My work as a video artist and filmmaker consistently explore themes of identity. In "Live Interview" I have collected a series of interviews with various people who identify with two different names. Each person is interviewed twice. The first time as their given name and the second time as their other name. The installation consists of three 13" monitors, which displays the interviewees heads, three life sized body casts, and a round table. When assembled the monitors sit on top of the bodies to form the illusion of a person in order to create the sense of that their interview is live. One body plays back footage of the interviewer and the other two bodies each show one interviewee with their given name and the other screen shows their interview about their other name.
The video installation arrangement provides an inviting setting for viewers to more critically engage in each interviewee's story. The separation of the two exaggerates the notion of two identies with the separation of their names in a physical space. The timing of the interview with each "person" taking turns to speak and acknowledge one another further dabbles with ideas of present and past.
Live Interview // Get Involved
"Marilyn Monroe wasn't even her real name, Charles Manson isn't his real name, and now, I'm taking that to be my real name. But what's real? You can't find the truth, you just pick the lie you like the best."-Marilyn Manson
Names are a powerful part of one's identity. They represent who we are and who we aspire to be. Often times, our fate and future are influenced in part by our names. In recent years, I have been curious about my roots being a third generation Chinese-American. My grandparents suggested my middle name, Yenling, which I have felt more or less disconnected from.
Personally I feel very detached from my middle name because the western society I grew up in, has its own defined culture is separated from ethnicity. In contrast, I may associate with Yenling if I live in Asia. There are people who have similar stories, not only based on race but by choice, and was surprised to discover many people close to me had changed their names.
I have thoroughly enjoyed the process of interviewing each person and learning about the people in the community. It is amazing to see how much we can relate with one another in the big picture, and yet how each of our stories is so unique in themselves. This is an ongoing project for anyone who wants to be included in the installation. I look forward to meeting everyone who is interested in sharing their story!
Linocuts // 2013
Chloe Lee — Director, Producer Chloe is an emerging filmmaker and founder of Movette Pictures, based in Brooklyn. She has always been intrigued by film as a form of storytelling. Her debut short film, Spaceman, an official selection at Independent Film Festival Boston (2014), was about her personal experiences struggling with family dysfunction during childhood. Previously, she worked on the feature-documentary, Buckminster Fuller’s Dream Restored: The Last Dymaxion, as an assistant editor and associate producer, as well as co-producing a feature documentary coming out this year titled American Dream, a project from producers of films such as Fahrenheit 9/11, Bowling for Columbine and Sicko.
Bryn Durgin — Creative Producer Bryn is a Brooklyn-based writer, splitting time between New York City and the Thousand Islands. As a founding member of the Baked by Melissa team, she’s gone from copywriter to director of operations, and now serves as a consultant. Her journalistic studies and knack for creative writing led her to head a project exploring the roots of Haitian storytelling. She’s since managed an initiative that’s laid the groundwork for a sustainable community outside of Stellenbosch, South Africa and is currently writing a children’s book.
Marcia Ong — Director of Photography Born and raised in Singapore, Marcia is a filmmaker whose experience covers almost every aspect of the filmmaking process. In 2010, Marcia completed her film, Standing Still, which premiered at the 33rd Mill Valley Film Festival. Her short film, Kristy, has won awards at Kids First! Children’s Film Festival and Pittsburgh International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival. It has screened in Amsterdam, Melbourne, Seoul, Paris and Berlin. Marcia was recently the cinematographer on Shiyan Feng’s Father, shot in Jilin, China.