I’ve been working quietly on my “Art and Smog” documentary project since returning from China this summer. I had an amazing nine months reconnecting with my main characters from 25 years ago. The societal pursuit of material advantages and profit, and the competition for survival, has overshadowed their earlier ideals of an honest and caring humanity. Their art reveals the confusions, pressures, fears, and need for refuge that they feel. Their words and images speak not only to their felt experience in China but also to the pains many people in the world experience today, even in the United States.
I’m privileged and grateful to have been selected by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board to participate in the 2015-16 Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program. The Fulbright research grant allows me to be on the ground, in country, on site in Beijing for nine months to explore the contemporary art world and to probe the complex environment that surrounds it. The research will inform and deepen the story to be told in my documentary film project.