Reviews / Interview

“The Red Flag Flies” alters “film” beyond recognition
- Cui Zien (Professor at Beijing Film School, Filmmaker, Director)

This film is unlike traditional Chinese films and moreover, is not born out of the recent Chinese independent film movement. With that said, the soul and pulse of Hongxiang’s film shares some similarities with other Chinese films.

Director Zhou Hongxiang is a revolutionary director and filmmaker full of political temperament. His films reflect his thoughts about the politics of society and film. Zhou Hongxiang’s films are two-sided like a coin. On the one side, he illustrates China’s red revolutionary history and on the other side, the art and beauty of film. At the same time, Zhou’s two-sided coin is also pointed, at which many vagaries between the two sides exist. For example, while Hongxiang’s films are unhurried, they are also relentless. His films are not deep, but not superficial and they all not quickly, not slowly conclude by denouncing and repudiating Chinese societies’ various systems and organization.

Unlike other revolutionary films, Zhou Hongxiang’s “The Red Flag Flies” rejects any sort of established film classification, including “plot” film and documentary. It also denies classification by not using unified images, a sense of completeness (beginning, middle, end) and its peculiar origins of sound.

In terms of films, “The Red Flag Flies” is a fresh burst of wind in a previously unoccupied room/cavity/pocket. As such/because of this, we can indeed classify his films to a specific category–his films exist outside the realm of what we generally call “movies”; rather, his films might best be described as “experiments with images” or “artistic documentaries.” In some of his films, Hongxiang does not use any sound. Hongxiang’s works leave those persons who live for filmmaking speechless.

In Zhou Hongxiang’s early career, he eagerly sought to emulate the common themes of most Chinese movies - revolutionary, rebellion, collective movement, and Chinese citizens’ collective political struggle, conspiracy/plot. However, he uses the “red flag” to oppose the “red flag.” The image of a country gathering around the flying of the “red flag” powerfully conjures up the idea that China is resisting change, implying that China is experiencing a static and unchanging period – China will not progress, reform or be free. Rather, China will continue as an impregnable force represented by the image of an impenetrable red ocean and obedient citizens who abide by the governmental slogans.

In “The Red Flag Flies” Zhou Hongxiang masterfully used the images and words in the film to flatten and break apart this static, unchanging period of time. The most prominent part of the film is its ringing and powerful structure - at first glance, the film is noteworthy for its majestic images and superb filmmaking skills. In terms of situations, the film portrays a stable, unified emotional complex: the film is righteous, solemn, dignified and direct, opposing the use of the color black and shadows. The film also proposes that the traditional, but wholly incompatible definition of appearance as sinful and evil, not allowing this definition any room for survival.

……

[中文] 用《红旗飘》把电影肢解得面目全非 -崔子恩《芙蓉》2004年第03期

 

 

Interview of Zhou Hongxiang
http://www.we-need-money-not-art.com/?p=1778
2007/ArtWorld Interview

In 1994, Zhou Hongxiang entered his 35-minute short film “The Red Flag Flies” in the International Media Art Festival in Berlin (Transmediale 04). He received the festival’s top jury prize, WERKLEITZ. It turned out to be an opportunity for Zhou Hongxiang to be exposed to and get involved in the new media art. In the interview with Zhou Hongxiang published in the “ArtWorld” in 2006, one of the final questions was: What will be your focus in the next phase of exploration in the field of experimental video? He replied: “I hope my film reflects the perfect combination of art and technology.” In 2007 in the Netherlands Electronic Media Art Festival, Zhou Hongxiang introduced his new media work, “Chinese Portraiture”.

ArtWorld: Why do you choose the form of new media art to finish this work?

Zhou Hongxiang: The first time I saw the new media art work was in Transmediale 04. I think it was a different and creative method, and I was very interested. So I started to use this new vehicle to create my own work. It was interesting to try something new. I don’t want to discuss whether it is good or not, but I do care about whether it is interesting or whether it stimulates me. When I worked on the “Chinese Portraiture”, the most important thing was to create the impression based on feelings and reactions; I am not against motionless portrait, but the “Chinese Portraiture” captures certain aspects of Chinese life, which I express with my own thoughts. I did not deliberately choose a new form of media to complete this work. Even though my initial idea of 31 life-size body figures being projected on the screen simultaneously remains an idea.

