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Chinese Visual Festival & Bloomsbury Gallery Present Oriental Silk & Mao's New Suit

Date: Saturday, 3rd December

Time: 7:00 – 8:30 PM

Location: Bloomsbury Gallery, 34 Bloomsbury St, London WC1B 3QJ

Bloomsbury Gallery is pleased to host a special screening of two documentary films in collaboration with Chinese Visual Festival on Saturday, 3rd December. Xiaowen Zhu’s Oriental Silk explore the family legacy behind the first Chinese American silk importer in Los Angeles. Sally Ingleton's Mao’s New Suit tracks Sun Jian and Guo Peis' early career before the latter one became China’s top haute couture designer. Both directed by female filmmakers, these two films examine how fashion is interwoven with Chinese people’s cultural identity in the contemporary society.

The screening will be followed by Q&A with both filmmakers.

About Oriental Silk

Oriental Silk explores the worldview of the owner of the first silk importing company in Los Angeles. Carefully and quietly, the film observes this owner, Kenneth Wong, as he goes through his daily routine in the store and tells his story: how his parents, first-generation Chinese immigrants, realized the American dream through the store; how the once legendary store’s fortunes rose in close connection with the Hollywood entertainment industry, then fell with the proliferation of cheaper silk in the new global economy; how he himself came to be the owner of the shop and caretaker of the family legacy; and about his deep feelings for the shop, its history, and its future.

About Xiaowen Zhu

Xiaowen Zhu is a London-based artist, filmmaker and writer. She is the first receipt of the TASML Artist Residency Award and Marylyn Ginsburg Klaus Post-MFA Fellowship. She was an artist-in-residence at ZKM | Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe, Germany and V2_Institute for the Unstable Media, Rotterdam, the Netherlands. She is a mentor of the British Film Institute Film Academy, a member of the Los Angeles Art Association, and formerly a Visiting Professor of Media Art at Syracuse University and Marymount College in USA. Zhu’s work has been widely shown internationally at Whitechapel Gallery (London, UK), Whitstable Biennale (Whitstable, UK), Central Academy of Fine Arts Museum (Beijing China), Chronus Art Center (Shanghai, China), Art Basel Hongkong, ZKM | Center for Art and Media (Karlsruhe, Germany), V2_Institute for the Unstable Media (Rotterdam, the Netherlands), ISEA2011 (Istanbul, Turkey), Dumbo Arts Center (New York, USA), Videonale (Berlin, Germany), Museum of Contemporary Photography (Chicago, USA) and more.

About Mao’s New Suit

For decades people in China modelled themselves on Chairman Mao who wore a simple worker's outfit in blue or grey. It was known as the 'Mao Suit'.

To wear anything different meant that you stood out. But by the early 90’s China's door had opened and so did people's wardrobes... MAO'S NEW SUIT charts the course of young up and coming Beijing fashion designers SUN JIAN and GUO PEI amidst the staging of their first designer collection in Shanghai's annual 'FASHION WEEK'. GUO PEI has now gone on to become China’s top haute couture designer. This documentary tracks her early career.

About Sally Ingleton

Sally and her company 360 Degree Films have a solid international track record in all genres winning awards and selling programs in all major territories. 360 Degree Films is based in Melbourne and moves effortlessly from people based stories like INDIAN WEDDING RACE (SBS 2015) and FRANTIC FAMILY RESCUE (ABC 2015), to nature and science documentaries such as ACID OCEAN for WGBH NOVA, ZDF, ARTE France and SBS to wildlife series such as PENGUIN ISLAND for BBC1, ABC and ARTE FRANCE and DEVIL ISLAND for ITV, ABC and France TV. We have produced dramatic social issues docs such as AUSTRALIA’S GREAT FLOOD about the Queensland floods of 2011 for National Geographic TV and TIBET MURDER IN THE SNOW about a shooting in the Nepalese border for BBC2, SBS, TSR, RTBF and YLE. Sally produced and directed Mao’s New Suit back in 1996 as she was interested to explore the lives of the new generation of young entrepreneurs. At that time Guo Pei was working for a company designing office clothes for women working in joint ventures.

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