About the Grant

$25,000 to support City of Paper (MAP 2009), by choreographers Yin Mei and Sang Jijia, that will explore a Wayang-like shadow world in which ink, video, light, sound, paper and stage architecture converge in a post-modern meditation on history, fact and the mutability of human perception. Set in a digitally interactive scenographic environment, the work weaves together personal vignettes, audio/visual fragments, a complex musical soundscape and abrupt yet sensuous movement to create a dream landscape from which the events of a single year in the Chinese Cultural Revolution gradually emerge.

About the Project

City of Paper explores language, image, communication and propaganda, centering on the role of paper and calligraphy in Chinese history and in particular during the mass insanity of the Cultural Revolution. Calligraphy becomes both conceptual frame and artistic device in the work, as the performers are immersed in a complex paper stage environment utilizing both traditional and digital-friendly surfaces. Live performers speak to televisions, silent images peer at the audience from projection screens, performers struggle to communicate without words, unidentifiable images and sounds collide. The dynamic between the verbal and non-verbal, the abstract and th experiential, is a struggle that is resolved, finally, in the power that art can bring to forge raw experience into the beginnings of insight.

Related Websites

New York Foundation for the Arts

Yin Mei


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