ArtWorld: What role does the technology play in your new medium artwork?

Zhou Hongxiang: I might want to explain this in terms of the difference between the East and the West. As the curator on deaf07 stated, the Chinese accentuate more on humanistic quality in their works [than their counterparts in the West]. Doubtless, new media technology is very important, but it is not the most crucial. Good ideas are always more important than technology itself. The quality of my works does not lie in the medium, or technology, but in their concepts. I was trained and came out of the world of the traditional fine arts; I am more concerned about the concept or interesting ideas.

ArtWorld: What is the status of Shanghai new media art?

Zhou Hongxiang: I believe the first person to use the interactive concept in the artwork is my teacher Hu Jieming, not Zhang Peili. In comparison with Beijing and other cities in China, Shanghai has already witnessed a good number of high-quality and successful new media exhibitions with several more being prepared and organized. Additionally, Shanghai boosts a team of its native new media artists whose works are more mature.

ArtWorld: What’s your next plan?

Zhou Hongxiang: I want to produce a multimedia drama, which contains the interactive technology. It is not technology for technology’s sake; rather, the interactive technology will be conceptualized and designed based on the characteristics of the theatres. One French artist has agreed to assist me with technological issues.

[中文]专访周弘湘-《艺术世界》,2007

 

 

An Interview with Experimental Artist Zhou Hongxiang
(China conception’s film artist Interview of Zhou Hongxiang)
By Pan Qing / The National Arts, Issue 2008. 3

Pan: What is art seems to be a core of artistic expression? In your work “what is” in the end is a positive expression of emotion? Or wait for the expression of confussion? ,or just a constant emotional outlet, to such an extent that it is even unnecessary to seek for answer?

Zhou Hongxiang: I would like to explain them from three aspects.. First of all, framing(?) works, then self-expression, questions towards art, culture, the whole world come the last because contemporary people including artists is unable to give an ultimate answer. There is no criteria to reference an answer, if an individual’s is incomplete, then we can go to seek answers to the general public because the majority agreement on certain question may be closest to the so-called correct, or at least reasonable. However, once such agreement is located in a bigger space, then everything changes. The uncertainty, the sense of lose exists on every single person.

Some critics from Europe asked me if it is a confusion of the director. I agree that I am confused to what I have done. I don’t have a clear answer. The fact of contemporary life is you may very popular today but become trash the next day. You may relay on knowledge to make a judgment on some things, how about art? How to judge art? Art is a relation between individual and mass people, knowledge and the philosophical opinion towards the world.

Pan: From The Red Flag Flies, Corn Land, to the Chinese Portraiture, a Gust of Wind, unlike many artists, you don’t have much involvement with Cultural Revolution, although your work is considered very political. What is your insistence?

Zhou Hongxiang: When I began in making the film, I did not pay much attention on receiving end, how audience would respond. Every skills/methods applied is to serve the image, the film. I did not think of the political meaning at all. The first person who did not think my film has any political meaning is Yang Fudong (film artist), which I agreed, people don’t have to watch my film through a lens of the political. But late on, how my film is received no longer bothers me. It’s all up to you. The most important thing to me is my film has to be powerful, containing tremendous power within it. In terms of this, it would be super boring if all films have only one method of expression, representation. I believe only breakup with the old and exploring new languages of film are significant. Therefore the languages of film or image contain certain style, and this becomes increasingly difficult, like climbing a mountain, the higher the harder.

Pan: There is a sense of depression in you film, does this come from your life?

Zhou Hongxiang: Well, the passion and pursuit of those born 1960s are very different from that of 1980s, who is more materialized. People of my generation and the 50s still has a dream of contributing ourselves to the nation, the society. But the 80s no longer have such a dream, they concern more of themselves, their happiness, which is good that they are finally able to lay down the heavy burden of history. This is the progress of our era. Our society becomes more humanized. The question of the entire world is the question of human beings. The Red Flag Flies is more concerned of marks left-over from the Cultural Revolution. The fanatic of actors is the fanatic of human being, but I turned such fanatic into symbols represented by images. The generation of 1980s will not make such a piece of film, for they have a multi-life. The depression in my works is a problem of that era, which comes from life of that time, not contemporary.

