Oct 28th 2010

In Yang Zhenzhong’s 2003 video Spring Story, a group of 1,500 employees at a Siemens factory recite an oft-cited line from a 1992 Deng Xiaoping speech: “A planned economy is not equivalent to socialism, because there is planning under capitalism too; a market economy is not capitalism, because there are markets under socialism too.” This speech is now seen as a milestone in the creation of China’s new hybrid economy, which embraces both socialist and free enterprise forces. Curated and introduced by Pablo de Ocampo, Artistic Director of the Images Festival in Toronto, the works in this program examine the country’s recent political and economic transformations through its urban and industrial landscape. Additional pieces include Chen Chieh-Jen’s haunting Factory (2003), shot in an abandoned textile factory with its former employees re-enacting their work amidst the ruins; Oliver Husain’s Swivel (2005), which consists of a continuous panning shot of a hyper developed and glossy Shanghai; and Zhao Liang’s City Scene (2005), which captures street life in Beijing in a series of short vignettes.

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