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How to Generate “Air” in a Film: Lessons from Fei Mu's Chinese aesthetics

VIVO Media Arts

Tuesday, 11 June 2019 from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM (PDT)

How to Generate “Air” in a Film: Lessons from Fei Mu's...

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How to Generate “Air” in a Film: Lessons from Fei Mu's Chinese aesthetics


A talk by Siying Duan of the Substantial Motion Research Network,


Free registration required. Limited space.

Tues June 11, 7pm

at VIVO Media Arts Centre, 2625 Kaslo Street



Fei Mu (1906-1951), one of China's greatest directors, is considered a "film poet" for his poetic film language. He incorporates some traditional Chinese aesthetics which could be traced back to the Daoist idea of the oneness of nature and humanity One secret of Fei's poetic expression is what he calls the "air" in the film, an invisible yet crucial element which can make the film alive. In this enlivening moment, the boundaries between visible scenes and invisible emotion, past and future, memory and reality, and audience and characters are transcended. We will look at Fei Mu's idea of "air" in the unique shot style, motion, and settings in his film Spring in a Small Town (1948).


Siying Duan
( is a postdoc fellow at School for the Contemporary Arts, Simon Fraser University. Her research interest focuses mainly on the study of media arts from a perspective of Chinese Aesthetics. She has earned her Ph.D. in Art Theory at Shanghai Film Academy, Shanghai University. She is also the producer of the podcast channel “Elephant says” at the platform Creative Disturbance and the editor of the bilingual journal Critical Theory. Her publications include several articles on Chinese Media Art research, comparative aesthetics, and art psychology.






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When & Where

VIVO Media Arts
2625 Kaslo Street
Vancouver, BC V5M 3G9

Tuesday, 11 June 2019 from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM (PDT)

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VIVO Media Arts

VIVO MEDIA ARTS CENTRE, incorporated in 1973 as the Satellite Video Exchange Society (SVES), is Vancouver’s oldest media arts access centre. VIVO continues to fulfill its founding vision by directly supporting independent artists, community-based producers and activists to develop and exchange their skills in a supportive environment. Our members gather around the tools and material means of production to invent new understandings, new genres and new friendships. Reflecting both the diversity of contemporary technologies and the symbiotic communities that coalesce around new forms of knowledge and creativity, our programming fosters formal, aesthetic and critical approaches to media arts practice. VIVO builds an audience of makers, organizers and critics through artists in residence, lectures, workshops, performances, exhibitions and curatorial and archival research. As an integral artist run centre in Vancouver, our resources and facilities will continue to inform and influence engagement in all levels of media art investment.

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