Posts Tagged ‘jinggangshan’

A Visit to the IFChina Original Studio with Filmmaker Jian Yi

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

By Dan Edwards

IFChina Studio founder and filmmaker Jian Yi, outside the studio on the campus of Jinggangshan University

Reprinted by permission from RealTime Arts Magazine.

Ji’an doesn’t look like the most auspicious place for a groundbreaking experiment in China’s budding civil society. The town doesn’t appear in any English language guidebooks, the local station platform is just a low-slung slab of concrete and, in early spring when i visited, a bone chilling mist hung over the town. Yet this minor chinese city is home to IFChina Original Studio, a bold attempt to generate community participation in the arts and oral history in the heart of one of China’s poorest regions.

hidden stories

“We wanted to start with oral history because this place is so special – the Chinese revolution under Mao Zedong started here,” explains Jian Yi, a gently spoken local filmmaker whose credits include the documentary Super, Girls (2007). Jian Yi founded IFChina Original Studio with his wife Eva in 2009 on the campus of Jinggangshan University. Their activities include theatre classes, video workshops and photography programs, all built on an oral history foundation.

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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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