It’s the one-time premiere of a film about a one-of-a-kind personality.

Queens Museum will screen “Face The Earth,” a documentary on Taiwanese-American performance artist Chin Chin Yang, on Saturday, Nov. 18, at 2 p.m. Admission is free, but reservations are encouraged due to limited seating.

The very definition of the term “colorful character,” Yang has had a lifelong obsession with garbage and the throw-away culture. He’s also had a long-time affiliation with Queens.

In July 2012, he introduced “Kill Me or Change” to bring attention to his contention that the average American throws away 30,000 aluminum cans over his or her lifetime. He sat in a public space near the Unisphere in Flushing Meadows Corona Park while a crane suspended a mesh net containing 30,000 such cans about 60 feet above his head. An audience member then pulled a string and the net opened, allowing the contents to fall onto his head and bury his body.

In October 2010, he publicized “My New Job” which entailed walking across Queens College’s campus and picking up garbage to use in an installation between Klapper Hall and the Dining Hall. He was also part of a group exhibit at Flux Factory in Long Island City.

Face The Earth,” which lasts 85 minutes, mixes scenes of Yang’s projects and interviews with collaborators and others in the art world. Viewers will see clips from “Burning Ice,” a piece that involved Yang sitting on a giant block of ice in Manhattan’s Union Square and imploring passers-by to ponder the polar ice cap, which he claimed would melt entirely by 2050. They will also watch Yang make cloth out of potato chip bags and spearhead an effort to create a Giant Can Family at the Contemporary Art Museum of Taipei. In a political episode, he projects a giant Taiwanese flag onto the United Nations, which denies the island nation membership due to differences with China.

Tom Finkelpearl, who ran Queens Museum at the time of “Kill Me or Change” and is currently the NYC Commissioner of Cultural Affairs, appears in the movie, as does Peini Hsieh, the former Commissioner of the Taiwanese Department of Cultural Affairs.

The documentary is by Taiwanese filmmaker Ming-Chuan Huang, who has produced a few feature films, but his specialty is biological portraits of novelists, poets, and visual artists.

Yang and Huang will be at Queens Museum on Saturday and they will participate in a Q&A session after the screening.

Images: Chin Chin Yang


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