Zeitmagazin - China – out of civilization

Hermits in China have always been honored. In 1949 the communists got the power and all people who wanted to live their religion had to escape to no man´s land. Now the modern consumer spirit makes peope to withdraw from society, searching for s.th. more. Monk Benxu was fighting against his unrest, searching for enlightenment, Shi Xiaohong could´t adapt anymore to society, Nanshan started being a vagabond, running to get rid of his bad characteristics and Hai Lian had been in prison, before he flew to the Zhongnan mountains.
(in collaboration with the journalist Angela Köckritz)

Nanshan has just normal snickers but is moving in the Zhongnan mountains like a bird. Zhongnan mountains.

Nashan studied chinese medicine. So he knows a lot about plants and is able to survive from the wood. Here he is collecting mushrooms.

Nanshan playing the harp.

Nanshan is living in this mud hut, built on an old cemetery, part of a hermit settlement. He was running around like a vagabond for a long time and now he wanted to stop and digest.

In this hut he found a book of the Bo Zhou San Mei discipline, saying that to find enlightenment he should keep on walking for three month without sleeping and without any rest. So he was walking around the stupa for three month.

Benxu, a famous monk, moved to loneliness, to the Zhongnan mountains.

He was fighting against his unrest, searching for enlightenment. Benxu in his house.

After this three month he had the most precious moments in his life.

With the walking he stopped using energy for thinking and received miraculous power.
Benxu and Nanshan walking in the mountains.

The door of Hai Lian.

Hai Lian is living in the middle of the river, in aof his cave, now next to the street, busy with buses and tourists. He says the best hermit is the one who succeeds to live in the city. Zhongnan mountains.

Hai Lian is telling his story sitting in his little cave. As a communistic member Hai Lian had to be atheist, but he wasn´t. He went to a taoist monastery and after a mysterious incident, they put him into prison.

Long time ago Hai Lian had been member of the communistic party and was working for the national security. Now he is living in that cave in the river at the foot of the Zhongnan mountains

Mount Hua Shan is one of China’s Five Great Mountains and has a long history of religious significance.

Shi Xiaohong is serving 100 year old tea. He went up to the mountains because he could´t adapt anymore to society.

Shi Xiaohong´s recorder. He is listening to New Age Music. He thinks modern life is too extreme that people have empty souls and that the world will return to the old kind of civilization soon.

hi Xiaohong is living in one of the oldest hermit homes.This three caves, about 800 years old are hidden in the middle of the holy Hua Shan mountain. The biggest is a temple, one is his home and one is for guests.

The taoists call it reconstruction. Mount Hua Shan.