The Rising Tide: 2008
A Documentary On Chinese Contemporary Art


This was the official website for The Rising Tide, a documentary investigates China's meteoric march toward the future through the work of some of the nation's most talented emerging artists. It is narrated by Rosalind Chao and Gordon Chang, the author of The Coming Collapse of China.
Content is from the site's 2008 archived pages , as well as from other outside sources.



The Rising Tide investigates China's meteoric march toward the future through the work of some of its most talented emerging artists, whose work reflects the countrys rising influence as an economic, political and cultural force in the global arena.

The Rising Tide investigates China's meteoric march toward the future through the work of some of the nation's most talented emerging artists, whose work captures the social and aesthetic confusion created in a rapidly changing society. Produced within the dual context of globalization and urbanization (and including an interview with Chen Qiulin, who is featured in WAM's Two Chinas exhibition), the film examines the confusion and ambiguity that characterize the new China. The Rising Tide captures this momentous time in China's history while exploring the work of artists, who comment with intelligence, wit, foreboding and nostalgia.

 

DIRECTOR'S STATEMENT

"During the summer of 2005, I started seeing more and more books about the rise of China and what it meant for the US and the world at large. I did some initial research and noticed that there hadn't been a documentary on the subject, so I began by researching contemporary China, reading books and articles by people like Orville Schell, Jonathon Spence, Ross Terrill, Elizabeth Economy and, of course, Gordon Chang.

Everyone agreed that China's transformation was the greatest economic, social, and political metamorphosis of our time, but where this emerging superpower was headed was still in question. I found this fascinating and wanted to explore it with a film. Where was this hybrid-nation blending Leninist authoritarianism with a market economy and averaging over 9% growth over the last 20 years, going? Could it sustain this remarkable growth? Would its rise be peaceful? Could the Communist Party continue to quell growing social unrest in the countryside? Could it secure the needed resources to continue its breakneck race towards modernization? There's this epic tale unfolding yet this enigmatic land of contradictions, where capitalism was taking root in an authoritarian country, was escaping the notice of most Westerners. I wanted to change that.

Once I knew I was going to explore China's metamorphosis, I knew I needed to find individuals whose lives had been transformed by this great social stirring. One of many visual artists exploring the paradoxical nature of China's rise is Beijing photographer Wang Qingsong. His photos, often humorous, are biting commentaries lampooning an ancient culture that is abandoning many of its traditions and adopting many of the less appealing elements of another culture, namely American that it has yet to fully understand. Qingsong was the very first artist I encountered in my search, and there were several others soon thereafter. I knew I had found the avenue through which I would investigate China's rise. On one level, I was looking for internationally recognized artists, those whose work was deemed important. Interviews with artists like Cao Fei, Yang Yong, and Xu Zhen had appeared in art journals, and I was able to contact all three via the Internet. On another level, I wanted artists whose work contained powerful messages with the ring of truth. I was looking for art that communicated the confusion of a society in rapid transition or work which commented on the materialism pervading Chinese society. I still wanted beauty and originality but not at the price of content. The art was going to be used in the film to advance my arguments, so I needed pictures and images that matter. Many of the artists said that the dominant consumer culture had altered people's mentalities, and that their work was an attempt to deal with the dynamic and tectonic forces transforming China as it emerges as a global power."

~ Robert Adanto

ROBERT ADANTO     PRODUCER/DIRECTORThe Rising Tide is the directorial debut for independent documentary filmmaker Robert Adanto, who earned his MFA in Acting at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. He is currently working on two other documentary projects: a short film set in Kibera, one of the largest slums in Nairobi, Kenya, and a second project that will take him to Tehran in December.

Since 1995 he has taught an interdisciplinary humanities course at Crossroads School for Arts and Sciences in Santa Monica, CA, as well as a course dedicated to his literary mentor William Shakespeare. In 2007, Mr. Adanto was the recipient of the National Association for Independent Schools' Leading Edge Award for Global Sustainability, for the AIDS education and activism program he founded in 2006, the Crossroads Teen AIDS Ambassadors.

 


 



The Rising Tide is filmmaker Robert Adanto's first feature-length documentary - it focuses on the flourishing contemporary art scene in China.

SYNOPSIS

The scene of the greatest economic and cultural metamorphosis of our time, China is not only at the center of the world's attention but has arguably the most vital, imaginative, and uncontainable art scene in the world. The Rising Tide investigates China's meteoric march toward the future through the work of some of its most talented emerging artists, whose work reflects the country's rising influence as an economic, political and cultural force in the global arena.

In recent years, Chinese artists, especially those working in photography and video, have gained international recognition for their powerful works capturing the social and aesthetic confusion created in a rapidly changing society. To the Chinese avant-garde, materialism is all pervasive, and the dominant consumer culture has altered people's mentalities. Interestingly, their work, influenced by Western ideals and art practice, remains distinctly Chinese in its content and aesthetic.