Pan: I have seen your Corn Land later, which seems more poetic, does this change has connections with your life at that period of time?

Zhou Hongxiang: It was summer of 2004, I took around 60-70 minutes of raw material recording the corn land of my family, they were all busy in the corn land when I was home, I felt I’d better do something. Then two years later, in 2006 I discovered these raw materials in my computer, edited them. You may realize that images in the film are all static except the very last one. It reveals a kind of situation.

Pan: So why this name, Corn Land?

Zhou Hongxiang: I grownup from that corn land, I have lived there for 20 years. The film likes a summary of my life, every place and person in the film I know them exactly.

Pan: Why does the story eventually return to the corn land after changes of location, time? What do you want to say, a process? A circle?

Zhou Hongxiang: Yes, it does not mean to give a result, but to remember something, till the end what left in my heart is that quiet corn land. All desires vanished. My father died in 1994, twelve years ago. My sister, brother-in-law and mother are doing things I can never done. These are all memories, I wrote a poem in the film, those are all my true feelings.

Pan: The Chinese Portraiture is an interactive piece, what did you want to way in this film?

Zhou Hongxiang: The work is a desire to give each period of time a profile, using the most laconic language to illustrate people of that era. We are doing what we do not like but still claiming they are important. It is ironic. For example, there is a doctor sneezing, how can a doctor help others while he himself is sick. Everything has double side, positive and negative, I don’t want to veil the negative. Somebody considers the Chinese Portraiture is the best one after the Red Flag Flies, which won a visual art award in Italian nominated purely by audiences. I always consider it is important to make a different film, no matter how it is called, experimental film? Conceptual film? Avant-garde film? Or it is not a film. The strong desire to make a different film turn me into a vacuum situation, the result of which is a film that can hardly be categorized. I was once in Berlin to see an ultra-media exhibition, the first time I encountered so many things I don’t understand, I was excited but also terrified. I suddenly felt that all my aesthetic knowledge were useless, so I throw them into the trash. There were two artists one from Paris, one from Los Angeles moved me a lot. They had definitely better technique, but I won the big prize. However, one can never stop there, I always hope to go forward.

Pan: A Gust of Wind seems very aesthetic, though?

Zhou Hongxiang: A Gust of Wind is a very leisure piece, when it’s complete, I was thinking whether I shall become a director or a photographer? With increasing experiences on filming, the images unavoidablly become more beautiful, but still, I believe the new language, new concept in the film is more significant.

Pan: A Gust of Wind employed concepts to narrate a story, what do you imply?

Zhou Hongxiang: It’s no more than a platitude. Everybody knows symbolism. Apply implies prohibition, blood implies violation, etc. This is what you know. I don’t want to say any more, for I will not go further on this direction.

Pan: How do you think of yourself?

Zhou Hongxiang: I work hard and hopefully will achieve something. To make a piece of work needs talent, but also the ability to manage, build up and cope with various things. Inspiration is ephemeral, a long career requires rational and practical persistence.

[中文] 中国概念电影艺术家周弘湘访谈 -《国家美术》, 2008.3

 

 

12+ International Film Maker Show
Organizer: The Art World Journal
Date: June 17th 14:00-16:00
Venue: Shanghai Duolun MoMA

Zhou Hongxiang: Make Things Flat
by Zhu Haijian / 2006 ArtWorld Interview

I have known Zhou Hongxiang for several years because of movie. As we live close we often meet and have a chat on movies, waiting for his new work and seeing it as one of the first audiences was a great enjoyment. Born in Jiangsu Dongtai in 1969, Zhou Hongxiang graduated from Huadong Normal University majoring Chinese Painting in 1994, since then he teaches in Shanghai Normal University. With fifteen years teaching experiences he often jokes that he is going to retire.

