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Cheng Xinhao

March of the Elephants

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  • 00:00
Cheng Xinhao
March of the Elephants
41 min 22 s
Format & Technical

Single Channel, HD Video, Color, Sound

LOOP Edition
Ed. 2023
Presented in LOOP by
Tabula Rasa
  • Courtesy of Cheng Xinhao and Tabula Rasa. The work is commissioned by Guangdong Times Museum.:
  • :

“March of the Elephants” is a videowork that delves into the historical and cultural significance of elephants in the Lancang River basin. The video explores how these majestic creatures have been transformed into powerful symbols that transcend their physical presence.

Divided into three passages, each corresponding to a distinct era and discourse, the video unravels the complex layers of representation. It takes the audience through the elephants’ presence in Dai mythology and legends, their role during the period of socialist construction and the early 1970s, and their existence in the present.

Through the amalgamation of visual and sound materials from different time periods, the video reflects on the interplay between the elephants, historical contexts, and the symbolic discourses that have shaped their identity.

“March of the Elephants” is part of the series “Tales about the South of Clouds”, a long-term project that investigates Yunnan’s diverse cultures and oral literary traditions.


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