Produced within the dual context of globalization and urbanization, the work of artists Cao Fei, Xu Zhen, Yang Yong, Wang Qingsong, Chen Qiulin, Birdhead, and Zhang O examines the collision between the present and the future, and the confusion and ambiguity that characterize the new China. Their work is often a stunned attempt to deal with the dynamic and tectonic forces transforming China. The Rising Tide captures this momentous time in China's history while exploring the work of artists, who comment with intelligence, wit, foreboding and nostalgia.

 


 

Conversation and a Movie: The Rising Tide

Contemporary Chinese art is eagerly consumed by the professional art market of dealers, galleries, and collectors. This film, The Rising Tide, directed by Robert  Adanto, looks at the emerging post-Mao art scene in China through the works of several prominent artists some of whom are featured in the exhibition, Seeing the Unseen. The film will be introduced by the director and then followed by a post-screening discussion.

Robert Adanto’s debut feature-length documentary film, The Rising Tide, explored China’s meteoric march toward the future through the work of some of the Middle Kingdom's most talented photographers and video artists, including Wang Qingsong, Cao Fei, Xu Zhen, Yang Yong, Chen Qiulin and O Zhang. Shot in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen in the summer of 2006, this unflinching and incisive study captures the confusion and ambiguity that characterize the new China.

“An often surprising and thought-provoking documentary,” wrote WICN’s Mark Lynch, “The rest of us better make an effort to grasp what their work is about, or get out of the way. An “eye-opener” in every sense of the word, if you are an artist, curator or art teacher be sure to catch this film

 


 

PRESS

In October, Robert Adanto will participate in the Frost Museum's Steven & Dorothea Green Critics' Lecture Series, which has introduced numerous art world luminaries to the South Florida community since 1981. Past speakers have included such distinguished figures as Harald Szeeman, Independent Curator and Director of the Venice Biennale; Pierre Rosenberg, former Director of the Louvre, Paris; Claes Oldenburg & Coosje Vanbruggen, international husband and wife artists and collaborators; Tom Wolfe, novelist; Art Spiegelman, author and cartoonist; Susan Sontag, novelist and essayist; Frank Stella, painter; Richard Serra, minimalist sculptor; Carlos Fuentes, novelist and essayist; Mario Vargas Llosa, writer and journalist; Camille Paglia, feminist author and social critic and Maya Lin, sculptor.

The Rising Tide was featured in Constant Stream: China 08 at the Royal College of Art Helen Hamlyn Centre in London, where it screened with a film by acclaimed Chinese director Jia Zhangke. Constant Stream: China 08 was a part of China Now, the largest festival of Chinese culture ever in the UK.

 

COMMENTS

Adanto's surprisingly grim film highlights both the vitality and urgency of China's burgeoning new culture while allowing its subjects to speak of the darker and more painful aspects of change.

~ Gerry Mak in Flavorpill

 

Robert Adanto's The Rising Tide shows the world how China's contemporary artists are making sense of their crazy "brave new world", the improbable mash-up of totalitarianism and capitalism gone wild. An often surprising and thought-provoking documentary, the featured artists throw down a collective glove to the rest of the world and declare their Sino-centric Renaissance. The rest of us better make an effort to grasp what their work is about, or get out of the way. An "eye-opener" in every sense of the word, if you are an artist, curator or art teacher be sure to catch this film.

 

~ Mark Lynch, Host of "Inquiry" on WICN

 


In a recent podcast, Robert speaks to Culture Catch founder Dusty Wright about contemporary China and its burgeoning art scene. (Recorded 3/07/09 at Bennett Media Studios, NYC)

