Prof. Gao Xingjian shares his creation path of Soul Mountain and Mountain and Sea
The first Gao Xingjian Art Festival was held in May in the name of the Nobel prize receiver. On May 20th, Prof. Gao visited NTNU and shared his experience of writing Soul Mountain and Mountain and Sea.
Prof. Gao received a Nobel prize in literature in 2000. He is a painter, a poet, a novelist, a playwright and a director. Now he is a chair professor at the Graduate Institutes of Performing Arts. The musical played at the Art Festival “Soul Mountain” and “Mountain and Sea” are adapted from Gao’s works. Prof. Wu I Fang and Prof. Liang Chi Ming are in charged as directors of this musical.
On the sharing meeting, Prof. Gao said that Soul Mountain and Mountain and Sea are both very important to him. In 1982, he wrote Soul Mountain because he wanted to write something he could be proud of. Soul Mountain is loosely based on the author's own journey into rural China, which was inspired by a false diagnosis of lung cancer. The novel is a part autobiographical, part fictional account of a man's journey to find the fabled mountain Lingshan. In every person, there’s a soul mountain within. When talking about the choreography by Prof. Wu I Fang, he was impressed that the dancers can relate to the work and find their own soul mountain. He is very open minded toward the adaptation of his novel and said that the recreation is what makes art fun.
Another work of his, Mountain and Sea, Gao said that he has learned Myth and Grimms' Fairy Tale since little. In junior high school, he read ancient Chinese myth and found that Greek mythology was richer and more complex. He spent more than a decade on Mountain and Sea and finally finished it to make it look closer to Ancient myth in China.
Finally, Prof. Gao said that when he was watching the first verson of Mountain and Sea directed by Liang Chi Ming, he was so touched by the performance. He emphasis that this is a wonderful piece done by the Graduate Institute of Performing Arts of NTNU, rather than a glory of his own.