Linda Lai / 《10957個陰晴圓缺》”10957 Moons & 30 Elliptical Years” projected at Macao’s Oxware House, EXiM2022

Linda Lai / 《10957個陰晴圓缺》”10957 Moons & 30 Elliptical Years” projected at Macao’s Oxware House, EXiM2022

After a summer’s COVID delay, Linda Lai’s 10957 Moons (= 30 years) finally got projected onto a wall on Macau’s Oxware House alongside 12 artists’ works. EXiM 2022: Experimental Video Festival. 6-27 September 2022.

I was stunned by the bigger-than life-size chairs projected. The elegant chair dances and intimate chair talks I sought to conceive, when blown up on a wall, turned into massive, assertive marches of conspiracy stir-up. Ssshhh!!! Quiet. Call no attention.

I also suspect if the title of my work in fact gives the wrong impression of a monumental retrospection of my life. Perhaps to call the year “elliptical” is a quick fix. Each moment I was able to preserve is dense and enigmatic, and my montage method


The totality of events in a city forms a thick collage that rejects systematic reading, nor individuated signification. Objects function like humans. Humans are objectified. Together they form a huge net, each element mapping its relational paths, crossing now and then the paths of others. On a certain day of a certain year, everything connects. The loose threads come together to form a logical while. Do they really?

The city has always been breathing, following its automatic rhythm. Only when the camera is set up in a particular place in a particular moment would we begin to see drama.

In my sudden awakening in the midst of chanceful triviality, I fret, I shake, embarrassed, dumbfounded. (Feb 1997)


A compilation video essay in 8 chapters 彙編錄像文章八部

Linda Chiu-han Lai (Hong Kong) 黎肖嫻(香港)

June 2022 | 16:9 | color + black and white | 58m6s | source format: multiple

完成於2022年6月4日 |16:9  | 1彩色+黑白 | 58分6秒


In eight chapters, 10957 Moons & 30 Elliptical Years (2022) is a collage-compilation of events, objects, thoughts and sensations. From naturalistic camera images captured in daylight, the chapters grow into more introspective fragments that embody unspeakable sentiments, occasionally paying tribute to nature and contemplating things quietly forming systems of their own. Whose 30 years? Mine, my city’s, the world’s cities’?

Images are slices of the world that flow and fleet. They are lines of flight (Deleuze and Guattari) – a series of escapes and entrances, bearing the traces of change. The images in 10957 Moons are thus thresholds between states of being. I shuttle between the virtual image and the real image. The former is subjective and recollected whereas the latter is perceived out there. I want what was perceived and what can be recalled (at present) to flow into each other. The at once present-ness and pastness of virtual images connect with concrete existence. This is how, as a videographer, I answer to the call of historiography.


Hong Kong stories are hard to tell – so the banal saying goes. But artists have always known how to write histories creatively. In 10957 Moons, HK stories are always at once personal and political, to be experienced alongside those of other cities, written for the present. Artistic sensibilities “retrain” our attentiveness. The artist looks for immanent standards of value from within herself: to live well, she goes to the limit of her potentials (Deleuze). How well does such an ethical naturalism withstand the force of time and the constraints of our current situation?

The entire narrative is punctuated by a sonic motif that functions as a structural device: a coarse voice relentlessly trying to vocalize. This sound is a key site for the passage of virtual and actual images, ensuring the present continuous performance of the artist’s murmur. Is it a lost voice, a voice that struggles to voice, a muffled voice, or bold persistence?


I have never thought of an artist’s life (my life) that could actually cut through several decades. Yet this work is not about aging. Its eight chapters constitute a series of sight-and-sound whispers on constantly shifting spatio-temporalities. The past and the present blend as the flâneuse walks with her image-making tools.

Keywords: Video essay | auto-ethnography | visual ethnography | experimental documentary | visual poetry



圖像是世界的碎片,流動且快速。它們是逃逸路線(德勒茲和伽塔利)—— 一系列的逃生門和入口,承載著變化的痕跡。因此,《10957個陰晴圓缺》的圖像是存在狀態之間的閾。我在虛擬和真實的圖像之間穿梭,前者是主觀和回憶性的,後者則是被察覺及感知的。我希望被感知的和當下所回溯的能夠相互交融,虛擬圖像的現在性和過去性與具體的存在聯成一線。這是作為影像工作者的我,為回應史學所做的。

俗語有云香港的故事很難說,但藝術家一直知道如何以創造性方式書寫歷史。在 《10957個陰晴圓缺》中,香港的故事既是個人化又具政治性,並為現在而書寫,可以與其他城市的故事一起體驗。藝術鑑賞力「重新訓練」我們的注意力。藝術家從自己的內在尋找固有的價值標準:為了活得好,她會發揮自己的潛力(德勒茲)。這種倫理自然主義如何能經受得起時間的威力和我們當前形勢的束縛?



關鍵字詞:錄像文章 | 自傳性民俗研究 |視覺民俗研究 | 實驗性紀錄片 | 視像詩

The 8 chapters 彙編八部:

Chapter 1 | One Take: Many Folds  一鏡到底千層疊

Chapter 2 | Chair Talks 談坐物語

Chapter 3 | Camera Exercises 常常遊戲

Chapter 4 | Mobility 移動。浮游。

Chapter 5 | The past: whose past? 歷史,記憶誰屬?

Chapter 6 | Object-logue, Objectiles  物物語。物體態。

Chapter 7 | Les enfants, toute va bien? 孩子們,一切安好?

Chapter 8 | Daydreaming 白日夢

Production information

output format: Quicktime movie, HD 1808i 25, H264, AAC, 48 kHz


Camera / Montage / Image Collage / Sound Composition: Linda C.H. Lai

Video diaries: Linda C.H. Lai (1990-2021)

Improvized vocalization: Linda C.H. Lai

Additional camera:

Hector Rodriguez, Hugo Yeung, Ling-ling Woo, Ivy Fung, Winsome Wong, Tracy Ngai


Art Performance:

As Slow As Possible (1988, Shatin City Hall, by various HK artists)

Look! Object-Activities (2006, produced by Linda Lai, performed by students at the School of Creative Media)


Found footage:

《細路祥》The Kid (1950, HK)

《七十二家房客》House of 72 Tenants (1963, Guangzhou)

《七十二家房客》House of 72 Tenants (1973, HK)

《雅馬哈魚檔》Yamaha Fish Stall (1984, Guangzhou)

Daisies (1966, Vera Chytilova, Czechoslovakia)

Road to Health (1938, British Social Hygiene Council)

Found footage of old Hong Kong on YouTube


Linda Lai’s videos quoted and compiled in this work: Diaries: Dry Rain (1999), Diaries: Half Dream (1999), One Take (2000/2012/2021), Chair Talk (2005), Trespassing World Cities (2005), Camera Exercises (2005), Excitable Speech: All About Cinderella (2008), Floor Drama (2008), No Path but My Footprints (2010), 72 Tenants (2012), Object-logue (2012), Ocean Curiosities (2018), La Casa 3: the Apartments (2021), Long Day’s Journey (2021)

Floating Projects Collective 2024