 

~~~

The Rising Tide

a screening of Robert Adanto's film presented by the Peabody Essex Museum
When:
May 2, 2009 2:30pm

Robert Adanto's directorial debut examines the meteoric rise of some of China's talented artists, whose works reflect the country's economic, political and cultural force in the global arena. Among the featured artists are Zhang O and Song Tao, whose works are on view at PEM in Mahjong: Contemporary Chinese Art from the Sigg Collection. Director Adanto introduces his film and answers questions afterward.

Robert Adanto's The Rising Tide, which recently screened at The Hammer Museum in Los Angeles and Miami Beach Art Basel, examines China's economic and cultural metamorphosis through the work of some of the Middle Kingdom's most talented video artists and photographers, including the internationally recognized Cao Fei, Xu Zhen, Wang Qingsong, Chen Qiulin, O Zhang, Yang Yong, and Birdhead. It is narrated by Rosalind Chao and Gordon Chang, the author of The Coming Collapse of China.

The Rising Tide is an incredibly timely examination of China's growing prominence in international culture. In a climate of globalization and rapid urbanization, Chinese Contemporary Art has emerged as arguably the most vital and imaginative cultural force in the world today. "The rest of us better make an effort to grasp what their work is about, or get out of the way," says Mark Lynch, host of WICN's Inquiry, " [The Rising Tide is] an 'eye-opener' in every sense of the word, if you are an artist, curator or art teacher be sure to catch this film." "Adanto's surprisingly grim film highlights both the vitality and urgency of China's burgeoning new culture while allowing its subjects to speak of the darker and more painful aspects of change," says Gerry Mak in the on-line publication Flavorpill.

The Rising Tide was shot in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen in the summer of 2006 and completed in February of 2008. It was part of the United Kingdom's China Now! festival, as part of Constant Stream: China 08 at the Royal College of Art Helen Hamlyn Centre in London, where it screened with a film by acclaimed Chinese director Jia Zhangke. Mr. Adanto's film has also screened at the Smithsonian Institution's Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington DC, The Worcester Art Museum, and The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum in Miami. Additionally, Mr. Adanto's film was featured in conjunction with Shanghai Kaleidoscope, an exhibition curated by Christopher Phillips of The International Center of Photography in NY at The Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, and it has also screened at The Bates College Museum of Art, The Kansas City Institute of the Arts, and the Pacific Asia Museum. Mr. Adanto's film has also enjoyed a featured screening at the National Center for Contemporary Art in Moscow and was an Official Selection of this year's Cape Winelands Film Festival in Cape Town, South Africa. In May and June of 2009, the film screened in conjunction with two important exhibitions of Chinese art: Mahjong: Contemporary Chinese Art from the Sigg Collection at the Peabody-Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts and Three Decades: The Contemporary Chinese Collection at The Queensland Art Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane, Australia.

 

~~~

 

China: The Rising Tide, Photo and Video Exhibit

The Museum of Art September 19, 2008, 7:00 p.m., Olin 104

By Alison Keegan. Published on April 19, 2010 | www.bates.edu/

   

The scene of the greatest economic and cultural metamorphosis of our time, China is not only at the center of the world’s attention but has arguably the most vital, imaginative, and uncontainable art scene in the world.The Rising Tide investigates China’s meteoric march toward the future through the work of some of its most talented emerging artists, whose work reflects the country’s rising influence as an economic, political and cultural force in the global arena.

In recent years, Chinese artists, especially those working in photography and video, have gained international recognition for their powerful works capturing the social and aesthetic confusion created in a rapidly changing society. To the Chinese avant-garde, materialism is all pervasive, and the dominant consumer culture has altered people’s mentalities. Interestingly, their work, influenced by Western ideals and art practice, remains distinctly Chinese in its content and aesthetic.

Produced within the dual context of globalization and urbanization, the work of artists Cao Fei, Xu Zhen, Yang Yong, Wang Qingsong, Chen Qiulin, Birdhead, and Zhang O examines the collision between the present and the future, and the confusion and ambiguity that characterize the new China. Their work is often a stunned attempt to deal with the dynamic and tectonic forces transforming China. The Rising Tide captures this momentous time in China’s history while exploring the work of artists, who comment with intelligence, wit, foreboding and nostalgia.

