Sichuan Province where the Three Gorges Project and the Great Sichuan Earthquake took place. He trained as an engineer and received his MFA degree in cinematography from Temple University in Philadelphia.

Since 1999, Chen's films have been exhibited in more than 25 international film festivals in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Toronto, Paris, Beijing, and Shanghai, among other cities. He has won many awards such as the Jury Award in New York EXPO 1999 and the Kodak Cinematography Award in New York EXPO 2011. Sichuan Street Songs, Gettin' Grown, and Love Poems are among his highly acclaimed films. In 2010, Chen's film Red White was screened at five film festivals including the 42 Muestra Cinematografica del Atlantico in Spain, 7th China Independent Film Festival in Beijing, and Shadows Films Festival in Paris. His video work Last Days Before the Flood was exhibited at Portland Art Museum in Oregon in 2009.

Synopsis of Red White (documentary, 97 min)

In May 2008, 100,000 died in China’s Sichuan earthquake. This big disaster left survivors who had to overcome the grief of losing loved ones, get up, and fight for their own survival. This documentary is about the struggles of the people of a small town in Sichuan region called Red White, while trying to overcome the tragedies of the massive earthquake. A Taoist worshipper who believes that we must comfort the spirit of the dead in order to prevent such a disaster from recurring, a middle-aged woman who lost her only 12 year old son and is pregnant with another baby, and an old man who after losing his only grandson set up a tent to start running a hairdressing salon to survive, talk of the devastating and indelible scars of the earthquake.

Thursday, October 13, 2011 | 6:00 pm — 8:00 pm
Annenberg Auditorium, Cummings Art Building

Department of Art and Art History
Stanford Institute for Creativity and the Arts (SiCa)