the unshakable destiny_2101
16mm film transferred to 2K digital with sound
Director/Writer/Editor/Producer: Nikki Lam
Cast: Ching Ching Ho
Cinematography: Bonita Carzino
Production Design: Scott Heinrich
Costume Design: Allison Chan
Sound Design: Ben Harb
Colourist: Abe Wynen
Camera Assistant: Drew Collins
Lighting/Gaffer: Francis Healy Wood
Art Department: Andrew Huynh, Jaime Powell, Cheralyn Lim, Kelly Chan
This project was commissioned by TarraWarra Museum of Art for Victoria Together and is supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria and The SUBSTATION.
All political views suggested or depicted in this project belong to the artist-director only. The project does not represent the views of its casts, collaborators or presenters.
Now, Hong Kong people are to run Hong Kong. That is a promise. And that is the unshakable destiny.’
— Chris Patten, Last Governor of Hong Kong at the Handover Ceremony in 1997.
the unshakable destiny is an expansive video trilogy that explores the position of the artist within a placeless present, with a focus on the body as context to its histories and its surroundings. As Hong Kong transforms its resistance from political to the personal, these films exist to align with these transitions. Through the lens of a migrant-settler, the series will contemplate on body and time, examine nostalgia and the colonial gaze, as an attempt to speculate a different future through subjective and collective memories. The trilogy is set to examine the opacity of identity and explore the position of the artist through the moving image.
An opening to the trilogy, ‘the unshakable destiny_2101’ draws focus on the tension and misalignment between histories and cinematic imageries; aesthetics and power; colonial gaze and the migrant body. A brief ode to Wong Kar Wai cinema and Asian-Futurism, the 16mm film presents an imaginary space where the body is opaque and cyclically reflective. While the project is set to challenge the colonial nostalgia of Hong Kong in cinema, the film gazes upon memories and events where the personal meets the collective. In a context far away from the city, this body is often forced into liminality and performance, into un-belonging. As the image of the artist’s memories and histories is preserved and interpreted through the lens, we enter a speculative space where she confronts her own image over and over again.
As the artist navigates her own agency in art-making during these troubling times, Lam creates a site of translations and memories through this first iteration of the unshakable destiny.
An anchor to the project, this first film is set to be remixed and re-imagined in the expanding series. Performing with and through language adopted, the viewer is invited to witness the artist’s endless negotiation of subjectivities and truths.