We muse aloud,
after a screening of Isaac Julien’s Ten Thousand Waves, which reflects
through years of research
around movement(s), migration(s).
How they are facilitated,
how they are represented
by the development of images…
One effect of the installation, but also certain scenes within the film–there’s a lot of attention drawn to the production-or, the construction, of images. How that has an impact on the way we understand or interpret things that happen in the world.
Here, it seems important to consider how Isaac Julien, the film-maker, is British. He worked with a largely Chinese cast and crew–I find it interesting, how–as you were saying, at times, the film appears to our eyes like a Chinese drama; but, when you look closely, at times, this breaks, a little.
Ling (a participant):
Yes. For example, the goddess Mazu. In the film, she was shown wearing a kimono–a form of clothing that is, traditionally, Japanese. I don’t know if this was–
Jennifer (a participant):
I don’t think it was intentional.
That seems likely the case. We’d spoken about the film-maker as based on London; and, a bit about the crew as largely Shanghai/Bejing-based. It’s difficult to say whether there was much conversation between the film-maker and crew around this choice…but, nonetheless, it calls attention to the positionality of the film-maker-to his role in fabricating images that we absorb, and that, perhaps, form part of an unsaid impression, of the stories (and, distantly, of the cultures) represented.