screened at FIDMarseille 2010
In March 2009 a project started at Song Mountain, a mountain range which lies on the southern bank of the Yellow River in China. It mainly revolved around martial arts and religion in the form of performance, choreography, group, landscape and setting. I was interested in a correlation between geography and choreography. The approach was like making an inventory bound by the time of one month aiming to reveal inspiring shapes and form stories of interest.
My aims and interests were to observe large scale pattern and choreography in the form of martial arts and industrial sites on a location that is concidered 'energetic'.
The landscape of Song-mountain is characteristic and pronounced. Apart from religion and martial arts, the naturally rich soil has also produced industry. This industry has significantly changed the lay out of the landscape. This makes the interaction between the surroundings and the industry visible and concrete. The interface between surroundings and industry has stipulated the patterns of and the figures in the lay out. This lay out or composition that evolves and transforms, sometimes gradual, sometimes radical, can be seen as a form of choreography. The industrial sites are set up and organised in the way that the division and structure of the soil has indicated it.
The 'Shaolin Temple' proves to be a powerful epicentre with a gathering effect.
I observe the organization and the set-up of the training spaces. What is the division like, the lay out, the surface, the colour? What attributes are present and how are they organized?
We observe the number of students and their division in the landscape, in the indoor settings , their clothes: color and pieces, weapons, flags and attributes, the pattern of the training, the recurrence, the sound of the training: voice, cries, songs, touching of music/fighting instruments, walls and floors, the sound of the environment, wind, industry, etc.
The set-up of the recording is repetitive because this set-up makes the figures and stories visible.
It is said that the number of martial arts students practising in Deng Feng should be around seventy-thousand.
It is said that this makes half of the entire population.