Zhou started his conceptual art at round year 2000, before that he contributed himself mainly on experimental Chinese painting, he had also successfully made an immediately forbidden performance art during 2000 Shanghai Biennales(?). As an contemporary artist, the most impressive works Zhou produced was The Red Flag Flies, only showed outside of the official Shanghai Biennale.

The Red Flag Flies has taken part in various exhibitions globally besides the Venice Film Festival, where The Red Flag Flies had its premiere show. Because of the misunderstandings towards the film, very few audiences in China is able to see it. Yet, it is the rumor that attracks attention to the film, its value of “being” is not only a film, but also a documentation, As to Zhou, in our ages, there have been many ordinary and interesting films, but not many meaningful and experimental ones.

Like many artists, Zhou took great advantage of pirated films from the west widely available since the late 1990s, and began his experimental art since then. He bought many films. During that period of time, he watched a lot, thought a lot, but seldom talked. Zhou wanted to make a new genre of film, within which he would bring his “betrayal”, his creative talents into a real “being”, a film.

In Zhou’s opinion, experimental image is only another medium of expression. His film attacks the entire field of film, as a sudden storm, de- & re-constructing the film. As Cui Zien, a film scholar, once praised his The Red Flag Flies—deconstructing film from structure to pattern until it’s beyond recognition.. The relations among image, sound, and spaces have shown a totally distortion in his movies. Those who insist on “principals” of a movie suddently lost their voice, while other people sighed: ”how can a film be made in this way!” The film elector Serafino Murri from Venice Film Festival made his comment that there has been a birth of “Jean-Luc Godard” in China! In fact, both Zhou and Godard were revolutionary in the field of film, although they lived in different time with different cultural & political background.

Zhou explains that the Red Flag Flies, a conceptual film, without plot nor professional actors, is aimed to give a new definition to those slogans during the Cultural Revolution period. Obviously, the film is conceptual but also visually simple, direct and powerful. Comparing to other experimental films, The Red Flag Flies is a wise choice no matter from the topic or the way of expression.

As an experimental artist, the success of his film does not make any changes to the artist himself. Zhou remains himself as an experimental but also marginalized artist, who devotes his life to art. Sergio Fant, a German film critic, once said during the 59th Venice Film Festival that The Red Flag Flies was the most surprising and brilliant film in the section of “New Territory” “the ‘People Lion’ prize should be awarded to him, The Red Flag won.”

During the premiere most of the native audiences were not understanding the whole story because of the lost of context. They hadn’t seen a rounded movie and it was ended. The film overthrown the habit of watching films, it is neither a narrative film nor a documentary one, The logic of a films broken, each scene in the film depicts its own meaning while they are still somehow inter-connected and make an integral harmony. The use of sound in the film is another creation and miracle. a continuous male voice asking questions such as, what is happiness, what is need and what is ease?… some questions answer with a slogan, some have no answers. This provides audience with a peculiar experience of seeing a film. On the other hand, the sudden appearances of exclamatory point, colon and full stop are very much like a joke, humorously alerting people the distance between film and life.

Someone commented Zhou as a film revolutionist with great political awareness. Although it is improper to define Zhou as revolutionist, it reflects a wide affirmation to Zhou and his achievement. As a person born in the late 60s, the various mass movements during 1950s and 60s & Cultural Revolution(1966-1976) did not mark as impressive traces to Zhou as that to the older generations. Zhou therefore determines to re-form the modulated way of thinking and behaving dominated by the government throughout the first three decades of the New China. De-construction is the core power of Zhou’s films. We’d rather to name Zhou Hongxiang a surgery than a revolutionist. It has been 4 years since The Red Flag Flies was produced. Since then Zhou made a short three-screen film Animals Fierce, which comes along with the Red Flag Flies, focuses on relationship between Human &animal, and Human as animal.. In Dreamlike the next film, it reveals reminiscence emotions in Shanghai with the songs of 30s and 40s in Shanghai…

Zhou said he often find himself in a status of difficulty, unable to find a method, a media, or a language to express himself. It seems to him that art, film has reached the utmost of themselves. People intends to something new, something fun, no more meditation. Meditation is outdated. The articulation of art and digital technology becomes an increasingly attractive trends to artists including Zhou. But Zhou’s attitude is still sedate, his academic training of traditional Chinese painting, the aesthetics of Chinese art flow in his blood, his fighting with them through his art is worth expectation.

