Posts Tagged ‘ifchina’

Jian Yi launches IFCHINA Website Highlighting Work in Rural China

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

IFCHINA director Jian Yi distributes donated goods as part of the "Spoonful of Rice" Project (photo from IFCHINA blog: http://artisimple.wordpress.com.cn)

By Isabella Tianzi Cai

The IFCHINA Original Art Studio Participatory Documentary Center launched its official website in November 2010. The center was founded by director Jian Yi. It is said to be China’s first non-profit art and cultural organization that collects and documents the stories of ordinary Chinese. Since its inauguration in June 2009 at Jinggangshan University, it has engaged in a variety of community building projects in Ji’an, a city in Jiangxi province.

Tailored to realize its goal to establish a working model that strengthens community ties and preserves local history and culture, currently projects in five areas are being carried out with the local urban community of Ji’an and the rural population in its adjacent villages. They are documentary films, documentary photography, documentary theater, oral history, and new socialist countryside design. The IFCHINA team reach out to people from every walk of life from unemployed workers, school children, college students, migrant workers, to rural women, children, and elderly. They not only teach them for free how to operate the digital camera and the digital camcorder but also conduct interviews with the ageing population who bear witness to the founding of new China. As some of us may not know, Ji’an is one of China’s most revered revolutionary cities. Jinggang Mountain in Ji’an is the birth place of China’s Red Army.

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Video: Jian Yi Speaks to Soros Foundation / Open Society Institute

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

Jian Yi (Photo by Christopher Capozziello for the Open Society Institute)

Next week, we’ll post the second of our video interviews produced from the “Meet the Filmmakers” series held in Feburary 2010 at the Apple Store in Sanlitun, Beijing. The video will feature Jian Yi, one of the most accomplished and ambitious independent filmmakers working in China today. Jian Yi directed the critically acclaimed films Super, Girls! and Bamboo Shoots, and co-directed the groundbreaking China Village Documentary Project, in which ordinary villagers from across China used video cameras to record the changing rural dynamics in their home villages. He is also the founder of the Participatory Documentary Center at Jinggangshan University and Original Studio, one of the nations first innovative community art centers. His documentaries and feature films, which reveal the social and cultural tensions of contemporary China, have won international awards and are shown worldwide.

Jian is also the founder of IFCHINA, a pioneering NGO that helps ordinary citizens in small and medium-sized Chinese cities document their own lives through videography, theater, and photography. Provincial communities are losing collective memory as residents migrate to the coastal metropolises in search of work. Jian Yi believes that video technology can preserve that memory, while stimulating a sense of civic engagement and strengthening shared values. He is currently working to seed a project in Ji’an City, the cradle of the communist revolution and the major pilgrimage site for Maoists across China.

Jian Yi’s work led him to receive a prestigious fellowship with the Open Society Institute, funded by the Soros Foundation. The OSI posted this brief video with Jian Yi, speaking in English about his work. It’s a nice preview to the more lengthy interview that we will be posting next week.