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The camera is my life.
My mind is full of hundreds of hours of footages.
I love what Jonas Mekas said: ‘I film therefore I live, I live therefore I film.’
Writing has become my indispensable companion.
My world always stays dark for thinking, editing and nocturnal writing.
Kafka once described his nocturnal, feverish writing as an act of ‘interior emigration’.
Lighthouse, 14'26'', col, 2020-2021
The light near my tiny bedroom is always on.
Darkness surrounds me, except for the presence of that light.
Accompanying me to sleep every night.
That is my lighthouse here in Oxford.
I feel as if I am no longer lonely.
A subtle desire to know the lives of the people in the lighthouse grows within me.
The blur fascinates me,
or becomes Nihilistic.
I place a candle by the window.
That is the same direction I look upon the lighthouse.
I have gotten used to seeing that light before sleep.
One day, if the light suddenly goes off,
that shall be the time for me to find a sense of belonging.
Appreciating the people who live there,
For they do not know they illuminate a stranger’s bed.
I was twitching and crying, but now I feel calm.
I can stop writing then.
What is sentimentality?
My thoughts can easily flow with melody.
Maybe not the melody.
Just the noise, there is nothing specific.
Just the noise.
I cannot recognize a total black sky, purple instead.
Midnight should be full of darkness.
It must be abstract, blurry and inaccessible.
Why do I still see the outline of buildings, of frames, of everything?
The visible trace of alienation is never fleeting.
Longing for familiar surroundings.
Maybe it is just a random seat in the library — an aslant lamp, the fixed view from the window.
Tonight I can only write when I sit here.
Seeing the unchanged surroundings,
I feel safe
Is this what we call ‘sentimentality’?
I do not know.
I am afraid that there is no explanation.
But I cannot feel the time at the moment.
And yes, a desire to smile.
She Calls a Taxi
The day the quarantine ended was the day we matriculated. We could not wait to see each other in real life. I remember she got a taxi to my place. She took the initiative.
Over the previous three years in the UK, I used to cater to non-Asians. I was scared. I had an underlying anxiety that I could not engage with the network of foreigners.
Here, I am using ‘foreigners’ in an interesting way. This appellation is used by many Chinese people. Even though we are in the Western world, we still describe those who are non-Chinese as foreigners. This is probably evidence of my strong oriental consciousness.
But everyone is a foreigner somewhere, aren’t they?
I felt a sense of inferiority —
Because I grew up in a non-English world?
Because I subconsciously internalised white supremacy?
Because I remember clearly how when I was engaged in conversation with several peers after a reading group three years ago, they ignored me with their eye contact and skipped to the next person. I was trying to fill the gap like I was looking for a moment to press the trigger and shoot — I was in a panic. They were resoundly stuck in my throat. I was an unnecessary person.
It was not me who took the taxi; it was not me who made things convenient for her. At that moment, I deeply understood what is meant by equality. She waited outside of my home and walked with me across the bridge through the botanical gardens to our destination.
After The Green Ray
I think I am starting to understand what a dairy film is.
Life is somehow dull,
A repetitious circle.
Maybe only the unnecessary scenes are marked as a date,
So we can remember these days exist.
When we finally find our belongingness,
We will remember the date and never forget.
Then I can feel alive.
Remind me who I am.
Like Éric Rohmer narrated in his film.
The girl is trying to find herself through the green ray.
That is the moment she can understand herself and the person she stayed with.
I connected with that character
I always want to escape from somewhere,
Conversations in everyday life are not dramatic
They shouldn’t be
That is life itself
The reality in that film is a mirror that reflects my life
Then, a deep sense of fear
‘Boyfriends and Girlfriends’ was produced more than 30 years ago, but even watching it now, in 2021, it is still well-accomplished.
It shows the feelings I can’t express,
It says the words that appeal to my deep inside.
I guess this is why I need to make films—
showing something I can’t express in writing.
Staring at the sea, viewing it from a window in quarantine life,
I almost feel as if I am wandering in a scene from ‘Summer Tale’.
I want to live in his films and never leave,
live in an ideal bubble.