Interview Zhou Hongxiang

ArtWorld: Your major is traditional Chinese painting, and you fell in love with films because of the movie “Ashes of Time”. Why do you start choosing images as a mode of expression?

Zhou Hongxiang: Yes. I saw the films because everyone said good, but I do not know how to judge the good as they said. I started “Ashes of Time” from the middle, and had no idea who was the director until later I learned that it is Wong Jiawei felt a sudden interests and move.. From then, I pay attention to the film it is more challenging than painting I think, so I tried. From painting to video, it is just a different way of expression, but that the videoimage is more dynamic.

ArtWorld: Talk about the creation of “The Red flag Flies”, and I think many people are interested in it.

Zhou Hongxiang: At beginning I want to make slogan a film, but I got more and more slogan materials, like rolling a snow ball. The film was produced in a very slow pace, it took nine months, costed as many human and financial resources as I can afford. Here, I do not want to talk about the so-called concept of art. It is not the most important thing. I must mention one person at first, Gu Yingjie, my student, a friend, and a brother, and give my great thanks to him, without him, there would be no The Red flag Flies, he has contributed so much to the film that even today I could not compensate his contribution. Well, it is perhaps because of this that we get along with each other like brother. time will naturally give him a fair. There are many other persons I want to thank, Liu Congyun, Huang Yesheng, and so on, who made the birth of a film, but people do not see them behind-the-scene, but I come to the front, receiving an interview, so I thank them first.

ArtWorld: Space is an important concept in film art, but in your film, it seems that you deliberately lighten the sense of space, it creates a strong sense of flat. Do you make it on purpose?

Zhou Hongxiang: I do think that the simpler the better. I do not really concerned much of concept or a genre. I just want to make it flat. I do not want to think about too much and make others too tired to understand my work, and intends to flat the depth, or meanings, which is of course difficult, that’s why it still contains a lot of concepts, and so on.

ArtWorld: The relationship between sound and image in your movie is very special. Sound and image is often out of touch How do you think of their relations?

Zhou Hongxiang: As a movie, the screen itself is a language, the voice is another it could be a duet or a harmony by combining them together, I therefore hope to break it and make an unharmonious feeling in my film.

If your work is popular, that’s because you do not have a breakthrough, you are accepted within the scope of popular aesthetics. However, it is also unnecessary to make the weird for the sake of weird, it’s all up to find a new language or a new way of expression.

ArtWorld: Does the tone of color have any unique role in the film?

Zhou Hongxiang: This is in accordance with the tone of the film, with the choice of theme. I think the visual experience in the film is important.

ArtWorld: Pictures in your film are just symbols. Each picture conveys the specific meaning, and the causal relationship between images is not apparent. The editing seems losts its meaning in over-editing?

Zhou Hongxiang: The editing is very important, I do not have so much time to think of a causal relationship, because it’s not a The symbolized image is a symbol of my image, I personally like this and having all editings to serve it.

ArtWorld: Do you pay great attention to the rhythm of the film? how do you control the rhythm of images?

Zhou Hongxiang: Of course I do. I could not make it clear what is usually the way, just the feeling, the simpler the better.

ArtWorld: A number of experimental video artists have trainings on painting previously. However, the still images in painting are obviously different from the moving images in film, how do you think of this?

Zhou Hongxiang: Actually it’s the same; enough static images can make animated images. If you have 25 images, which will make one second moving film. 25 images are 25 frames of truth, I totally agree with that.

ArtWorld: Some people have questioned the value of experimental film, because film are born for the mass, and the avant-garde hierarching itself from the mass win only a small circle of audiences. Do you think so?

