Italy and China:
a research of the sense of contemporaneity

16 july – 3 september, 2017 / ATRI


Stills of Peace and Everyday Life – Edition IV

After Pakistan, Spain and France, this year we propose a confrontation with China, with a focus on some essential humanistic aspects of a dialogue that is in many ways perhaps impossible to achieve with completeness.

Today in Europe there is great interest in this immense country and its thousand-year-old culture, and there are many institutions and authoritative initiatives that propose a mutual knowledge: our event fits among others, with its specificities and peculiarities, making its own contribution to this fundamental meeting.

Stills of Peace proposes again this year the opportunity to “look thinking” trying to combine the pleasure of enjoying the beauty of the places and exhibitions, with the opportunity to know and reflect on something new and different: because it is from these experiences that we can re – learn the awareness of being ourselves, Persons.


Scuderie di Palazzo Acquaviva – Atri

Starting from ThisHumanity – Matteo Basilé

Curated by Antonio Zimarino

The works in the exhibition belong to a research begun by the artist between 2010 and 2011, and from time to time resumed, and it’s entitled “Starting from Thishumanity”. It is a series of large-format photographs, depicting people of different cultures and nationalities, united by a condition of evident laceration or suffering, of an interior or exterior type. It is not a documentary search but rather a meditation, a psychological excavation inside the folds of the human soul.

They are portraits of archetypes treated with a carefully constructed light, in a Caravaggesque style, which highlights faces, gestures, clothes and details. Each portrait is transformed into a hypothetical narration of the causes, origins and implications of the suffering it brings with it. They are not specific acts of denunciation, but deep and internalized gazes on the common human condition, a way of confronting any form of pain, to understand both our interiority and that of our fellow men.

Scuderie di Palazzo Acquaviva – Atri

Impromptu – Yahon Chang

Curated by Paolo De Grandis, Maria Rus Bojan, Francise Chang

In this site specific exhibition the Taiwanese artist Yahon Chang presents a series of new works, revealing a philosophical approach to language and music that is deeply connected to his performative practice of ink painting.

In dialogue with the architecture of the exhibition space, Yahon Chang’s presentation is conceived as a visual assemblage structured in three parts, including a monumental site-specific installation of ink drawings on canvas, as well as a display of drawings, black and white paintings and sculptures. Chang’s powerful brushstrokes express essential rhythms and structures that go beyond their apparent meanings; like in music, there is a counterbalance of order and dynamism.

In some works, it seems that the painting brush becomes an extension of the artist’s arm, and his entire body. Despite their formal simplicity, these works are the result of a choreographed movement that expresses a huge personal vitality.

Museo Capitolare – Atri

The Dongba Culture. From the picture-writing of the Naxi people to the contemporary art by Zhang Chun He

Curated by Filippo Lanci, Astrid Narguet and Lucilla Stefoni

The exhibition embraces in a broad overview the multiple dimensions of a unique and fascinating civilization that is likely to disappear. In the first part it is presented the writing of the Dongba of the Naxi through a collection of manuscript papyrus pages. The Dongba writing, which at first glance recalls the pure and pictorial style of Egyptian hieroglyphs, is the last pictorial writing still used in the world, but threatened with extinction. In fact, the Dongba (shamanic priests) are the only ones able to understand and write it, and unfortunately they are less and less.

The second part of the exhibition offers a complete view of the sacred art of Dongba through the tankha collection, manuscript papyrus divinatory pages and wooden slab paintings. The Dongba religion, shamanist and polytheist, based on the cult of ancestors and nature, is based on primitive beliefs blended with Buddhist influence. According to legend, religion was founded by Dongbashilo, a demon hunter. The last part of the exhibition is devoted to contemporary art with the works of Zhang Chun He, one of Naxi’s greatest artists, pioneer of Dongba style painting.


