Tag: expressionistic

Homeward Swirls (photo series)

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A Projection of Memory

Still Photography, 8 images, 4065 x 3049 pixels each.

This work was titled in retrospect to match the title of the final film. The title speaks for the work. This is a projection of my memory of walking home, which may (or mayn’t) have been distorted in the recesses of my mind. I intentionally created a disconnection of space and time through the use of projection, inspired by the rear-screen work of Cindy Sherman, where a believable-unbelievable environment can created. I juxtaposed this with the use of personal items in my hall where I reside on campus so as to encapsulate these found objects to give off a surreal-ity.  The viewer can read it conceptually or in the form of narrative. This open-endedness offers, I hope, a distorted, faraway feeling that I wish to express.


The set-up for framing the projection shots.

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The preparation for the shot involving the vacuum cleaner “sucking out” the projection image.

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Still images has a somewhat a daunting constrain that I think impeded me in this project, simply because I had more to tell than it was possible to convey through such a delivery of presentation. Admittedly, I do not see myself as have much experience or aptitude for photography. I do not comprehend the design rules involved, like say the rule of thirds, in which how they create an aesthetic quality. To me, these feel like the safe routes and I will not use them for the sake of staying safe. I wished to convey the concept of a break in dimension, a sort of paradoxical space if you will, and the search for a method of visual communication led to the use of projection. I was in a situation with no equipment and low budget, so the solutions devised and creative problem solving routes taken would have to be simple and to the point. So it was definitely easier in the further development of the project into the moving images as I could convey more and express more. The ‘fan spinning shot’, ‘stop-mo’, recurring imagery like the ‘finger walking’, all these were much easier to come up with and readily blended straight from my brainstorming into execution, much like impasto onto the canvas by the Post-Impressionists.

Sound is definitely a main factor in my work. I have begun thinking, in fact, since the capturing of the still images of not just how my work is seen but also how it sounds. The class critique elated me to the fact that they were similar in opinion as I was that my work was a sound of distortion, of disconnectedness. Hence I sourced a soundtrack done in the style of alternative rock from the 70s, with a Russian blend to it, which I hoped brought out that “out-of-placeness” when partnered with the visuals. Another sound I captured was the whirring sound which I repeat everytime we get back to the “fan spinning shot”. That was actually the sound of the light switch played backwards, to give this vagueness of a kind of foreign sound, akin to both a sound a time machine in sci-fi movies would make and a film projector would give off. I felt no need for voice-overs, as to me the medium is the message and I believed that I conveyed somewhat sufficiently and that I could be assured and allow the viewer to fill in their response from the law of enclosure.

Homeward Swirls (Film Short)

卷土重来: 记忆的投影 (Homeward Swirls: A Projection of Memory)

Digital Video and Stopmotion, 04:55mins, 1280 x 720 pixels


When the swirls of imagination and memory coincide in incandescent flashes, will I still know every inch of home? I embark on a homeward swirl in a projection of memory to a most familiar yet unfamiliar version of my house. Have I awoke on a Saturday having returned home the night before, or am I really just lying in my campus residential hall room tired from a session of area cleaning?

a film by Fabian Kang






just some interesting things:


this scene was filmed from this angle:


I certainly was a little apprehensive as I looked upon my camera hanging from its precarious position, but it was a good venture. I enjoy finding cheap methods for effects and Film back in its experimental days really intrigues me with that charm of hurried and effective film solutions.

The reason for these shots to be emphasized a lot is

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When I am alone, I really like to dance my fingers on surfaces to create some sounds just to break the silence. So I thought that it would be an interesting way of “walking home”, as the representation of home going is a rather surreal one in my film.

At 03:35 of the film, you might notice something a little perculiar about this shot.

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Apart from the different presentation of the screen where I had it split into 2 parts, there is actually 2 frames where my parents are framed in the shot. Working on this film made me think that not only I have spent less time at home, but I really do see / interact with my parents a lot less these days hence that split second.