Zhou Hongxiang: There are different kinds of birds in the big woods. People will get bored if they keep watching same kind of film, such as entertaining films. Avant-garde film dose not planed to isolate the audience, hierarching various genres of films. “Avant-garde” is a word of cliche, who is the avant-garde? Isn’t it good to produce different images, providing seasonings for the mass audiences. It is very problematic in our time that things will become good if more people or authorities acknowledge, or on the contrary. I respect those made new contribution to the experimental film.

ArtWorld: How do you think of the contemporary art in China?

Zhou Hongxiang: Hard to say. There probably has no Contemporary Chinese art, contemporary art becomes more mature in China recently, but there are still very strong traces of imitation. Although some works are very good, they always remind me one of western artists’ work. Perhaps I shall not give comments as I am not an authority. Contemporary art has not yet set up its criteria, yet, arguments come.

ArtWorld: Whose films have influenced you?

Zhou Hongxiang: It is not true if I say no one influenced me. Masters, Whoever he is, I like Robert Bresson, Jean-Luc Godard, and some others.. But I saw few of their works, I always fall in love with them only by 1or 2 works. I am also influenced by the New media works in Europe Artists in Shanghai, Yang Fudong, Xu Zhen, Yang Zhenzhong, etc. have some impacts on my work. Those who you know will give you more or less influences as well.

ArtWorld: How do you view your work, can you talk about?

Zhou Hongxiang: I do not know how to comment them, even it is my own work. The Red Flag Flies has more impacts than the others. Sometimes I might ask myself, why did I make such a work and what is it? I am at a loss. The following film maybe more rational in order to reach a depth of aesthetic, unlike The Red Flag Flies. All depends.

ArtWorld: Do you mind to talk about your life?

Zhou Hongxiang: I do not have many hobbies nor many things to do., rarely traveling, often remaining at home, doing nothing and enjoy that.

ArtWorld: When will be your new works?

Zhou Hongxiang: Let’s wait. A duet-screen film probably.

ArtWorld: What will be your next focus?

Zhou Hongxiang: I hope that will be combination of art and technology. In fact, the films and contemporary art have all been an old concept, our life is filled with digital information which we have to face, but there is a big obstacle because technology is a different area, I can only try. We want to throw the so-called aesthetic into trash, to probe a new language.

[中文] 周弘湘:把所有的东西都拉成平面 -《艺术世界》,2006

 

 

Before our eyes is Zhou Hongxiang, he has the artistic quality: long hair, thin, dissociated eyesight, silent……
After the interview, the atmosphere became more harmonious. During the two-hour talking, we found he is kind, humorous, and calm. The famous pioneering artist who has directed “The Red Flag Flies” become easily understand and closed.
The pioneering artist loner
—Have a talk with the author of “The Red Flag Flies” Zhou Hongxiang
Article: Liang Hong Picture: Wang Hao

Bloom inside wall but fragrant outside wall

Zhou Hongxiang is a silent but genius artist. His first work “The Red Flag Flies” produced in April 2002, has won the Image Award from the Berlin International Media Art Festival and attracted a lot of attention of at several famous film festivals, contemporary artistic exhibition .From the first show in “New Territories” unit of the 59th Venice film festival to the year 2004, this 70minute film is montaged in four different editions in only two years, spreading over the four continent except Africa.

Because “The Red Flag Flies” is a pioneer in combining structure and artistic form, Serafino Murri, the film chooser of Venice film festival, praised Hongxiang as “a Chinese *Jean-Luc Godard.” Throughout his life, Hongxiang has practiced many different artistic forms. After learning calligraphy from 1988 to 1992 and immersing in traditional Chinese painting from 1992 to 1998, he changed to pay attention to installation and behavior art from 1998 to 2001. The most astonishing piece of work is his incident behavior in Shanghai art gallery which is admired by the “30-meter walking line”. What is the perhaps the most surprising thing is that he used to be an ordinary worker in a hometown flour factory before he entered the college. His first goal upon entering East China normal university was just to improve his living condition……

