As we get ready to celebrate our upcoming Homecoming Dance Benefit (Oct. 15), we’ll be highlighting some of the special editions and performances that will make this year’s Benefit one of our best. First up, artist Wu Tsang (2015 Visual Arts) has produced special edition prints from her work-in-progress film, entitled Duilian, which premium ticket holders will receive! The prints are one-of-a-kind editions with photography from the film by the artist boychild and handwritten text by Wu Tsang.
Wu Tsang’s film Duilian centers around the historical Chinese figure Qiu Jin, a little-known (at least in the Western world) Chinese revolutionary, feminist and writer who lived during the Qing Dynasty. After an unhappy marriage, Qiu Jin escaped to Japan, to train in martial arts and join revolutionary, anti-Qing groups. While there, she edited a literary journal, which lamented that women were forced into unhappy marriages. The journal evidently resonated with a lot of Chinese women at the time and it received an outpouring of emotional response. She also founded a group called the “Mutual Love Society,” where women would come together to exchange ideas about equality, education, and revolution.
She returned to China in 1906 and a year later became the head of a school in Shaoxing, ostensibly a school for sports, but secretly made to equip revolutionaries with military training and knowledge. Just before launching an uprising, Qiu Jin was detained by the authorities, tortured and publicly beheaded.
Wu Tsang’s film Duilian is a short film that interprets the life and writings of this famous revolutionary through visual and martial arts. Wu Tsang will portray a side of Qiu Jin that is rarely seen in the mainstream: how her public image as a strong feminist was shaped by her private life and a community of strong women who surrounded her. The film will depict a series of short choreographed wushu sequences that will interpret and illustrate the story. This material will then be integrated with several narrative scenes featuring the main character Qiu Jin (played by boychild) and her friend Wu Zhiying, who played a significant and intimate role in Qiu Jin’s life.
To purchase tickets to our Benefit, coming up October 15, and receive a special edition Wu Tsang print, click here.