Join us as we launch the Tsai Ming-liang: The Deserted film series with a special evening featuring the UK premiere of two interconnected films – the new feature-length Your Face and short film Light – followed by a discussion with the artist.
Light captures changes in the natural light streaming through Taipei’s Zhongshan Hall. In addition to being the setting for Tsai’s feature-length film Your Face, Zhongshan Hall has national significance as the site on which Japanese forces in Taiwan formally surrendered at the end of the Second World War in 1945, ending 51 years of Japanese occupation in Taiwan. The hall also bears personal significance for Tsai as a space where he worked as a student, won a filmmaking award, ran a cafe and held screenings of classic films.
Your Face is composed of thirteen durational portraits of citizens of Taipei. Some remain silent while others offer life stories, confessions and even a short tune. Twelve of the subjects were encountered by Tsai in the city streets, while the final subject is Lee Kang-sheng, an actor who has become a fixture of Tsai’s filmography. Tsai’s explicit use of close-up in all but one of the film’s shots was rooted in an urge for this form of shot composition and intimacy after making a VR film – a technology which does not lend itself to close-ups or framing. With Your Face, he explores what stories and experiences come through faces and duration alone, using cinematic lighting to emphasise each subject’s features. The film’s soundtrack was made by Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto, making this Tsai’s first scored film in twenty years.
Light, Taiwan 2018, DCP, colour, sound, 18 min
Your Face, Taiwan 2018, DCP, colour, sound, 77 min, Mandarin with English subtitles
Short discussion with Tsai Ming-liang followed by an audience Q&A