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How Does Museum Set the Time?

Mao Chenyu

Release year: 2018

Run time: 9 mins

Film type: Documentary


In November 2018, I spontaneously walked around the Shanghai Museum and its surroundings for about 3 hours, conducting temporary cartographic work on certain materials. Cartography is the process of creating scenarios and patterns that transform and produce relationships between reality, images, and words. I reinterpreted it, injecting some temporary content into it, using it as a way to measure the current landscape of our reality. Of course, the loose and temporary nature of this filmmaking process is something I pay attention to—a means of transforming reality into a form of writing.


Director biography

Mao Chenyu, born in 1976, hails from Songyuan Village, Xinqiang Town, Yueyang City, Hunan Province. After completing his studies in Inorganic Non-metallic Materials at the School of Materials Science and Engineering, Tongji University in 2000, he began to focus on image-based practices. "Rice Cinema" is a series of visual experiments initiated by Mao Chenyu in 2003. Primarily employing ethnographic approaches within the realm of cinema, his works delve into obscured individual experiences, rural narratives and languages, ethnic differences, land politics, and other related topics. Mao's filming predominantly takes place within the vast region surrounding Yueyang in Hunan, extending to Shennongjia in Hubei, and Northeastern Guizhou, which encompasses the Dongting Lake area. Through capturing rice cultivation and exploring the cultural, agricultural, and social aspects intertwined with rice, he presents the will to exist and the spiritual lineage associated with it. Since 2013, the artist has expanded his language structures through exhibitions, lectures, interdisciplinary collaborations, and other mediums of expression.