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Jiang Zhi

Release year: 1999

Run time: 42 mins

Film type: Documentary


The film captures a poet who has influenced a generation. Because of his special status and his fate, which is closely linked to the turbulent times, it is inevitable that the character's description does not involve history. But the author's interest is clearly not in this, not in the poet's life story and what it might reveal about society. He uses a variety of different materials, including some symbolic historical images, old photographs, interviews, captions, to present the poet's life journey.


Director biography

Widely regarded as one of the most versatile Chinese artists of his generation, Jiang Zhi works with a wide range of media, including photography, painting, video and installation as well as publishing volumes of fiction and poetry. Consistently engaging with contemporary social and cultural issues, Jiang consciously positions himself at the intersection of poetics and sociology, whilst weaving everyday social and personal experience into his works. His practice explores the problematic conditions of modern consciousness, looking to complex computer imagery for stimulation. His manipulated images which combine reality with hi-tech digital imagery represent and revisit our perceived present and the mental conceptions we bring to it. His photograph of the Chongqing House, known colloquially as the ‘House of Nails’, is representative of Jiang’s work, where a neon light floods a house of which the owners refuse to leave, despite the demolition of their neighbourhood. Jiang Zhi was born in 1971 in Yuanjiang, China. He graduated from China Academy of Art in 1995 and lives and works in Beijing. He has had major solo retrospectives at Chinese institutions such as OCAT Shenzhen and the Times Museum in Guangzhou in addition to Sifang Art Museum, White Cube Hong Kong and Magician Space Beijing and has exhibited at international institutions and biennials including the Guggenheim Museum, New York, M+ Museum Hong Kong, the 9th Shanghai Biennale, Shanghai Power Station of Art, the 4th Guangzhou Triennial, Guangdong Art Museum, ICP and Asia Society New York, the 50th Biennale di Venezia, the 4th Gwangju Biennale. Jiang Zhi was awarded the Chinese Contemporary Art Award, the Academic Award of Reshaping History, and the Credit Suisse Today Art Award.