Taiwan / UK moving image festival, August 2021
My film Inner Sage / Outer King was featured in the festival Islands / 島嶼 curated by Wen Hsu and Peter Treherne. Islands, a Taiwan / UK moving image festival, takes place in August via newsletter. Every week a programme of films and letters will be emailed straight to audiences in the UK and Taiwan.
Inner Sage / Outer King was featured in the programme Transmissions / 標定基地 that considers “islands as transmitters. For millennia, navigators have used the way islands affect winds, waves and currents to orient themselves in the vastnesses of oceans.” alongside work and letters with Edwin Rostron and 許鈞宜/ Hsu Chun Yi.
When he stares off into the distance at the steam fog coming from the coast on a winter day, is he aware of the impossibility of a closure, of something eternally unresolved?
They stroll among tombstones of varied sizes and shapes all day long. A considerable number of cigarettes are lit and put out. Photos are taken in a leisurely manner for them to kill some time.
Fictional or fabricated—this is likely one of the few methods with which we are able to identify the past: we hold strips of celluloid film against a light source and look at the lined-up frames. Everything we see in these frames is vague, undetermined, as if their names were lost. We can only try to point at it with our fingers. I picked up the roll of celluloid film on that humid hot summer afternoon. In its negative images, I saw the sea as a vast desolate land; on the surface of the film, I saw dust particles as remote celestial objects. Images, at this moment, became the most incomprehensible and the most ungraspable thing for us. Viewing what I have not experienced is comparable to reading someone else’s diary in a language foreign to me—like staggering clumsily along the illusion-like coastal line in Raúl Ruiz’s films.
A possible ending might be there for this unfinished film: during the time when the shooting schedule is paused, they lean on the rocks, sitting like that couple on the beach in front of the camera. Every person, whether knowingly or not, purposefully or not, is turned into images and becomes part of the past.
Hsu Chun Yi
The brochure for Islands contains all the correspondences between British and Taiwanese artists with translations can be found below