Hills Beyond a River

Hills Beyond a River is a 3D animation, which created by visual artist Miao Jing in 2017. This 7 mins long video recreated the landscape of artist’s hometown in China, Chongqing, which is a city so-called “Mountain City” with two rivers, Long River and Jialing River, across the city. The artist has lived in this city for twenty more years, and totally see the process of the transformation of this city. The new replaces the old; the skyscraper replaces the already-high mountains; the new highway/roads replace the old street view, some old neighborhood is disappearing, etc. A huge nostalgia rise in artist’s heart, especially when he now lived abroad and couldn’t recognize his hometown whenever he came back. The nostalgic emotion includes the confusing reaction for the brand new “home” in construction, also a sentimental commemoration for the old landscape, the complex of childhood, the memory, the old home.

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Artist uses his way to express his confusion of the rapid change of urbanization in China, which is obviously a contradict topic in today’s society. Inspired by virtual reality game, but refusing the VR headset system and individual experience, the artist decides to use tunnel lens to create an “up and down” immersive experience, which does not only correspond to the new perspective of immersive technology, but also the exact same feeling when you experience the city, Chongqing. The vivid gradient color is kind of the artist’s signature for this series of work, he used to use colorful paints for his oil painting work in his earlier practice to representing the over-consumption society. Then, the same aura, he uses the most fantastic color to metaphor the loss behind the surface, to question the progress is a good thing or bad. There is no answer in this movie, but an open-end question for people to think about it. It’s an homage to the great city, resonates people who have the same nostalgia.

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In collaboration with Beijing-based musician/DJ Mickey Zhang and music band Whai, artist Miao Jing was inspired by the atmosphere of their music “China/瓷” , which resonates the experience and impression of Chongqing. The music video almost like an audiovisual synchronization and the sound sometimes become a trigger that suggests a new scene and represent the other kind tangible experience of the landscape.

Credits: 

Music: Mickey Zhang