YU Yaqin; Translator: FAN Xiang
The term minjian (民间) exhibition – or grassroots exhibition – refers not only to the fact that the exhibition institutions are unofficial but also to the fact that most of the films shown do not have a ‘dragon seal’ or ‘studio label’. In China, where censorship is strict, and there is a lack of arthouse cinemas, these exhibitions have offered film lovers a completely different experience of cinemagoing and communication. Since the 1990s, minjian exhibitions institutions have emerged in China, and they have been inextricably linked to the production, distribution, and criticism of independent cinema in China. The vicissitude of minjian exhibition institutions is, therefore, somewhat indicative of the cultural values of Chinese society. With this in mind, examining the trajectory of independent exhibition may help us understand changes in Chinese society.