Since Han Dynasty (206 BC–220 AD), once a year, on the 7th day of the 7th lunar month in the Chinese calendar, Chinese Valentine’s day has been celebrated. In Chinese mythology Zhinu, a weaver girl, and Niulang, a cowherd, fell deeply in love – but their relationship was forbidden and they were banished to opposite sides of the Silver River, or the Milky Way. Feeling sad for these quite literally star-crossed lovers a flock of magpies would form a bridge to reunite the lovers for one day every year. This year the day falls on Tuesday 9 August.
Join us as we celebrate the long distance love theme of Chinese Valentine’s Day.
Introducing Distance Between, a 3-channel HD video installation by artist Xiaowen Zhu
DISTANCE BETWEEN is a 3-channel video installation ostensibly on the topic of long-distance relationships, as referred to romantic relationships between people who are separated by considerable distance. The interviews, filmed with 6 subjects, recount individual stories as confessions, beginning with the innocent excitement of growing intimacy through simple means of text messages and phone calls, to the complexity of Skype, examining the inherent properties of the medium.
The project begins by interviewing couples involved in long distance romantic relationships, focusing on particular traits and benefits of a mediated and technologically enabled exchange. Taking this source material, the artist mixes spontaneous interviews with reenactments by 6 subjects based on quotes taken from actual interviews. The material was then re-configured and re-contextualized by the artist. Using staged scenarios, designed stenography and cinematography, the piece encourages the viewer to re-examine their notions of the Documentary Interview and to ponder the boundary between fact and fiction. “Long-distance relationships” is used as a subject to open a discourse about self-identification, individual perception of home and travel, personal value of family and marriage, ideology of life and understandings of the issues of love and trust.
Distance Between Opening Night and Panel Discussion
Artist Xiaowen Zhu will be joined by Distance Between contributors, Elisabeth Roth and Maximilian Bauer on the opening night of her 3-channel video installation, hosted by China Exchange.
Maximilian Bauer is an artist working in Stuttgart and Berlin, Germany. He was a Fulbright Scholar and has exhibited widely in Europe and USA.
Elisabeth Roth is a Stuttgart-based artist. Her work employs mixed approaches, including video, sculpture and photography. She was a Fulbright Scholar and has shown work at numerous exhibitions in Europe and USA.
18:30-19:00: Reception and complimentary drinks
19:00-19:30: Viewing of Distance Between
19:30-20:00: Panel discussion with Xiaowen Zhu, Elisabeth Roth and Maximilian Bauer, and audience Q&A
For opening times for the installation on other days, please click here.