Victor Segalen

In the year 1914, when the First World War broke out, a French expedition under the lead of the navy doctor and writer Victor Segalen (1878 – 1919) set forth to explore giant stone-sculptures in the heart of the Chinese Empire. Segalen’s broad literary and photographic documentation of the expedition applies not only to the grand art treasures of China, but also to the experiences and impressions of his enormous journey.

News

  • 01/2011 - TV Premiere of Victor Segalen

    Our film “Victor Segalen – Expedition into the Chinese Empire” has its TV Premiere on saturday 29 January 2011 at [...]

    Our film "Victor Segalen - Expedition into the Chinese Empire" has its TV Premiere on saturday 29 January 2011 at 8.15 on the German/French TV channel Arte.


  • 05/2011 - “Victor Segalen” at the International Festival of Archaeological Film

    We are pleased that our documentary film “Victor Segalen” has been invited to the International Festival of Archaeological Film in [...]

    We are pleased that our documentary film "Victor Segalen" has been invited to the International Festival of Archaeological Film in Rovereto, Italy. The festival takes place from the 3rd to the 8th October 2011.

    Museo Civico di Rovereto



Victor Segalen

The film „Victor Segalen – Expedition into the Chinese Empire“ sleuthes a French expedition in the year 1914, led by the navy doctor and writer Victor Segalen (1878 – 1919), which entered deeply into the unexplored heart of China. Segalen was assigned by the French government to detect the earliest works of Han-Chinese stone sculpture art in the province of Sichuan, which is located at the border to Tibet. Fabulous creatures from the afterlife mythology of the old China, fallen silent in the darkness of times, abundant stone sculptures, with which the Chinese sculpting began two thousand years before. The way was sketched hypothetically, but what the expedition was going to encounter was unpredictable.

”Everything is ready, but do I have the right to set off? Me, who has been a master builder in the imaginary, evocator of imponderable and aerial materials, the words, – ” […] suddenly [I am] gripped by dizziness and by the fear of the reality  […].
(Victor Segalen 1914)

Segalen’s encounter with the stony art of China would become the source of his literary producing. His texts aren’t only descriptions of what he has seen but often his personal echo of the far past of China. His chronicles document in a spectacular way one of the last expeditions of the 20th century, which crossed without automobile and under the most difficult circumstances the vast Chinese Empire. On their 6.000 kilometer long way the adventurers and early scientists studied, besides the mysterious animal sculptures, tomb columns and caves, also Buddhist stone sculptures.

In the film black and white photography’s of the expedition in 1914 are contrasted with current shots of the same locations. Segalen has kept records during his trip through China of an archaic world, which doesn’t exist anymore today. His broad literary and photographic documentation of the expedition applies not only to the grand art treasures of China, but also to the experiences and impressions of his enormous journey.

Author: Maria Zinfert
Director: Tamara Wyss
Director of Photography: Li Xiao, Eckart Reichl
Editing: Trevor Hall, Jörg Nussbaum, Kristine Langner
Sound: Zheng Lu
Music: Nils Kacirek
Mix: Jörg Höhne
Interpreter: Zhou Jian
Production Management: Kathrin Isberner, Daniela Schöne
Producer: Georg Tschurtschenthaler
Executive Producer: Christian Beetz
Coproducer: Hongbin Deng
Commissioning Editor: Martin Pieper
Colour Photos: Tamara Wyss

Koproduktion

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Kooperation

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Förderer

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  • Victor Segalen

    arte
    29 January 2011 at 8:15 pm

  • Victor Segalen

    arte
    30 January 2011 at 2:45 pm

  • Victor Segalen

    arte
    02 February 2011 at 10:30 am

  • Victor Segalen

    ZDF info
    13 October 2013 at 12:00 pm

  • Victor Segalen

    ZDFinokanal
    24 March 2014 at 5:00 am

  • Victor Segalen

    ZDFinokanal
    24 March 2014 at 11:15 am

  • Victor Segalen

    Arte
    07 April 2014 at 5:30 pm

  • Victor Segalen - Expedition into the Chinese Empire

    ZDFinfo
    22 September 2014 at 10:15 am

  • Victor Segalen

    3sat
    27 November 2014 at 4:15 pm

  • Victor Segalen - Expedition into the Chinese Empire

    3sat
    04 December 2014 at 5:10 am