The videos and audios (1.26-2.13) from my hometown, Dunhua, Jilin, China/来自中国吉林敦化的视频和音频(1.26-2.13)
The film, “The videos and audios (1.26-2.13) from my hometown, Dunhua, Jilin, China” breaks a family’s intimacy and discloses the artist's family life to the public. Seeing “experience” as a medium of creation, the artist held his iPhone in his hands whenever and wherever he was with his family members, capturing then later presenting pieces of mundane stories from a first person point of view. In this film, none of the plots were designed or predetermined since the beginning. The entire film is edited with scenes in chronological order. With raw video and audio recordings elaborately placed, stitching with three-second long black scenes, the film emphasizes the idea of “fragmented time”, implying repetitive family impact on the formation of a person’s ideology and identity. In the meantime, the artist purposely weakens the dramatic colors when editing a film, in order to shift the attention to intensify the dramatic colors in the conversations and happenings in reality.
In Northeastern of China, younger generations are commonly treated as “children”, even though there is no clue on when the younger ones can be stopped treating as “children“. The positioning of the artist as a “child” that happens in real life, however, didn’t let him be spoiled by his family members. Receiving repetitive and stressful warnings of “the oldest child of his generation in his family”, the artist was heavily coached by his family members all the time. In this film, the artist’s family members mentioned his “change”, and they were worried about his “change”, persuading him to obey their ways of living and thinking. Including the scenes talking about this “change”, although there are a lot of debates happening in this film, none of the concerns were solved or reached an agreement, and most of the concerns were not respectfully listened and fairly developed.
Without being told any hint for making this film, the artist’s family members didn’t know the purposes of the recordings at the beginning. With more and more shootings, his family members were accustomed to behave themselves in front of the camera. In a lot of moments of this film, the performances from his family members give the artist some illusion that he is watching a well-produced film performed by professionals. Through subsequent screenings and talks, the artist identifies more differences and similarities, comparing his film to commercial ones. Meanwhile, he appreciates more about what he has and continues his journey of making documentaries including his second film, ”the year of dog”.
After the first film, to his surprise, the artist found that “food” is the only unbiased and the most popular topic in his family. And because of “food”, it dramatically opens conversations across a variety of other topics. The excessive infatuation about “food” in his family inspires the artist to examine this phenomenon, and share his findings with his audience, as he researching and connecting this phenomenon to the immigrant status of his family, whose ancients immigrant from Shandong area during the Chuang Guandong human migration (during the hundred-year period beginning in the last half of the 19th century). During the Chuang Guandong migration, about 8.7 million people arrive to Manchuria (today’s northeastern of China) from China south of the Great Wall, and most of them suffered famine throughout the whole process.