More wavering thought paths… Is remembering the same as nostalgia? What does street photography remember? Shall I be pretty, shall I be loved? What would happen to to me when I die? There are moments when you must spit it out… #4 D-Normal/V-Essay online video zine, collected and edited by Linda Lai. 記住就是懷舊了嗎？街頭攝影可記住的是甚麼？我長大後會漂亮嗎？會有人愛我嗎？我死了以後會怎樣？有些事情，確實不吐不快。… 黎肖嫻蒐集彙編，更多搖擺的思路。《平地數碼》網上錄像誌第4期。
/… continuing from last post: Voices from the Atmosphere (2)
**Chinese summary translation by Linda Lai
Remembrance is Not Nostalgia 憶記不同於懷舊
Liminal Memory (Yani Kaye Linsangan Castaneda)
I traveled to the past, looking at my childhood photos. The photo quality has deteriorated, and my memory of the events captured is hazy, incomplete and sometimes non-existent. Regardless, my emotions are still strong and became even stronger due to nostalgia, aging like fine wine. My photo montage Liminal Memory captures the process of my attempt to recall the past. … The process of visualizing my memories was perplexing, and the process drew in great nostalgia. The hustle and bustle of the suburban town, the scent of the farm, the sound of jeeps and trucks, the laughs I had with my cousins back in the Philippines… all make me want to reunite with them. However, the situation of the world is still at a critical stage. The only thing we can do is stay healthy, and let time decide when it is safe.
Rec. (The Filer)
This is the story of the ordinary life of R6202. Without human characters except for a shared toy-shark which bears the mark of changes, it documents the end of a shared life. As the artist filled up empty boxes with discharged objects, the screen space was filled up by the desire to rescue, to collect, and to archive. This sequence takes us to the final moments of a university student union in its habitat that is no longer. An impulse to remember.
Street Photography (DAI Chenyue 戴晨岳)
During my three years in Hong Kong, I have taken a large number of photos of the streets. I find myself increasingly inclined to go out late at night, use vignetting effects, use a similar perspective for every photo, and avoid obstructions — which results in my defamiliarizing my subjects from their immediate reality. The streets in my camera are quiet, peaceful, and even a little bit deserted. Lipkin speaks of street photographers, “Instead of wandering the streets like a hunter tracking prey, they can venture out into the world, collect the picture elements they like, and piece them together in the dim room, just as a still life artist would collect objects to assemble later in the studio.” When I visited the street at its busy hours, I also started to question my approach: am I recording humanity, or manipulating humanity?
Spit it Out 不吐不快
Copy Cat – (Wang Shuxin 汪淑欣)
I use copycat to be the theme of this work to respond to our fast-paced age of information in which our easy access to information warrants more caution. Quick typing of a few words in the search box could lead to our enjoying the fruits of others’ work. The keys ctrl+c and ctrl+v become a shortcut just at the tip of our fingers. But without proper citation and altering others’ works may raise more complex issues, such as copyright and intellectual property rights. My visual material includes different kinds of found cats and other object-icons with associated social meanings – poppies, prison, printer, scissors, glue and so on — to build my visual grammar of “copy and paste.”
So Long, My Pain – (HE Yuqi 何宇騏)
So long, My Pain is inspired by recent news reported in mainland China. A woman considered a “psychopath” has been found kidnapped, married to a man in a remote village and giving birth to eight kids (seven of them are boys). For 20 years she was dehumanized – chained up and treated like a dog, and living under terrible conditions. Without warm clothes even in extreme weather in northern China, she was left to sleep on the concrete floor. When being asked, the only recognizable sentence she could say was, “The world abandoned me.” (這個世界不要我了) Meanwhile, it was found that the man who bought her from a human trafficker had been enjoying the subsidy issued by the local government due to his poverty status of having 8 kids. As an advocate of feminism in my daily life, I am extremely sensitive to the pain suffered by women. I can’t image how she went through such prolonged terror. I am painful and angry about such sufferings which have lasted thousands of years under patriarchy. “The world has abandoned me.” This lingers in my mind, which reminds me of Pedro Roldan’s The Mater Dolorosa (1675, sorrowful mother Virgin Mary), speaking specifically of the pain I feel.
Death Anxiety (Cora Kwun/KWUN Kam-tan 官錦丹)
Deaths around me over the years inspired this piece – I mean, the sudden departure of my relatives, friends, and teachers… Before they died, they looked healthy, risk-less, and lively. Then death occurred without any signals. But the moments of how they made it through their final struggle stay in my mind: their body shakes with their fast heartbeat, skinniness from cancer, a sinking body that’s found. I stood by their deathbed, anxious about my own death and when. This short piece is about my death fantasy: before-death, after-death, and rebirth.
Inspirational Keywords: 1. As soon as we are born, we are old enough to die. — Martin Heidegger; 2. Ego integrity — Erik Erikson; 3. sadgati (सद्गति, six realms wheel of life in Sanskrit) — Buddhism
My whole life goes through my mind at the last moment; and I remember those happy moments only. Meanwhile, my brain no longer functions, my identity twists. My spirit is collected and brought to ṣaḍgati. … I become an egg. Then I meet the sperm, we melt together and become a new life. … Oops, I will start this cycle again as a fly.
lukewarm water, slow-boiling pot《溫水 慢火》(GUO Rui 郭睿)
This is a narrative on the predicament of time and space. Alluding to the metaphor of boiling a frog in water, it is assumed that a frog will jump out when water heats up whereas in lukewarm water a frog may fail to perceive danger or death coming. lukewarm water is about our being oblivious to growing threats: the “slow-boiling pot” could be the illusion of a comfort zone from which we should step out for survival. … There is no specific situation in this story, but a collage of our everyday environment. Recycling. Reaching out. Day-dreaming. Keep trying things that are doomed to fail. “Never say never.” “Such is life!” Or, when do I get out of lukewarm water before too late?
Unbeauty (Febby Valencia)
This work is my critique of the toxicity of beauty standards that has corrupted human sanity throughout countless centuries. I have adopted a classical 3-act-structure to advance my thoughts: (1) beauty standards spread like a fast-paced virus and make us question our beauty; (2) we keep on looking for temporary things by giving up things that matter to us; and (3) an allegory could be an open interpretation, but it has a very deep history specific to the Indonesian culture. My collage work is formed with material from traditional Indonesian beliefs and more, to which I added my own hand-drawn art and self-photography, all in the end turned into a pop-up layered collage before video-recording. This approach speaks of my intention to deconstruct the actual image, layer by layer first, and then to reconstruct it narratively.
Finding (FUNG Hoi-ching 馮凱晴)
I use hair to represent a part of my identity and my ego. Hair could be hair style, a marker of one’s ethnicity and more. In the story, someone’s identity seems lost in the city and yet the only way to recover it is neither to follow the signs inside the city nor to ask others. Perhaps his “identity” is just in his body and has never been lost. Where is the mirror in which he could see himself? And who makes that mirror? And how to ensure the mirror is not obscure? As a social being, I adjust as changes come along with people around me. For better or worse, I often feel obliged to fulfill the expectation of others. But social standards change, too. We may easily feel lost.
/… to be continued…