Intro

Hi and welcome to my studio, my name’s Seecum Cheung, I primarily work with film as an independent self-shooter.

I work with journalists and experts to conduct interviews with citizens, politicians and experts in a bid to understand and reflect upon certain political moments in time. My focus for Vital Capacities will be working from this same approach, a long-term study of the gentrification of my father’s ancestral village (in Shenzhen, China) which began in April 2018.


For my time during this residency I would like to gather new recordings of the site through my family who are living next to the village. These will be mobile phone recordings just to get a layout and understanding of the changes on the site. I would also like to process the footage that I already have, work through the material and experiment with creating a new cut from this, in addition, I would like to conduct an interview with Mary Ann O’Donnell, a leading expert on the urban transformations of Shenzhen and blogger behind ‘Shenzhen Noted’.


Please feel welcome to look around my studio, at the work I’ve posted up – there are images, videos and text. You are welcome to leave a comment or questions for me in the comments section.


Hope you enjoy your visit,

Seecum

Bright red logo, by CBK Rotterdam
Eviction in Shenzhen: Part 2 (2020) is supported by CBK Rotterdam

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Eviction in Shenzhen: Part 2

black and white image of a man in an alleyway, turning to look over his shoulder towards the camera. In front of him are many 'pay to use' bikes piled up high.
Resident; still from footage, filmed after Chinese New Years celebration, 11th February 2019

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Location: Temple Grounds

Ancient temple hall; still from footage, filmed after Chinese New Years celebration, 11th February 2019
Black and white image of a incense holder in an Chinese shrine, filled with candles, incense and ash
Shrine located at the entrance of Hubei Old Village; still from footage, filmed after Chinese New Years celebration, 11th February 2019

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Tenants & Leaseholders

Black and white image of two men sitting inside a shop cluttered with objects, both are smiling and waving to camera.
Black and white image, man looks to his left to face his aquarium which has a fish inside, floating next to a photograph of the Chinese leader Xi Jinping
One of the last remaining shop owners; still from footage, filmed after Chinese New Years celebration, 11th February 2019
Black and white image of man looks to the right, at his outdoor butchers stall. Low level hanging lights and plastic bags are in the frame. He is wearing a warm coat suggesting that it is a cold day.
Black and white image of a man crouching down to cut up a piece of pork. There is a table with cardboard on the top which serves as the butchers main selling platform.
One of the last remaining shop owners due to the leaseholder’s being absent in claiming their plot; still from footage, filmed after Chinese New Years celebration, 11th February 2019

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Eviction in Shenzhen: Part 1

Eviction in Shenzhen, 2019-Ongoing, is a long-term ethnographic series of experimental documentary films which follows the planned demolition of my fathers ancestral village of Hubei in Shenzhen, China as the government initiates a major redevelopment plan to take its place. The proposed project includes an impressive 830m tall skyscraper which will become the tallest building in the world accompanied with a modern shopping centre, restaurants, plus a small portion of Hubei Old Village preserved as a living museum and film location for hire. The new redevelopment will become one of China’s most prized architectural accomplishments, a visual spectacle, which pays homage to the economic miracle that is Shenzhen, as the city which led China to its new position as a global economical and technological power.

The films mark the eviction of the current tenants of the village who as low-income workers, are having to leave behind the cafes, food vendors, small businesses, residential homes and communities which they cultivated over a period of 10 – 20 years. Eviction in Shenzhen (2018-present) filmed over the course of this redevelopment period, will document these changes by recording the sociological make-up and ancient architecture of the village that is soon to disappear. 


The film is currently in development and will proceed in chapters as the project develops. ‘Eviction in Shenzhen: Part 1’ (2019 – Version 1) captures the residents of the area during a visit to the area in May 2018. The next chapter filmed during February 2019 features the area taken during Chinese New Year, with a near 90% of residents now fully evicted.

Directed, produced and edited: Seecum Cheung
Sound design: Natalia Domínguez Rangel

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