Yang Fudong is celebrated for the poetry of his moving-image works. His visual language draws from and pays tribute to Chinese literature, literati painting and folklore as well as pre- and post-Revolutionary film history.
Filmed in Shanghai a decade ago City light (Chengshi zhiguang) 2000 explores the rituals, rhythms and vicissitudes of contemporary life in a sprawling metropolis. Two actors are used to represent one office worker experiencing a rift between his public and private personas. Commenting on the relationship between memory, emotion and place, this short video also uses deadpan humour to capture a cyclical state of waking and sleeping, alienation and longing in urban life. The work’s title evokes a sense of possibility and playfulness in anonymous interactions, taking place in a city undergoing changes as rapid as they are profound.