Freitag, 27. Oktober 2023, 16:00 - 18:00 iCal

East Asia as a Psychological Landscape

Screening and workshop with filmmaker Zhang Hanwen

Bu?hne, MediaLab, UZA 2, Rotunde, Stiege H, Ebene 1
Josef- Holaubek-Platz 2, 1090 Wien


This film screening and workshop explores the notions of “the first line of China,” the Taiwan Strait, and the hideouts of an escaped prisoner in Northeast China. The notions are geographical, historical, and deeply personal. Artist and filmmaker Zhang Hanwen presents two of his recent films and a work in progress during his residency at the HBK Braunschweig.


The First Line of China (2018–2019) is a 46-minute essay film that examines an isolated industrial town alongside a state-owned cement factory in Northeast China. Born and raised there, the director reflects on the socialist factory-town model that emerged in 1980s China as a result of its top-down urbanization and industrialization scheme.

Snowy Day, Studio Visit (2019–2023) documents a conversation between Zhang and a friend. The reflective dialogue sheds light equally on a childhood journey from Mainland China to Taiwan and on the adopted political rhetoric in Zhang's upbringing.

Hostile Landscapes is a multichannel film/video in progress. It centers on the remarkable true story of Jhu Hyeun-ken (주현건), a North Korean inmate who escaped from the Jilin Prison in 2021. After 40 days, Zhu was shot in the leg and caught near Fengman Dam and Reservoir, a location with deep Japanese colonial ties. Zhang meticulously tracks Jhu’s confirmed and possible hideouts, reconstructing Zhu’s fugitive odyssey with a cinematic representation of the landscape.

Zur Webseite der Veranstaltung


Institut für Ostasienwissenschaften/ Sinologie


Yizhuo Li
Institut für Ostasienwissenschaften