Divergent Memories of Tumen Shan-shui (a work-in-progress

Directors: Bo Wang and Xiaoxuan Lu
Country: China
Duration: 39’52”
Year: A work-in-progress

About the Film
Serving as a boundary between China, North Korea and Russia, the Tumen/Tuman River rises on the slopes of Mount Changbai / Paektu and flows into the Sea of Japan/East Sea. Since the Peking Treaty of 1860, the river and its surrounding areas have become a site of violent conflict and global power shifts for more than a century. Divergent Memories of Tumen Shan-shui creates a fabricated and imagined transnational landscape, shifting the gaze from colonial and Cold War dreams to a new way of looking at the Tumen region on the verge of rapid change. It casts new light on water’s role as an agent in not only the formation of physical reality of the riparian areas defined by this one river, but also the generation of conceptual relations among states within this transborder region. This project provides a visual narrative of interrelationships between contemporary phenomena, historical background, and ever-changing conceptualization of the Tumen landscape.

︎To here more about the research and historical contexts behind this film, please see the directors’ talk at Parasite conference in 2018.

About the directors
Liaoxuan Lu is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Landscape Architecture at the University of Hong Kong. Her research focuses on the cultural landscape and geography of conflict, particularly in transboundary regions. She is the co-author of Critical Landscape Planning along the China-Laos Railway: A Pedagogy for Strategic Development Practice during the Belt and Road Initiative (Springer Nature, upcoming 2021), Interstitial Hong Kong: Exploring the Miniature Open Spaces of High-Density Urbanism (JOVIS Verlag, 2021), and From Crisis to Crisis: Debates on Why Architecture Criticism Matters Today (Actar, 2019).

Bo Wang is an artist, filmmaker and researcher based between the Netherlands and China. As an artist, his works have been exhibited internationally, including venues like Guggenheim Museum and Museum of Modern Art in New York, Garage Museum in Moscow, Rotterdam Film Festival in the Netherlands, Visions du Réel in Switzerland, Image Forum Festival in Tokyo, Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary Art in Yekaterinburg, DMZ Docs in South Korea, CPH:DOX in Copenhagen, Times Museum in Guangzhou, BOZAR in Brussels, among many others. He received a fellowship from the Robert Flaherty Film Seminar in 2013, and was an artist-in-residency at ACC-Rijksakademie 2017-2018 as well as NTU CCA in 2016.