What if kung fu movies could not only teach us how to fend off hordes of unstoppable assassins, but lead to a better life?
Screening at ACMI’s Gallery 3 from December 2, Jason Phu: Analects of Kung Phu – Book 1, The 69 Dialogues between the Lamp and the Shadow presents a survival guide for contemporary life through the lens of popular martial arts films.
Created by Melbourne-based visual artist and 2021 recipient of the Mordant Family Moving Image Commission for young Australian artists Jason Phu, the three-channel video work combines kung fu clips and classic Chinese texts such as Lao Zi’s Dao De Jing, to explore how we are guided in our day-to-day life by the movies we watch. Keep an eye out for jaw-dropping stunts and sage sayings from film and TV shows like Jackie Chan’s Drunken Master (1978) and Avatar the Last Airbender (2005).
Alongside the exhibition itself, ACMI will present two in-conversation talks with Phu to further delve into his latest work, creative process, and – of course – favourite martial arts films.
The first talk will take place on Sat 4 December with editor Conor Bateman and curator Chelsey O’Brien. Then on Tues 18 January, Phu and artist Reko Rennie will discuss their favourite martial arts and blaxploitation films as part of ACMI’s Art + Film series.
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