Alexej Tchernyi, filmmaker/animator (USSR 1976) & Wu Zhi, painter (P.R.China, 1972) are an artists couple, living and working in Berlin.
One night last year, they wake up to a terrible news: Wu's Father (Dr. Rao) suffered a cardiac infarction and went into a coma. He onlyhad few days left to live.
The couple and their 1½ year old son immediately took a flight to China in order to reach Dr. Rao alive.
Dr. Rao has three children, six brothers and sisters. Each one of them has their own children. This big family came together from different parts of the world to pay their last respects to the eldest family member.
Dr. Rao died on 29th of September 2010.
The funeral ceremony in Sichuan, Southwest China, lasted two days and two nights and was recorded in a rather unconventional way: 5.957 single photo shots, combined to a 7 minutes short film. It shows the funeral of an ordinary Chinese man, surrounded by his family. One witnesses the enshrined body, the cremation of the deceased and the immediate handing over afterwards of his remains to the family members. The film provides a very intimate perspective on contemporary Chinese culture, where Taoist burial rites are blended with modern secular customs. The process brings to mind a theatre performance with stage, acting and scenery, embodying the transition from the living to the death.


  • Sunday Afternoon   2006
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In this video work, I animated people in the landscape I reconstructed. The animation integrates Chinese and Western aesthetic traditions in the same platform, both in terms of technique and on a symbolic level. The landscape is a collage of film, drawing and sound. It suggests a replacement of image space and real space. With this video I want to express a way of viewing everyday life and picture an ideal society, the subscription should be: in balance between differences.