Moment, Moving Moments explores Dashilar through still and moving image. Ten individuals and ten façades are extricated to show the historic and evolving identity of a hutong (ancient city alley or lane formed by traditional courtyard residences) with over 600 years of history. It is a portrait of the individual and its context, of the static and the kinetic, and of facade and its content. This series analyzes modernization and its relationship to tradition. It allows us to imagine what once was, what has become and what potentially can be.
In the portrait videos, the still portrait on the left focuses on the formal qualities of the individual. It contrasts with the moving portrait which prioritizes content over form by superimposing the individual's narrative text on top of their moving video. Still image, moving image and text are orchestrated into one diptych. The same thing can be said with the environmental video where the portrait on the left captures a moment in time, highlighting the formal aspect of the architecture or environment. This compliments the moving portrait on the right where the movement in the city takes precedence over its formal context.
The paradox is when movement appears to be still yet the content of the space is still apparent through light and shadow. There appears to be an atmospheric movement present at this time. An exploration of the facades in both day and night allow for these atmospheric qualities to become more pronounced.
This work was commissioned by Beijing Design Week with Creative Director Aric Chen.