Sin Wai Kin, A Dream of Wholeness in Parts, 2021
A Dream of Wholeness in Parts follows what appears to be three facets of a single character on a journey through an almost psychedelic dreamscape. The first is The Construct, seen playing chess with their other half in a modernist apartment. Sat on either side of the playing board, they scowl at each other, sizing themselves up, before the chess pieces begin to talk. Much like a dream, we jump cut to the woods, where Sin Wai Kin’s familiar character, ‘The Universe’, whose face is painted with a lotus flower, referencing a character in the Cantonese opera tradition of Jing, confronts nature and the surrealness of talking trees. Before long we are by the ocean and then in an urban environment eating noodle soup.
The film weaves traditional Chinese dramaturgy with contemporary drag and electronic music and ambient soundscapes. The poetic commentary reflects on the self and on the construction of identity, the narration delivered by both human and non-human characters. The work takes Chuang Tzu’s allegory, Dream of the Butterfly (c. 300bc) as its starting point, in which the ancient Taoist imagines the experience of the senses as a dream. But the genres and categories are queered here, not least of all by the complicated false dichotomy of ‘The Universe’s' gender construct, represented by the schizophrenic and confrontational depiction of their different sides. In doing so, in such speculative, hallucinatory terms, the film cultivates a space for imagining different worlds and new ways of being.
|Medium||4K single-channel video|
|Duration||23 minutes 9 seconds|
|Edition||of 6 + 2 APs|