Heilongjiang (Right Click and Save As to Download)
Back in 2002, Channel 4 screened a series of programmes about China, including the infamous ‘baby cannibal’ modern art programme ‘Beijing Swings’ (the artist in question was Zhu Yu). They also screened a selection of Chinese films, including one that has stuck with me – and indeed formed part of Sunshine and Power Lines – in the intervening years. Sadly, I am unable to find the name of it, but it dealt with a Chinese artist escaping from Xi’an (I think…it was a long time ago and my memory changes things for fun) after being accused of murdering his girlfriend. He decides to travel by train to the northern town of Mohe in Heilongjiang province, which is far enough north that it is essentially polar. He saw it as the remotest place in the PRC.
The track I made to accompany this province uses a field recording from an American tourist of a folk song from Heilongjiang which I have cut up and rearranged. In much the same way, the following section has been cut up and rearranged.
Neighbours in arms, characters, a secret body in the mountain near Mohe’s northern candles. They stand in the many Waters. Here, in northern skies, kilometres of old strange frequented towns. To eat the opposite, tooth, earth. Their part. Along it, animals of blue, ancient feet, red high latitude rings in northern skies. In their heads, resources from “ Big Walk Lights”, possibly back in the four Chinese, advertisement skeletons. Rising colours likely. Big stares in this remoteness, is too much of a remoteness, there in the belt of stars. The North is tender, the years are rouge from clay. The cockerel’s river, ice. A river may like the cold, perhaps the road will come in to the high Mohe winds. There the fights, at the Russian border, in the dam of ribbon-fish that move like a map.
The passengers are an appropriate childhood surplus. In the autumn the river appears and very few of the passengers understood the water mother this spring. Dreaming stares stretches colour to camp. Her brown plants and the Wu nickname. Visits the lights in the magic cube band. Scattered material in polar Mohe. The arms are a boundary of degrees, a boundary for possible river lights. The ink black surpasses it and bacterium likes a ring fungus, like most of nature, a wish on the ocean. Cold gardens of scattered snow. Red now, the cockerel’s river, the home, the brew bent wonders of virgin geography. When will we use the dissonant house mouth. Then eat then vanishes Mohe, who stretches heads in the long wind.