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Students behind the scenes of the Golden Autumn Art Festival: a never-ending dream
Author:Cheng Shiwen & Fu Wantong  Date:2021-12-07  Clicks:

“It is fulfilling to be a light chaser,” said Chen Jinmeng, a member of the literature and art group of the WHU Student Union. As night falls, spotlights cast a hazy scene over the stage of the Golden Autumn Art Festival, giving it an entirely new look. Behind the bright lights is a group of “light chasers”, the literature and art group of the WHU Student Union, who has worked hard for this gorgeous and dreamlike moment for nearly four months.


The 33rd Golden Autumn Dance Competition

Launched in 1987, the WHU Golden Autumn Art Festival has become an iconic cultural event on campus. Every year it brings out fresh ideas and splendid performances, embracing all students who desire to get involved in the art feast.

The preparations were started by the members of the WHU Student Union as early as July this year. It took them nearly a whole month to discuss and decide on an appropriate theme, write the planning case and polish it hundreds of times until it was perfect. There is no room for even the slightest mistakes - to ensure that everyone knows their specific duties, a dedicated manual is distributed to each member each year. Endless meetings and detailed work are huge mental and physical challenges for everyone, but there are no complaints.


The literature and art group planning the next competition

The process is not always so smooth, especially especially when it comes to communication between participants from across various schools. Zhang Hao, a functional committee member of the literature and art group, shared some difficulties he encountered. “Coordinating the work of all departments is never easy. We should mobilize all forces to arrange an integrated schedule and work out a concrete and workable plan.” The responsible person, Feng Chenyu, also told the story of her running through the venue. To successfully borrow the most suitable venue for each competition, she had to go back and forth across the whole campus and keep calling the facility managers. When a manager could not be reached or was unable to lend the venue, she said, “We were really anxious and even wanted to squat down and cry.”


The principal responsible persons discussing the details

On October 30, the third and also the last competition of this year’s Golden Autumn Art Festival, the Golden Autumn Drama Competition, was held. To make full preparations, all the staff gathered at Meiyuan Playground at 1:30 pm, with Feng Chenyu even arriving as early as 6:30 am, busing themselves with stage arrangements. Eventually, the long, dull and repetitive work bore fruit when the curtains went up at the appointed time and the applause burst out. When asked why they were willing to sacrifice their personal time for this whole festival, they gave the simplest answer, to make the Golden Autumn Art Festival even better.


A staff from the literature and art group setting up the venue

After the Golden Autumn Art Festival had ended, the members of the literature and art group reflected on their experience. One person from the lighting team shared that their task was to cast the light from the back of Meiyuan Playground onto the stage. It was the first time that he had been so focused on how competitors and performers acted on this familiar stage, and his burning enthusiasm and desire for the Golden Autumn Art Festival were projected into the stage by light.


Equipment at the back of Meiyuan Playground

Falling leaves danced in the mid-autumn air, bidding farewell to the 33rd Golden Autumn Art Festival, which makes autumn much more than a season and symbolizes a light in the hearts of all members of the literature and art group. The light set fire to Luojia Mountain in the starry night, prompting the staff to jump out of the shackles of daily life, pursue perfection, and embrace the art and beauty blossoming in this glowing autumn. When the annual art festival came to an end, however, the glorious dream woven by the backstage staff lives on. People working behind the scenes will continue to pass on the gorgeous autumn dream to the next generation.

Photo by Lin Yangjie

Edited by Chen Jiaqi, Qin Zehao , Yin Xiaoxue, Sylvia and Hu Sijia


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