Maybe because he was interested in those peculiar and original creations by nature, Zhou Hongxiang worked in Shanghai’s fashion artistic displays, although he is also quite talented in traditional Chinese painting. It once occurred to him that after seeing the film, “Ashes of Time,” directed by Wang Jiawei, he was motivated to work in film production. Hongxiang’s first work, “Parallel Booklet,” was a short plot film produced in 2001. “Parallelism” has been was nominated in the Roman international short film festival. After “Parallel Booklet,” Hongxiang directed his first behavior documentary, “Just Watch.” Hongxiang moves so effortlessly between different art forms because taking up new art forms regenerates his enthusiasm and interest in art. New media art has its advanced features, which is similar to Hongxiang’s conceptual way of thinking – new media art is not only an occasional concept, but also a perfect combination of science and art. Moreover, it also mixes interactive art with image art instead of limiting itself to one medium.

Flag floating in the pioneer testing ground

Director Zhou Hongxiang is a revolutionary director and filmmaker. His films reflect his thoughts about the politics of society and film. Hongxiang’s films are two-sided like a coin. On the one side, he illustrates China’s red revolutionary history and on the other side, the art and beauty of film. At the same time, the two-sided coin is also point, at which many vagaries between the two sides exist. For example, Hongxiang’s are unhurried, but still relentless. His films are not too complex, but not at all superficial and all his films move towards denouncing and repudiating Chinese societies’ systems and organizations. Famous filmmaker, Cui Zien, received Hongxiang’s “The Red Flag Flies” with tremendous satisfaction, stating that it was truly a tremendous film.

The experimental and symbolic significance of “The Red Flag Flies” increased the praise Hongxiang received, especially from a theoretical perspective.

In order to create “The Red Flag Flies”, Hongxiang walked from People’s Square to the Bund and from south to north from the Bund, arriving at the White Bridge with a copy of a piece of Chinese propaganda. This piece of propaganda is the central political question in “The Red Flag Flies.” The film’s trajectory from the start affords the viewer two clues — a variety of slogans, and the deep monotonous voice asking all the questions. The film shows Zhou Hongxiang’s independent and creativity. The film lacks any sort of plot and the voiceover in the film is a monotonous male’s voice who asks thought-provoking questions over and over: What is happiness? Need? What is well-off? … Some people answer the questions, but some don’t. The cycle of a very peculiar form of audio-visual effects is quite thought-provoking. In the seemingly endless questions and answers, all of a sudden “an exclamation point, colon and period” appear like a clever joke, reminding viewers of the distance between the film and their own lives..

I can’t lead a perfect life, but I hope to produce great art

See “The Red Flag Flies,” lamented the author’s witty and original spirit. For this, Zhou Hongxiang said that the arts sometimes like to play, although sometimes it needs serious attitude. His cannot perfect his life, but he hopes to be able to produce tremendous works of art.

Zhou Hongxiang’s interview coincided with the holding of the VIPER International Film & Video in Basel, Switzerland, and the New Media General Assembly in Shanghai. In the short film competition, Hongxiang’s “Ferocious Animals,” did not win, but he didn’t regret this because just after Hongxiang completed the film, he stated that he was not too satisfied with the final product and he had been surprised that he had even been nominated. His next project is a film, No.3, which shows two screens or frames side by side. Part of the interest of this film is that the two separate frames can be seen either separately or together.

“My greatest dream is to make a film called ‘Ci Hai’ (a famous Chinese dictionary),” stated Hongxiang.

Regarding his feelings about the artistic atmosphere of Shanghai, Hongxiang said that Shanghai’s art is good, however Beijing’s art scene is more dynamic. With that said, Hongxiang also pointed out that at any time this may change. Shanghai’s art circles are very unique, allowing for great creative freedom and individual expression.

* Jean-Luc Godard was born on December 3, 1930. Godard is an important French film director, the leader of the New Wave movement, was a “Cahiers du Cinéma” editing, film critic. Master of world film and was considered to be “a turning point in the history of film.”

[中文]  先锋艺术独行侠 -粱虹

上海调查 Shanghai Research 4
<被访人:周弘湘  Interviewee: Zhou Hongxiang> http://vimeo.com/10822701 |35mins|2009

[中文] 周弘湘:中國人物畫  -丛匀 

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