A collective aberration from the oppressive banality of everyday life
"for me, the video feels like reclamation, re-wilding. it’s staring back, returning the gaze. it’s rage, it’s exhaustion, it’s catharsis, it’s woundedness, it’s chaos, it’s freedom. it’s releasing shame and safeguarding the sanctuary. it’s a confrontation, a desperate plea, it’s screaming because nobody will listen. it’s taunting normies and racists and capitalists and homophobes, and daring them to meet our gaze. it’s one big sacred joke." - Jas Lin
Director and movement artist Jas Lin, together with performers Jinjabrew and Jason Vu, transmutes the energy from ‘What U Wanna Do’ by OHYUNG & Matt Evans, a track off the duo’s latest EP Godless, into a sacred joke, taunting normies and racists, capitalists and homophobes. A euphoric and liberating video of pure energy, Jas Lin’s music video is a reclamation, a re-wilding. It is rage, chaos, catharsis, and exhaustion; releasing shame and safeguarding the sanctuary, staring back, returning the gaze, an act characterised through the film’s three main protagonists: 丑 (chou), 女 (nu) and 马 (ma).
丑 (chou), meaning ‘shameful’ or ‘ugly’, typically plays the role of the comic or clown within Traditional Chinese Opera, Lin explains. “I see this character as the one that is prodding the audience, making fun of the absurdity of human antics, and through that subversion, sending the shame that people put on outcasts of society, such as the queers, the houseless etc., back to the viewer; in this cathartic process, they are cleansed.”
女 (nu) refers to ‘woman’ as a reclamation of femininity; grotesqueness and horror as a way to return the violence of the male gaze (by literally wielding the camera); a purging of emotions and wounds repressed by misogyny, as well as an ongoing erotic relationship with nature. And 马 (ma), meaning horse, symbolises a re-wilding — re-membering who you were before all of that conditioning; pure desire and moving on instinct; freeing oneself, returning to the feral and untamed; the in-between space where spirits live.
"We shot this footage for fun when the three of us went on a lil creative retreat in Lake Tahoe last year," Lin shares. "I sat on the footage for half a year because I didn’t know what to do with it and it felt so special to me. Then, Rob (OHYUNG) approached me about making a video for Godless, and when I heard
‘What U Wanna Do’, it just immediately clicked. The song breathed life and story into the footage, and my first editing pass really helped me make sense of the characters and what we were doing. So the video is a sort of emergence from a non-linear, organic process which I love!"
Premiere on NOWNESS ASIA
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