Sisters in Guizhou
Release year: 2011
Run time: 51 mins
Film type: Documentary
In the Miao ethnic settlement area of Jinbao Township, Zhenyuan County, Guizhou, the traditional single-crop rice farming method is practiced. In the sixth lunar month, when the rice plants begin to tassel and bloom, the local Miao people celebrate "New Rice Festival" on the sixth day of the month, praying for a bountiful harvest. The second text focuses on the film restoration project in Gu Du Miao Village, aiming to capture the ordinary lives of ethnic minorities through storing the songs and dances on film, rather than the legendary aspects.
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.