The Múa Lân Are Coming, 2:01, 2016.
This was unintentionally captured on my iphone through my pajama pocket in rural Bến Tre, Việt Nam while waiting for the Múa Lân (lion dancers). It was the first time experiencing Tết (Vietnamese New Year's) celebrations in my parents’ home country with them. For my mother, it had been 36 years since she was last home for Tết. Throughout the trip, I relied heavily on my phone and camera to document and share every moment because those experiences would become surreal. It was overwhelming and yet this video, though unplanned, illustrates the limits of memories, even those newly formed, can quickly become fragmented and blurred. It is childlike, and I am childlike with excitement as my family and I anticipate the performance. There are no subtitles but the viewer can pick up my high-pitched "Mooooom" and failed attempts of speaking our language. The video ends abruptly when I take out my phone and realize it had been recording, and the viewer never sees the Múa Lân dance.
Screened at Photophobia: Contemporary Moving Images Festival, Art Gallery of Hamilton (Hamilton, 2016).