Asian-American

2009
Night Scene New York

Chance observations of New York's Chinatown, commissioned by the Museum of Chinese in the Americas. 

"A sleepwalker's circumnavigation of one of the less homogenized parts of the city."

--Jem Cohen

1996
Nine Fish

From childhood memories to recurring nightmares, Nine Fish attacks and illuminates the indecision and confusion surrounding euthanasia and care of the elderly in the United States. In this deeply spiritual and personal video, director Kip Fulbeck chronicles his Cantonese grandmother's physical decline and its continuing impact on his family. The shifting complexities of personal identity, family communication, and cultural assimilation are explored through nine semi-fictional stories.

1998
No Hop Sing, No Bruce Lee

The popular images of Asian American males, historically propagated in the mass media, range from "silent, sex-less, obedient houseboy" to "mystic martial arts master". Invisibility has been a core element in the public’s perceptions, and is reflected in the one-dimensional representation of Asian men. This is a program by and about Asian-American men. Through their experiences and voices we become privy to the peculiar and insidious ways in which racism affects their evolving self-identities.

1998
OBSERVER / OBSERVED and Other Works of Video Semiology

This video trilogy of Camera, Monitor, Frame, Observer / Observed, and Observer / Observed / Observer creates a semiology of video as a work on video rather than a written text.  Its main purpose is to study the structural relationships between video and language, in this case using the English language.  I designed a system depicting the relationship between the observer and the person being observed using words such as "I" and "YOU" through a video feedback system as the basis.  This trilogy is a remake of my 1975-76 piece.  It is shorter in

1997
ocularis

This video highlights several narratives concerning video surveillance—not to reiterate the conventional privacy argument but rather to engage the desire to watch surveillance materials and society’s insatiable voyeurism. A variety of subjects recount their interactions with surveillance—getting caught in the act of stealing or watching pornography, being discouraged from making an illegal ATM withdrawal—and question technological determinism, asking whether we choose to develop technology or technology shapes our choices.

1993
operculum

The artist visits with seven cosmetic surgeons specializing in blepharoplasty (cosmetic eyelid creasing surgery) in the West Hollywood/Beverly Hills area for initial consultation sessions. The doctors demonstrate different reshaping options and comment upon the prevalence and success rates for different Asian nationalities while Tran presents statistics and facts in text that frame the consultations.

This title is also available on Tran, T. Kim-Trang: The Blindness Series.

1984
Orientations: Lesbian and Gay Asians

In response to the dominant impression that gay people are white people, Orientations aims to set the record straight on homosexual identity. More than a dozen men and women of different Asian backgrounds speak frankly, humorously, and often poignantly about their lives as members of a minority within a minority. They speak about coming out, homophobia, racism, cultural identity, sex, and the ways that being gay and Asian have shaped who they are.

 

1995
Performance / Myself (Or Video Identity)

This compilation is produced with "myself" as the sole object, as well as the material of the performance (except two videos with Akiko iimura).  The videos are not just documents of the performances, but works of video-art made specifically for utilizing the video system, including the camera and monitor, as part of the performances.  The collection also questions the identity of oneself in video, having tense relationships between words and images, and asks who is "I" and what "I" means.

DVD includes:

Self Identity, 1972, 1:00 excerpted

2006
Shuddhabrata Sengupta: An Interview

In this interview, Indian artist Shuddhabrata Sengupta (b. 1968) discusses his role in the initiation of the Raqs Media Collective, a Delhi-based artist collective, active since the 1990s. At the time of this interview, Raqs had been creating documentaries, art installations, and educational programs for eighteen years. Sengupta likens the driving force of Raqs to that of a game of catch, a process generated by a back-and-forth dialogue mobilized through writing and in-person meetings. As children of the late sixties, Sengupta explains how and why the members of Raqs, (himself, Jeebesh Bagchi and Monica Narula) share an interest in investigating mass communication, technologies of visibility, and the significance of memory and travel. It is also for this reason, Sengjupta explains, that the Collective’s work is committed to fostering rigorous research in addition to art-making endeavors.

2000
Sex, Love & Kung Fu

Award-winning videomaker Kip Fulbeck brings his blistering pace, comedic skill, and critical eye to bear on the Hapa and Asian American male experience—parodying the relationships between sex, love, and martial arts movies.

1994
Some Questions for 28 Kisses

Fulbeck force-feeds the viewer scores of all-too-familiar Asian female/Caucasian male pairings in Hollywood films, and combines them with contemporary excerpts from best-selling novels, magazines, and dating services. Some Questions For 28 Kisses delves into the causes and purposes of these created images and their relation to interracial dating, ethnic fetishes, race and gender wars, and Hapa identity.

“Leads the viewer on a delightfully rip-roaring jaunt through the Asian Pacific American psyche.”

-- Gerard Lim, Asian Week

2000
Sweet or Spicy

Ever listen to Loveline? Well, here's an episode with a 24-year-old Korean American guy who's never been kissed. They're offering free concert tickets to any girl who'll come in and take a chance. The girls get their tickets, and "David" gets to pick one of them for his first smack. Trouble is... no volunteers. Combining personal dating stories and the hypnotic imagery of multi-colored koi, Sweet Or Spicy? explores Hapa and Asian American male sexuality in popular culture.

2006
Swimming in Air

Recently I found myself rising from a forced landing on the floor after being catapulted into the air by an exercise machine and bouncing off the dresser. Through raccoon eyes, the effect of falling on my face, I squinted into the fog-filled room of my present, stumbling about apprehensively, my long-term memory scrambled and short-term memory severely inhibited. My once reliable body and memory were teetering on the brink of self-betrayal.

2012
Tehching Hsieh: An Interview

At the age of twenty-four, Taiwanese artist Tehching Hsieh (b.1950), moved to New York, where he has created and documented time-specific, conceptual art performances since the 1970s. In this interview, Hsieh discusses his formative years and philosophical moorings. This dialogue includes description of the artist’s early period of painting, his military service in Taiwan, and the cultural atmosphere of a country then undergoing massive political change. Much of the discussion focuses specifically on Hsieh’s understanding of the relationship of art and life, his investment in “free thinking,” and the politics of documentation. For Hsieh, the ability to think freely is art’s bottom line—he believes the essence of his work lies in human communication. To this end, Hsieh insists that his work, though incredibly personal, is not autobiographical, but philosophical.

2009
Tran, T. Kim-Trang: The Blindness Series

The Blindness Series consists of eight short videos that investigate blindness and metaphors. Topics of individual titles include cosmetic surgery of the eyelids, vision and sexuality, video surveillance, hysterical blindness, alexia or word-blindness, and physical blindness. The series examines instrumental vision while offering a different kind of visuality, a haptic visuality. Stylistically, Tran's critical approach to video art is essayistic, theoretical, and politically engaged.