Seven Intellectuals in Bamboo Forest, Part II, 2004


Yang Fudong

© Yang Fudong, courtesy Marian

Goodman Gallery - Photo Fondation Louis Vuitton /

Sarah Jean-Ortiz

A cycle of five black and white films, "Seven Intellectuals in Bamboo Forest" refers to a Chinese legend in which seven philosophers, poets, musicians and writers decided to distance themselves from the chaos of the Warring States Period (third to fourth centuries) so they could live and think freely.

In Yang Fudong’s version, seven young men and women explore different settings in search of their identities and an ideal life. From the misty slopes of the Yellow Mountain to the tower blocks of Shanghai as well as rural and coastal landscapes, explorations of love and surrealist scenes unfold in a series of contemplative tableaux. Alternating between a vision of nature and one of timeless modernity, the cycle highlights the aspirations and doubts of a generation living through the urban, economic and ideological upheavals of China today.

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Interview of the Artist

Yang Fudong presents his 5 films composing the cycle "Seven Intellectuals in a Bamboo Forest"


Yang Fudong

Born in 1971, in Beijing (China)

A major figure in Chinese contemporary art and cinema, Yang Fudong has been examining the complexities of contemporary Chinese society since the end of the 1990s, from a symbolic, detached perspective. 
In the Same Hang

Seven Intellectuals in Bamboo Forest, Part I ,2003

Seven Intellectuals in Bamboo Forest, Part III, 2005-2006