 

~~~

 

The Rising Tide: Director Robert Adanto's Film on China's Contemporary Arts

August 2008 https://artdaily.cc/



Flooding by Wang Qingsong.

TORONTO.- The Institute for Contemporary Culture (ICC) at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) presents American filmmaker Robert Adanto’s directorial debut, The Rising Tide at 7:30 pm on Thursday, August 21, 2008 in the ROM’s Signy & Cléophée Eaton Theatre. The Rising Tide (2008) explores China’s transformation through the work and words of several of the country’s leading young artists, photographers and filmmakers. The director will be in attendance to introduce his film and take questions from the audience.

"I spent nearly three years completing this project, and it has truly been a labour of love,” explains Mr. Adanto. “I find sharing it with the public most gratifying, so I thank the ICC for the opportunity to screen The Rising Tide at the ROM."

Filmed in China, a country that has one of the most vital, imaginative, and uncontainable art scenes in the world, The Rising Tide (2008) presents the work of artists Cao Fei, Xu Zhen, Yang Yong, Wang Qingsong, Chen Qiulin, Birdhead, and Zhang O. Through their work, mainly in photography and video, the film
examines the collision between the present and the future, and the confusion and ambiguity that characterize the new China. Within the dual context of globalization and urbanization, these thoughtful young artists attempt to deal with the dynamic forces transforming China. The Rising Tide captures this momentous time in China's history while exploring the work of artists who comment with intelligence, wit, foreboding and nostalgia. For more information and the film’s trailer, visit: www.therisingtidefilm.com.

The Rising Tide is the directorial debut for Los Angeles-based independent documentary filmmaker Robert Adanto. Since 1995, Mr. Adanto has taught interdisciplinary humanities at Crossroads School for Arts and Sciences in Santa Monica, CA, as well as a course dedicated to his literary mentor, William Shakespeare. In 2007, Mr. Adanto was the recipient of the National Association for Independent Schools' Leading Edge Award for Global Sustainability, for the AIDS education and activism program he founded in 2006, the Crossroads Teen AIDS Ambadors. He is currently working on two other documentary projects: a short film
set in Kibera, one of the largest slums in Nairobi, Kenya, and a second project that will take him to Tehran, Iran, in December, 2008.

The film will also be on view at the following locations:

Saturday, 8/23: Worcester Art Museum, Mass
Friday, 9/19: Bates College Museum of Art, Lewiston, Maine
Thursday, 10/03: UCR Sweeney Art Gallery
Friday, 10/3: Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena, CA
Wednesday, 10/22: The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum, Miami (Thursday, 11/13: The Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.

Tickets, available on day of event beginning at 6 pm at the Loblaws Entrance (south entrance), are: General Public, $10; ROM Members, $8; Friends of the ICC, $6. For more information, visit www.rom.on.ca/icc. This event is organized in conjunction with the ICC exhibition, Shanghai Kaleidoscope, presented by Manulife Financial, on display until Nov. 2, 2008.

 


 

MUSIC

NALEPA     ORIGINAL MUSIC

An electronic musician, multimedia artist and mad scientist collector, Nalepa combines deep dub bass, glitchy breaks, bioacoustic atmospheres and beautiful sinewave melodies to create his patented brand of ambient glitch dub. Known for his vast and eclectic array of artistic collaborators, cultivated and acquired through years of producing spectacular audiovisual events and sharing bills with some of the world's best electronic musicians, Nalepa is considered a key node in the west coast audiovisual scene, and holds the appropriate title of Flavorpill's "beat guru".

Nalepa has performed at The Do Lab Stage at Coachella 2007, produced tracks with legends such as Bill Laswell and Pharoah Sanders, rocked it at Flavorpill's Friday's Off the 405 series at the Getty Museum, and shared a bill with Amon Tobin, Cut Chemist and DJ Spooky at Walt Disney Concert Hall.

CELESTE LEAR     ORIGINAL SCORE

Sophisticated, moody and on the cutting edge. Celeste Lear, vocalist, guitarist and music programmer, produces downtempo and trip hop inspired electronica with wicked beats, luscious layering and meaningful lyrics for today's modern listener. Granddaughter of the 8-track inventor and deaf in one ear, Celeste is an artist with an intriguing background and an unquenchable thirst to create inspiring and groundbreaking new music.

This hot up and coming electronic music programmer, vocalist and skilled guitarist has recently emerged from Los Angeles' underground music scene with a unique and cutting edge sound all her own that truly depicts today's modern woman in the music industry. An independent label owner, a music producer with a degree in sound engineering and a passionate and skilled musician to match, with years of theory training, Celeste is a DIY artist with a drive to match any artist on a major label.

 


 

SCREENINGS

[ 2009 ]
Thursday, 2/5: H&R; Block Artspace at the Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City
Saturday, 2/21: Max Lang Gallery, New York.
Saturday, 3/7: Bennett Media Studios, New York.
Thursday, 3/26-: Cape Winelands Film Festival, Cape Town, South Africa
Friday, 3/27: Cape Winelands Film Festival, Cape Town, South Africa
Friday, 4/10: NYU Shanghai, PRC
Monday, 4/20: Academy of Entertainment & Technology's Screening Room, Santa Monica, CA
Saturday, 5/2: Peabody Essex Museum East India Square, Salem, MA
Sunday, 6/14: Queensland Art Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia
Friday-Sunday, 6/19-6/21: Metro Cinema, Edmonton, Alberta CA
Saturday, 9/12: San Louis Obispo Art Center, SLO, CA
Thursday, 10/1: Museum of Contemporary Photography Chicago, Chicago, IL
More coming soon...

 

[ 2008 ]
Tuesday, 4/1: Yale University The Council on East Asian Studies
Wednesday, 4/16: Harvard University
Thursday, 4/17: Wellesley College
Wednesday, 4/30: UCLA School of Public Policy
Saturday, 5/10 - 5/15: Constant Stream: CHINA08 at the Royal College of Art, London
Thursday, 8/21: Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, CN
Saturday, 8/23: Worcester Art Museum, Massachusetts
Friday, 9/19: Bates College Museum of Art, Lewiston, Maine
Sunday, 10/12: The Other Venice Film Festival, Venice, CA
Thursday, 11/13: The Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.
Sunday, 11/16: IN TRANSITION RUSSIA 2008, Ekaterinberg, Russia
Friday, 12/5: The Miami Beach Cinematheque, Miami Beach, FL
Sunday, 12/7: The Colony Theatre, Miami Beach, FL


TheRisingTideFilm.com