Dreaming Against the World is a documentary portrait of Mu Xin, one of the most original and overlooked Chinese artists and authors of the past century. While imprisoned in solitary confinement during the Cultural Revolution, he risked his life to write and paint. Mu Xin continued painting and writing in obscurity after emigrating to New York in the early 1980s and was finally discovered at the age of 74 to great critical acclaim. The story of how Mu Xin created an astonishing body of work that merged East and West, the ancient and the modern, terror and transcendence, Dreaming Against the World is a testament to the artistic integrity and personal courage he upheld in the face of adversity. Written and directed by Oscar- and Emmy-nominated filmmakers Tim Sternberg and Francisco Bello, it was filmed on location in China and New York (USA, 2014, 35 min.).

The screening will be followed by a panel discussion moderated by Peter Rand, author and professor at Boston University. The panelists will be: artist and critic Chen Danqing; filmmakers Tim Sternberg and Francisco Bello; and Nancy Berliner, Wu Tung Curator of Chinese Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Still frame from the film “Dreaming Against the World” depicting a detail from a page of Mu Xin’s Prison Notes, 1971-1972. Ink on note paper. Mu Xin Museum, Wuzhen, China.

Co-presented with the Ballets Russes Arts Initiative.