In the series' closing programme, Wang Bing presents his 2014 video Traces, followed by a talk on his sustained engagement with the long-suppressed history of China’s former forced labour camps.
Constructed in the Gobi Desert in the late 1950s as part of the communist government’s ‘anti-Rightist’ re-education campaign, forced labour camps were the site of the mass starvation of thousands of citizens the government considered to be dissidents. Wang Bing has made several trips to the former sites of these camps over the last fifteen years, filming their surface and recording testimonies of their survivors. In this talk, Wang will discuss the multiple ways he has represented this history on film – from the documentary Fengming, A Chinese Memoir, to the fictional feature The Ditch, to the video installation Traces, to his most recent film Dead Souls, a haunting eight-hour account of this painful chapter of Chinese history.
Traces, 2014, 35mm transferred to DCP, black and white, sound, 29 min
Presentation by Wang Bing
The Wang Bing: Traces series is programmed in parallel with the UK premiere of Dead Souls at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, 27–28 November 2018