The Periphery of the Base

In the scorching heat of the desert, where the ground is blistering and the air thick with pervasive sand, an infrastructure project unfolds in the unforgiving natural environment. The scale of this endeavour is so immense that the individuals navigating through it appear minuscule in comparison. Within the haze of sand and dust, those who have relocated for the construction of the infrastructure, returning from a day’s toil, find their way back to the tented area hastily assembled.
As the roaming lens of the camera moves through the living area and returns to the expansive terrain where this massive engineering project is unfolding, the sun begins to set. Trucks and figures gradually disappear into the swirling winds and sand. At this moment, the camera’s eye, constantly worn down by the persistent dust, suddenly loses its usual ability to discern light and shadow. Nevertheless, it persists in its attempt to capture, to the point where it seizes the abstract interplay of light and shadow in this world. The light itself becomes akin to etched marks on the virtual canvas of digital imagery, leaving behind traces and lingering impressions.
by Zhou Tao People’s Republic of China 2024 Mandarin 53’ Colour World premiere | Documentary form


Director Zhou Tao
Cinematography Zhou Tao
Editing Zhou Tao
Sound Design Zhou Tao
Sound Ding Dawei
Producers Zhang Wei, Zhou Tao
Executive Producer Ding Dawei
Co-Producer Liu Wei

Produced by

Topography Practice

Artoon (Shanghai) Art Development Co., LTD.

Zhou Tao

Born in Hunan, Zhou Tao holds a BA in oil painting and an MA in mixed-media studies from the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts. He scavenges for visual and narrative materials in the places and communities he encounters, to then implement this material in his film works. He has participated in La Biennale di Venezia, Sharjah Biennial, Shanghai Biennale, Auckland Triennial, Taipei Biennial and many more. He has received various awards, including from the Locarno International Film Festival, Documenta Madrid, International Short Film Festival Oberhausen and the Han Nefkens Foundation.


2011 South Stone; 24 min. 2012 Collector; 20 min. 2013 After Reality; 14 min. 2015 Blue and Red; 25 min. 2017 The Worldly Cave; 48 min. 2019 Osmosis; 103 min. 2024 The Periphery of the Base

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2024