China

Take a journey through a world of masochistic desire—a film curated by fashion designer Yang Li

Pioneering video artist Cheng Ran interprets passages from Chinese punk novelist Wei Wei’s adaptation of Venus in Furs—the landmark nineteenth-century novel by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch about a nobleman’s desire to be sexually dominated by a woman.

Hedonistic strobe lighting, raging fire and industrial music make for a rapturous assault on the senses in this film that hurtles head-first into an exploration of masochistic desire. “This work contains more than five-hundred clips,” says Ran. “So it’s not just a video but a kind of mood.”

This film features stars of the underground arts scene, including cutting-edge model Seacreep and electronic music producer Guan, who perform in clothes designed by acclaimed Australian-Chinese fashion designer Yang Li.

Ran’s esoteric visuals dance alongside extracts from Wei Wei’s text, which is a cross-pollination of Chinese, French and English.

The Next Page (Venus in Furs) forms part of Notes From The Underground, a pair of films curated by Yang Li, which shines a spotlight on China’s subcultures and forms of self-expression. “These films explore the energy within one of the most exciting, creative countries in the world today,” says Li.

“China is both a source and destination for new ideas and the avant-garde,” he continues. “It has leaped from an agricultural country to an economic and creative powerhouse in a matter of thirty years, and this transition has produced a unique, multi-layered, creative ecosystem.”

Categories: China

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