08 19 Oct '24
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Liu Jian

Art College 1994

Edition 2023
118' - 2023 - Drama, Comedy, Animated film - Dialogue: Mandarin, Chinese, English
Director: Liu Jian Composer: David Wen-Wei Lian, Sun Yunfan, Cui Jian, Alex Liu, Chen Li With: Bai-Ke, Xu Changchu, Guanjin Bu
Painter-filmmaker Liu Jian drew from his own past for this meandering snapshot of the uncertain times as an art student in 1990s China. Meet a group of delightfully pretentious students, their lives, their dreams, their love for Nirvana and Marcel Duchamp, and their unpredictable future.

Does suffering make a good artist? This is just one of the many reflections in this nostalgia trip through the dreams and disillusions of students at an art school in China in the 1990s, a time when the country was opening up to the West. For a lot of young people, it turned out to be both a blessing and a curse, as the tug-of-war between tradition and modernity intensified. Liu Jian's third feature - in hand-painted 2D animation - is a semi-autobiographical portrait of a microcosm that weaves together conversations about Marcel Duchamp, Nirvana, the (non)sense of art, but also about friendship and the family duty to marry rather than have a career. With an infectious Linklater-like charm and voices from filmmakers Jia Zhangke and Bi Gan (among others), Liu Jian takes a critical approach towards art academies that preach freedom but actually restrict it. Ironically, Art College 1994 was drawn by a team of teachers and students at the China Academy of Art where Liu teaches as a professor.

"A sardonic but ultimately fond capsule of a time when the modern Chinese art world was playing host to a growing generational divide, Art College 1994 evades the trappings of the corny nostalgia flick, while its wandering narrative charts the exploits of art school students." - Sight and Sound

Image gallery

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Credits

Director

Liu Jian

Composer

David Wen-Wei Lian, Sun Yunfan, Cui Jian, Alex Liu, Chen Li

With

Bai-Ke, Xu Changchu, Guanjin Bu

Scenario

Liu Jian, Lin Shan

Editor

Liu Jian

Producer

Yang Cheng, Shen Lihui, Gao Shiming

Production studios

Nezha Bros. Picture, Modern Sky Entertainment, China Academy of Art, School of Animation and Game

Distributor

Periscoop Films

More information

Dialogue

Mandarin, Chinese, English

Countries of production

China

Year

2023

Filmography

Liu Jian
Piercing I (2010), Have a Nice Day (2017), Art College 1994 (2023)

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