Flow

Flow

Yau Ching / 1993 / 38min / Mandarin, English / English and Chinese Subtitles

Special Jury Prize, Image Forum, Japan; Permanent Collection, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and PBS Broadcast; Invited to Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival, Galarie nationale du Jeu de Paume, Paris, among others

This experimental documentary uses the life stories of a Chinese woman artist to explore alternatives to dominant versions of history. Having grown up in China during the Cultural Revolution, she went to the U.S. to study, and upon the failure of the students’ movements in 1989, she settled in New York. Flow’s narratives are constructed from her extremely personal and often satirical points of view. Fragments of memory speak to the master narrative of history. Yau Ching writes, “An exiled native speaks a language not fully comprehensible to her ‘fellow-natives any more. A part of her is not able to go back any more. Given its politically subversive content, the very fact that this tape can only be made here, when the native is not at home, highlights the limitations of ‘home.’ Her memory haunts her and blocks her from being assimilated by the dominant American society. She lives in this ‘between-world dilemma, deprived of the privileges of being fully identified as… human. 

References

Taiwan Women Film’s Association DatabaseFlow

Yau, Ching (2012) “Many and Two of (a) Kin(d): An Imaginary Dialogue with Hong Kong Independent Filmmaker Yau Ching.” Chinese History and Society (Berliner China-Hefte) Issue 40 (Aug): 127-137, Berlin: Freie Universität

Reviews

Berenice Reynaud, “New Chinas: Chinese Independent Video.” In Michael Renov and Erika Suderburg, eds., Resolutions: Contemporary Video Practices. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 1996.

Holly Willis, “Review of Flow,” Los Angeles Reader 22.

Berenice Reynaud, “Nouvelles Chines: images de la diaspora chinoise” program brochure, Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume, Paris, 1993.

Wai Wai, “A Hong Kong Woman in New York talking about China––Interview with Yau Ching.” China News Daily, New York, June 20, 1992.

Distribution

V Tape

Electronic Arts Intermix

Still from FLOW