Chiostro della Cattedrale – Atri

Cine ChINA – Review of Chinese cinema

Movies screened in original version with Italian subtitles
Curated by Pino Bruni

MOUNTAINS MAY DEPART (2015) – by Jia Zhang-Ke
China, 1999. Childhood friends Liangzi and Zhang are both in love with Tao, the town beauty. Tao eventually decides to marry the wealthier Zhang. They soon have a son he names Dollar… From China to Australia, the lives, loves, hopes and disillusions of a family over two generations in a society changing at breakneck speed

NOT ONE LESS (1999) – by Zhang Yimou
In a remote mountain village, the teacher must go on trip for a month, and the mayor can find only a 13-year old girl, Wei Minzhi, as his substitute. The teacher leaves one stick of chalk for each day and promises her an extra 10 yuan if there’s not one less student when he returns. Within days, poverty forces the class troublemaker, Zhang Huike, to leave for the city to work. Minzhi, possessed of a stubborn streak, determines to bring him back. She enlists the 26 remaining pupils in earning money for her trip. She hitches to Jiangjiakou City and begins her search. The boy, meanwhile, is there, lost and begging for food. Minzhi’s stubbornness may be Huike and the village school’s salvation.

BEIJING BICYCLE (2001) – by Wang Xiaoshuai
Beijing: young men in packs, machismo, class divisions, violence, and indifference. Guei arrives from the country: toothbrushes, hotel foyers, and Qin, a rich neighbor in high heels, dazzle him. He gets a job as a messenger. The company issues him a bike, which he must pay for out of his wages. When it is stolen, Guei hunts for it. A student, Jian, has it; for him, it’s the key to teen society – with his pals and with Xiao, a girl he fancies. Guei finds the bike and stubbornly tries to reclaim it in the face of great odds. But for Jian to lose the bike would mean humiliation. The two young men – and the people around them – are swept up in the youths’ desperation.

THE ASSASSIN (2015) – by Hou Hsiao-Hsien
In 8th-century China, an assassin is in charge of killing corrupt government officials, but during one of the usual executions, she is assailed by a sense of mercy that leads her to spare the designated victim. She is punished by her master, a nun who has cared for her since she was a child, who entrusts her with a much more difficult task than usual, namely the killing of her cousin.

SEVENTEEN YEARS (1999) – by Zhang Yuan
Tao Lan and Yu Xiaoqin are teenage stepsisters. They go to the same high school, sleep in the same bedroom, but couldn’t be more different. The first is wild, a bit of a vagabond, while the other is diligent and studies hard. One day Yu Xiaoqin steals money from her father and puts the blame on Tao Lin, who accidentally kills her sister while attempting to prove her innocence, and is put in jail. 17 years later, a woman by now, she is allowed out and is escorted by a guard to find her home long demolished. The two go to the new address of the ageing parents, and the guard becomes an eyewitness to the difficult reunion and the girl’s remorse, the anxiety and fear of the mother and the stepfather’s silent struggle to rise above his pain and find forgiveness.

BEHEMOTH (2015) – by Zhao Liang
Under the sun, the heavenly beauty of grasslands will soon be covered by the raging dust of mines. Facing the ashes and noises caused by heavy mining, the herdsmen have no choice but to leave as the meadow areas dwindle. In the moonlight, iron mines are brightly lit throughout the night. Workers who operate the drilling machines must stay awake. The fight is tortuous, against the machine and against themselves. Meanwhile, coal miners are busy filling trucks with coals. Wearing a coal-dust mask, they become ghostlike creatures. An endless line of trucks will transport all the coals and iron ores to the iron works. There traps another crowd of souls, being baked in hell. In the hospital, time hangs heavy on miners’ hands. After decades of breathing coal dust, death is just around the corner. They are living the reality of purgatory, but there will be no paradise.


Stills of Peace
Edition VIII
Italy and South Korea

Stills of Peace
Edition VII
Italy and Japan

Stills of Peace
Edition VI
Italy and Iran

Stills of Peace
Edition V
Italy and Morocco

Stills of Peace
Edition IV
Italy and China

Stills of Peace
Edition III
Italy and France

Stills of Peace
Edition II
Italy and Spain

Stills of Peace
Edition I
Italy and Pakistan