In the summer of 2022, the intricate quarantine policy in China compelled me to forgo the plans to return home. Departing from the East Coast of the United States, where I resided, I headed to San Francisco—the closest point on the other side of the Pacific from my homeland, tracing a potential sense of belonging. The essayistic film Coast to Coast (Preamble) oscillates between personal encounters, remnants of the past, and several proxies, examining the ambiguous temporality on the coast and my own condition of being inbetween during that period.

It is the prelude of a long-term project Coast to Coast, which will be divided into several chapters to address subjects, including the oceanic epistemology from ancestors, the image(ry) of the vessel, and the historical legacy of optical navigational devices along the Chinese coast.


Coast to Coast (Preamble), 2022-2023
10:20 | DCP 2K / ProRes | 1.77:1 | color, stereo | Chinese Mandarin and Ningbo dialect with English subtitles

Coast to Coast (Preamble), 2022-2023
(1:35 minute clip from 02:50, full video available on request)

Coast to Coast (Preamble), 2023
Single-channel HD video installation (sound & color), 10:05
Wireless headphones, painted plywood, detached English subtitles on vinyl, 18’’x50’’x18’’

installation view from “Too Close” group show at Microscope Gallery, NY, US

*narration excerpts*

“With the assistance of a telephoto lens, you recall how your ancestors might have done the same, weaving through seawater, learning, and gaining experience until the advent of the canoe. You wonder if they, in the confused seas, also created a mnemonic device, or mode of mapmaking, sensing and memorizing the swell patterns in certain moments—bending, reflecting, disturbing, and refracting, then carrying with oceanic knowledge, onward to the sporadic groups of islands in the distance.

When was intuition suppressed? 

Would it dock at the port of your hometown? The unarrived lighthouse is blinking to you from the opposite shore with regularity. Could the photons refracted and bent through the prisms be caught by the camera obscura?”


A bench with detached English subtitles from the essayistic film, as part of a video installation, was exhibited in a gallery in New York City. After deinstalling, I transported it back to a beach in Rhode Island. Untitled (Unshipped) documents the happenings around the bench.


Untitled (Unshipped)
Performance, single-channel SD video (color, silent), looped by CRT monitor, 8’10’’, 2023