various running time, ed. of 7 (2003-2007)
Seven Intellectuals in Bamboo Forest (2003-2007), a series intended to expand to five sequels in total, is Yang Fudong's attempt to develop a grand worldview in the form of an epic tale of a group of individuals defying the times in which they live. The title is borrowed from a popular legend of seven intellectuals who sought refuge from the chaos of the Warring States Period in a bamboo forest, where they indulged in serious talk unsullied by worldly matters. It is used as a metaphor for the resistance of the young Chinese who feel unable to keep up with the pace of change in China and, as a result, experience a kind of identity crisis. Showing no regard for normal social behavior, these intellectuals drank to excess, romped around naked, and composed refined verses that expressed their feelings of resentment towards the age in which they lived. The five-part series focuses on seven young men and women in different settings, beginning with a mysterious mountain popular among Taoists, then proceeding to an urban setting, a rural setting with fields and paddies, and an island, before moving back to the city.