April Lin 林森 uses video as a self-reflexive and cathartic tool. Part of the post-Internet generation, their work interweaves strands of autobiography, performance, documentary and world-building. These four deeply personal films touch on their romantic artistic collaboration with a distant lover; on the restorative power of collective rest; and on our shifting relation to death and mourning in the age of social media.
April Lin: now i close my eyes the world i see is so beautiful (2020, 4 mins)
Music video for experimental rapper OHYUNG – now i close my eyes the world i see is so beautiful samples lines from Taiwanese New Wave film Yi Yi, in which a young girl speaks to the ghost of her grandmother. These intergenerational whisperings inspire April Lin to follow their own adventures with their grandfather, pondering how ancestors and descendants create bridges across time, and if you’re diasporic – across global space.
April Lin: R: Rest (2019, 13 mins)
An experimental documentary exploring the meanings of rest: political, spiritual, tied to labour, associated with guilt. The film is Chapter R of April Lin’s long-term project, An A-Z of Imagining A Better World, and serves as a reminder of rest as a structurally-negated necessity, a muscle worth training, and an essential strategy in the process toward liberation for all. Conceptualised and developed while at Supernormal Residency, the piece draws from the location of the intentional community of Braziers Park, inviting the viewer in for a moment of respite, wherever they may be.
Qigemu (April Lin & Jasmine Lin): Reality Fragment 160921 (2018, 14 mins)
Reality Fragment 160921 follows two people in their process of reality-curation, as they create their own spaces against and via understandings of distance, and as they go through the motions of growing themselves by growing their universes. We witness not only their movements, but also partake in the thoughts of two witnesses and how by seeing these two people, worlds are merged. In turn, we ask you, a viewer of this film and thus also a witness, to pay attention to your own movements of perception and reflect around the ways in which you build your own world. Who have you merged your world with, and what does that mean for the subjective truths you tend to? 七个木 Qigemu 七個木 is a duo consisting of lovers April Lin and Jasmine Lin exploring the interstices of movement, visual media, identity, and the global Asian diaspora as respectively, Chinese-Swedish and Taiwanese-American.
April Lin: < Digital Traces > (2019, 18 mins)
Death is something that all beings experience, perhaps the one universal thing that unites all living things: across species, structures, and space. We are surrounded by death, especially as news of violence, illness and conflict spread with increasing immediacy within the digitalised and globalised world, yet there remains a public hesitancy to engage with death. As a central pillar of the online universe social media is shaping the ways we interact with death, from the way we mourn, to the way we understand the relationship between life and death, and the way we remember someone who has died. The question of death has thus entered a realm of normality with younger generations whose formative years are intertwined with digital platforms and expression. This normality means that death is entering a new paradigm of being felt, of being experienced, of being meaningful — and it is this paradigm that the film seeks to understand.
Image credit: Reality Fragment 160921, dir. April Lin & Jasmine Lin, 2018