Collaging Time - intertwined connections between personal and and collective memories

Hangfeng Chen explores the potency of reappropriating archival materials (footage and image) with narratives to establish and question his position as a visual artist and filmmaker. He considers found archival materials as collective memories, while his own materials are personal memories. He collages the two as a method of thinking and storytelling: memories are often fragmented and incomplete, and collage is a means to speculate on how personal and collective memories could be interconnected. His research interests include 'exoticism', invasive species, Covid-19 and the absurdity of human exceptionalism. His work draws on archival materials from the pre-discovery Chinese voyages in the 15th century and the Dutch Golden Age to the found images of Neo-colonialism in Africa.

The research into the concept of 'exoticism' served as a catalyst for the ongoing project The Intertwined Dream. Herein, the filmmaker constructs a dream narrative that allows his consciousness to rove between the body of a chameleon and his own self. Navigating both childhood memories and recent experiences, the work moves from oceanic voyages to the Pre-discovery Map of Africa. Eventually, both the filmmaker and the viewer find themselves immersed in a trance-like state, amidst a collage of glitches interwoven with previously-encountered imagery. Using multilayered montage, animation, and aural storytelling, the project explores the interconnectedness among diverse historical temporalities.



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