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FLEFF Intern Voices

The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival from the interns' point of view

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Posted by Hanxiao Wang at 12:50AM
Weihua Shi

Blog posting written by Hanxiao Wang, Integrated Marketing Communications Studies, ’19, FLEFF Intern, Sichuan, China.

Professor Weihua Shi is an assistant professor of Art and Digital Art at Colgate University in Hamiton, New York. He studied film and new media for his Bachelor’s Degree at University of Colorado, and got his Master’s Degree at University of California, Berkeley, majoring in new media art. Today I had a phone interview with him, which opened my eyes to access to the history of my country in a different way.

Wang: How did you get into FLEFF? What did you do at FLEFF?

Shi: In 2012, my artwork was exhibited at FLEFF. The artwork mainly talked about the process of artistic installation of multiple landscapes, such as reinterpreting Marcel Duchamp’s oil painting, which came out 100 years ago.  Then, some of my other works were exhibited at FLEFF in 2014. Many of them were about my tourism in Berlin in Germany. I also helped introduce Chinese independent movies at that time.

Wang: What’s the difference between "literary and artistic” youth in contemporary and in your age?

Shi: The environment is different. Artistic youth as us at my age, searched for different thoughts, ideas, information as much as possible. We tried and applied all the new ideas. Compared with young people nowadays, they don’t need to search a lot, because this is an age of information explosion. At that time I personally immersed myself in all film activities and cooperated with Beijing Film Academy. And many of my classmates became film workers later. Not like nowadays, many of film students or "literary and artistic” youth become audiences, not artists.

In 1995, when the Internet just arose, we could only go to the Directorate General of Telecommunications to download the website contents by soft disk, then we would bring the precious treasure back, and send it around among all my classmates. Later developed to Local Area Network, people from everyplace in China had an opportunity to chat with each other. That’s exciting. We talked about art, film, analyzing shot, and analyzing color…etc. What’s more, in 1997, in the third ring and fourth ring of Beijing in China, the house rent is cheap, young people and artists can afford them easily, it’s an amazing environment for us to get together to discuss about art. But now it is very different, the whole social situation changed, young people in particular are under great pressure in life. For example, in 2000, if you say you are literary and artistic youth, people will judge you as a petty bourgeoisie. But now, if you say you are literary and artistic youth, people will think you have a head problem. You also can see these social situations and pressures expressed the in most of contemporary Chinese independent movies, which talk a lot about the changing contexts.

Wang: What do you think about the theme “landscapes” of FLEFF this year?

Shi: It is a very broad theme. In the past, we define the landscapes as a relationship between human and nature. Now, we discuss more about man-and-man relation. In the furfure, I believe we will explore more about the relationship among nature, human, and new media. For instance, if there is a landscape that doesn’t exist, how could we create it?


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