Project Description

Length: 12mins17secs

Director: Austin Kvaale


Northeast China’s ‘Er Ren Zhuan’ is a folk art that emerged and matured through three hundred years of spirited, uninterrupted development in the fertile lands of Northeast China. In Er Ren Zhuan, one male and one female performer play out stories from among the common people themselves. They sing joyfully and sorrowfully of the countless ups and downs encountered in the human experience. Our lens follows the footsteps of one of folk artist Dong Lianhai who is among the ‘four great male performers.’ This production documents the unique charms of this traditional art.

In the modern world of material desires and temptations where commercialism and materialism have defined our surroundings, the preservation and transmission of traditional Er Ren Zhuan appears hopelessly difficult! However, the very old at one end and young adult performers at the other end uphold the traditions, refuse to vulgarize them, bring performances to the countryside, and enrich the foundations of this art. Generation after generation of artists have used the purest methods to resist the intrusion of various kinds of unrefined culture. They exert all their efforts in preserving this art-form, which is known as the ‘flower’ of Northeast China!