Water Flows Downhill (水往低處流) 

Single channel video installation, 12:00,
sandbags, tri-fold training mats

02:00 exerpt link below
(vimeo link to excerpt click here)

Water FLows Downhill(水往低處流)
, 2023, installation

Water FLows Downhill(水往低處流), 2023, film stills

“Water Flows Downhill” mixes fictional dialogues with found footage from Xu Xiangyang Training Studio, Jiangsu, China. The 'studio' is an alternative targeted towards students who are suspended or expelled from school for reasons ranging from “video-game addiction” to juvenile delinquency. The footage captures the lives of the students as they undergo the ‘long march’ – a form of militaristic, competency-based training. Their journey is a reenactment of the story of the ‘Long March’ which is close to Chinese national identity and famously written about in Mao’s poem of the same name. In this practice, there are no fixed classrooms but rather learning on the go, with each student walking at least 1000 kilometres. Their slogan, "A thousand kilometres to define your life," reflects the literal and metaphorical embodiment of this legacy. The pain, comradery and discipline of the march is interspersed with musical practice and dance routines in the school talent show.The film reflects on the social vision of reformed students and complicates western notions of China’s collectivity and individuality.