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Hao Jingban presents two films for The Fingers of the Air on the upper floor of the daadgalerie.
Hao Jingban (born 1985 in China), lives and works in Beijing and is a fellow of the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program. Hao Jingban’s practice revolves around ways to narrate history and the descriptive and critical potentials of the language of images. Through long term observations and experiences with her research and topics, she engages in indepth exchanges with her subjects. She believes strongly in an artist’s devotion to her work and the abilities of images to participate in, acknowledge and describe reality.

Since 2012, Hao Jingban has been conducting research and filming for her Beijing Ballroom project. She traces the present ballrooms in Beijing to two waves of ballroom dancing in the early 1950s and the post-Cultural Revolution era in the People’s Republic of China in the late 1970s. During her three years of filming, Hao experimented with different filmic languages to explore these interwoven historical narratives. Until today, five works have been produced for the Beijing Ballroom project: Little Dance (2012), An Afternoon Ball (2013), I Can’t Dance (2015), Over-Romanticism (2016) and Off Takes (2016).

"An Afternoon Ball" (2013, HD single channel video, 21’21”)
This work shows a regular ball in the afternoon in a ballroom in Beijing in 2013. During the time I spent observing the ballroom, I was particularly drawn to the people who came to dance in the afternoon. There are normally three balls a day. In the morning, many people came to do a kind of morning exercise. In the evening, it felt more like a party. I kept wondering what kind of people come to dance at this time of the afternoon during weekdays. I was intrigued by their faces, by the subtle ways that they observe each other, the way they move in the ballroom and share the space. This work is an attempt to capture all these resonances in the space.

"Off Takes" (2016, HD single-channel video, 21’ 18”)
Off Takes is the last piece in the Beijing Ballroom project. During this project, there were some images that I liked very much, and felt very attached to, but until the end of the project I could not find the right way to use them. With "Off Takes" I simply tried to think about the reason why that is. To say it in the words that I put in the beginning of the film: “Is it me who failed the footages or did the footages fail me? As if to say, theoretically, there are no banal images, only incompetent viewers.”

Image credit: Hao Jingban, "Off Takes", 2016 (still).


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