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The Animation of the Real: Liu Jian Northeast US Tour

Piercing I (dir. Liu Jian)

Piercing I (dir. Liu Jian)

A series of events to showcase the work of seminal Chinese independent animation filmmaker Liu Jian is taking place during February 2014, with visits to Harvard University, Colgate University, College of Staten Island, and Spectacle Theater.

Animation is often conceived of as a surrealist and fantastical mode of filmmaking. In Piercing I (Citong wo, 2010), Liu Jian presents us with an alternative style. Liu’s film is a raw, social realism through animation that confronts the accelerating speed of Chinese society, and represents the lives of migrating souls as they navigate China’s radical social and economic transformations. Piercing I is a strikingly real and contemporary take on the urban landscapes of this fast-developing nation. The film looks into the struggles of rural migrants as they inhabit new urban realms, and touches upon issues of mobility, corruption and social inequalities. The current social and political stances of the establishment in China cannot tolerate a film with these topics, and indeed Piercing I was not granted official approval for commercial release. Piercing I marks the first Chinese independent animated feature. The film was animated digitally and takes place in the city of Nanjing, where Liu lives and works. Continuing in this autobiographical vein, Liu’s protagonist, Zhang Xiaojun, represents a rural-to-urban transplant who struggles to adjust to city life. Zhang must confront urban culture, and its juxtapositions high and low, rich and poor.

Liu Jian is currently visiting New York as a grantee of the Asian Cultural Council.

Piercing I (Ci Tong Wo) Dir. LIU Jian, 2010 Music: Zuoxiao Zuzhou China, 75 min Chinese with English Subtitles

Schedule: Tuesday, February 11, 2:30-4:30PM Center for the Arts-Screening Room (Building 1P- Room 223) College of Staten Island (CSI) Wednesday, February 12th, 8PM Spectacle Theater, 124 South 3rd St, Brooklyn, NY -liu-jian/

Friday, Feb 14th, 6PM CGIS South, 1730 Cambridge Street, Tsai Auditorium (S010), Harvard University

Monday, Feb 17th, 7PM Little 114 Colgate University

Filmmaker Bio Liu Jian studied Chinese landscape painting and graduated from the Nanjing University of the Arts in 1993. Over the past two decades, his work has drawn on a range of media and aesthetic approaches and has been presented at major exhibitions both in China and abroad. In 1995, he began making works of animation and in 2007 he independently established the Le-joy Animation Studio. His first feature-length animation work, PIERCING I (Citong wo, 2010), has received numerous prestigious awards at film festivals across Asia and Europe.


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