|Crew: ||Producers: Bing Wang - Cinematographer: Bing Wang - Editor: Bing Wang|
Founded in 2005's Manhattan Chinatown, the Columbus Park Senior Orchestra has provided a joyous experience to its members and passing spectators through their amateur Cantonese opera performances on weekends. Singing Jade documents these endearing elderly immigrants' preparation for the New Year's Gala. Following this arc, the film also takes its viewers into the community beneath the surface of mahjong, Chinese poker and Tai Chi, all of which are often romanticized in tourist photos. Featuring two troupe members--Chen, a 76-year-old beloved diva, and Mei, a 64-year-old backstage supporter and babysitter, Singing Jade reveals how despite of their different roles, they have managed to foster the community and achieve their inner serenity. In traditional Cantonese culture, jade as a soulful material, is believed to grow with the owner and protect the aging owner from evil spirits. Singing Jade invites the viewers to feel and think what it means to grow old as an immigrant and an artist with youthful, musical "jade."
Bing Wang recently completed a graduate program at New York University, where he was jointly awarded an M.A. in Cinema Studies at Tisch School of the Arts and a Certificate in Culture and Media from the Department of Anthropology. His research interests include: online activism; video advocacy; ethnographic film; documentary filmmaking ethics; fan subtitling. Besides his goal to become an independent filmmaker and a scholar on culture and media, Bing is also passionate about video advocacy for human rights purposes (elders, children, people with disabilities, etc.). He hopes to continually explore visual methods to serve underprivileged communities.
Singing Jade, as the final project of Bing's graduate studies, builds on his short documentary, Diva Grandma (starring a New York-based Cantonese opera singer Sandy Tang), which stems from his concern with cross-cultural cross-generational issues and the love for his grandmother who raised him and still lives in Harbin, China.