Tai Chi - Chen Style 83 movements, video 19 min, 2005


This video is shot at a street barbecue stall in a Muslim district in my hometown Jinan, capital city of Shandong province, China. Islamic barbecue stalls have brought substantial economic profit to this district, and at the same time caused a lot of hygiene, transportation and safety problems. The government tried to close down this street several times, however locals boycotted it, and the government had to give up in order not to cause any conflicts amongst ethnic minority groups. Now the smoke and fire of the barbecue stalls have flourished, booming into a new picture of folklore in the city. I invited a Tai Chi master to perform a set of Tai Chi movements among the crowd of stalls, and a video camera is attached to his arms, taking in the prosperity of the market and bloodiness of fresh, roasting meat, together with the rhythm and rhymes of Tai Chi. In the video, the conservativeness of tradition is mediated with the vanity of todays material desire