In addition to being an artist, curator and writer China’s cultural renaissance man Ou Ning is also an acclaimed documentary filmmaker. After making the experimental San Yuan Li in 2003 with Cao Fei and other members of the U-theque collective in Guangzhou, Ou Ning relocated to China’s capital, where he made Meishi St (2006) about the demolition of one of Beijing’s oldest areas in the lead-up to the 2008 Olympics.
Meishi St will play in the Street Level Visions: Chinese Independent Documentary program screening as part of the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) next month (see previous post), and Ou Ning will be in town for post-film Q&As and other public appearances.
To time with this event, we are reproducing this interview conducted by film writer and curator of the Street level Vision program, Dan Edwards, first published on the dGenerate Films website. Originally held in March 2010, the discussion contains a wealth of fascinating material not only on Ou’s background, but also the rise of China’s “digital” documentary generation.
Thanks to Ou Ning for his time and for speaking so openly about some controversial matters, and to Edwards and dGenerate for the piece. The interview was conducted mostly in English.