The director will be on hand to lead the discussion after the screening.
Venue: Chinese Culture Club, Beijing, China
Quote from the director
Dream Walking is the second one of Trilogy of the Masses. In the first work of trilogy Floating Dust, I depict a tumultuous world of common people in present China, there surviving disorder dominates people's lives and it's full of absurd flavor of disillusionment. In Dream Walking, my field of vision contains the world of the surviving artists in the current society. I shot the film in a medium city of Henan Province, China in July 2004. During the period of shooting, I also was moved by the phenomena within it. From this I came to understand that "Disorder of our world is the same as that of our hearts."
This is a picture portraying the existence of the artists in the present cultural trouble in China. Their artistic creation is their self-expression for the society and their life. Just like the Chinese common people in Floating Dust, they are struggling in the disorderly and absurd society. But different from the common people, they are sensitive and creative, more or less giving up on their own or abandoned by the world. One thing is clear that they are "enlightened" people. After they experience disillusionment, "humanity's conscience" awakens in their heart and they hope to seek for self-redemption in the turbid human world. Their works are the result of such efforts, seeming absurd creation but actually their genuine effort and the only mark of their living. As the mouthpiece of most silent people of this time, they describe the real mirage diffusing from the recess of the age in their works. It is also the theme of my film, and it's the extension of study and depiction for Chinese current society beginning with Floating Dust.
The film depicts four artists' experience in summer of 2004. Among them there is Li Wake, an "on-the-way" artist. That summer he came to the small town from Beijing to help painter Wang Yongping shoot film. During the shooting, he created his own action art work at any time, for his life and work has become one. He has Chinese ancient artists' style, a passing traveler who takes "The Transcendental Happiness Walk" in the human world.
Also there is Ding Defu, a talented expressionist oil painter, took part in the Chinese Contemporary Art Campaign in 1980s like Li Wake. But he paints little now and drifts along in the mundane entanglements of family, school and lover. Nevertheless, he originally came to this city from Northeast hometown carrying Van Gogh's biography Craving for Life. He is Wang Yongping's illuminative teacher and his atelier is the assembling place of local art fans. The film in which Wang Yongping portrays his own past life contains lots about Old Ding's life. This time Old Ding acts himself in it, his life and the film becomes one. He describes his own present life is "salted alive here".
And there is poet "demon head Bei Bei". Like his contradictory pen name, he is a watchman in real life with salary 300 yuan per month. He was ever in prison for 7 years for fighting and people in hometown despised him and fought him, thinking he's a useless "drunkard". But on the internet he was awarded "Talent Poet" by the civilian poem organization. He attends the poets meeting as long as he has chance. He is to some extent similar to Li Wake and they take "The Transcendental Happiness Walk" together.
Three years after painter Wang Yongping went to Beijing, he returned to his hometown to shoot his own film. According to his words, it is a "non-cost film", for all the equipments were borrowed by friends and all the actors were themselves. But such theatrical unit was very discursive and pauses often happened, which made Wang Yongping, being director for the first time worry a lot....
Exactly these people continued their "Dream Walking" trip in that hot summer.