• [os]

  • Artist: Ming-Yuen S. Ma
  • Year: 2007
  • Duration: 60:00
  • Country: Canada
  • The fourth and final video in Ma's Xin Lu project, [os] excavates the personal and the collective, the colonial and the transnational, the traumatic, the wistful, the queer, and the spectral to tell intersecting stories about our desires to return to the past. Its title represents the etymological ‘ghost’ that haunts the creation of the word ‘nostalgia’, which combines the Greek word nostos (return home) and New Latin algia (akin to Greek neisthai to return).
    The video unfolds with a series of stories collected from a group of exiled Chinese gay men. In it, Ma travels to the United Kingdom, Canada, and throughout the United States to search for men from his generation, and who, like him, grew-up in Hong Kong but are now living abroad. When he finds them, he asks each of them to tell him a story about their memory of growing up in Hong Kong. 
    In its disparate recalling lost times and places, [os] traces transitory states of being that are shared by both exiles and ghosts. These connections, like the experience of haunting, are ethereal and ungraspable—yet uncannily powerful. In [os], the ghosts of memory are given a “reality check” by actual ghosts, who turn out to be just as elusive, disappearing around the corner before they can be captured by the camera.

  • Accession #: 2980
  • Distribution Status: In Library Only
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