Wang Bing makes films. Most are documentary films, but their lack of linear narrative and their extreme duration bring them closer to being history paintings. Unlike many history painters, however, Wang Bing is not interested in spectacular events but instead prefers the minor and the mundane—the details—because he knows that the minutiae of daily routines can be the building blocks of life itself.
Details are what make humans human. The slight intonation that gives emphasis to one word over another. The tightened jaw that accompanies impatience. The compliment disguised as a question. The hand gestures. The hesitations.
Film has the time to see the details. A film can linger, wait, and be patient. Wang Bing's films are about the details, how they accumulate, and how they come to determine entire lives and tell the story of entire cultures and entire ideologies.
The CCA Wattis Institute program is generously supported by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Grants for the Arts / San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund, and the Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation; by CCA Director’s Fund contributors Patricia W. Fitzpatrick, Judy and Bill Timken, Chara Schreyer and Gordon Freund, Catherine and Matt Paige, Ruth and Alan Stein, Robin Wright and Ian Reeves, Laura Brugger and Ross Sappenfield, John Morace and Thomas Kennedy, and the Rotasa Foundation; and by CCA’s Curator’s Forum. Phyllis C. Wattis was the generous founding patron.