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Migrant Worker Artist (1)

Wang Jiahui

Release year: 2005

Run time: 60 mins

Film type: Documentary


The footage for this film was shot entirely in 2005, in 4/3 format, with almost black and white colour degradation, and was only edited in 2017. The film is about a young man named Zhu Xiaoguang, who travels to Beijing with a second-hand DV to create a documentary. Zhu came from abroad and lived in a secret underground space in a railway station, where he repaired his camera every day and went to shoot when it was repaired, and then went to burn discs at night so that the tapes could be erased and reshot the next day. He was keen to film the crowd outside the gate of the Northern Film Studio, the petitioners near Beijing South Railway Station, a rock festival and the rock musicians' residence in Huoying Village. He only had twenty days before he left Beijing. Zhu Xiaoguang was an interesting and characterful person, and his documentaries are straightforward in their approach, with information and images coming to the fore. They are not only a faithful and vivid record of the filming techniques and artistic conditions of the time, but also a realistic portrayal of the society of the time, such as the petitioners’ colony near the South Railway Station, which has not been restored since it was evicted in 2008.


Director biography

Wang Jiahui
Born in 1983 in Handan, Hebei. Works mainly as a director and photographer. Current residence: Beijing In 2002, he started by chance to wander in the north. In 2003 he started to wander across the country. In 2004 he started to create short DV films. In 2005 he started to create documentaries. His main works include: Migrant Worker Artist 1, Migrant Worker Artist 2, Mr. Youwei Liang in the North, Loser, and Village Horror Master. Of these, Migrant Worker Artist 1 was selected in 2017 for Zhang Xianmin's Top Ten Recommendations.