When I close my eyes, I can arrive there

From here to there

Lost House


digital print, sketch, single channel video 

84.1X118.9cm, 84.1X118.9cm, 58’42’’, 13’15’’

My grandmother always talks about her former house and her memory in that house again and again, most of time she will ask someone to drive her back to the location, where is already become a grove with some remains of the building. I am curious that if looking out by my grandmother’s eyes, does the glorious and famous building which in my grandmother's description still stand there. I never saw the house, it was collapsed before I born, but I always feel that I can build up my imagination of the house through my grandmother's repeated description, but I can’t, because it is the thing that never show up  in my experience, a completely unfamiliar image. 


I try to find the clues from my grandmother’s imagination. In this work, I attempt to compare the time and the feeling between the real distance and the imaginary distance. In the interview, my grandmother narrate the stories in that house, the layout of the building, and everything she can remember. She said the house was already collapsed more than 30 years, I think that is the distance which I will never achieve. She also said that when she closes her eyes, the house will emerge, it is the distance between my grandmother and her house. 


After the interview, I drove the car to the location of the former house, it was about one hour. I recorded the journey as a sense of time, to comparing with the time of closing eyes. When I arrived the location, I tried to imagine the house standing there. The digital output in the work is the photograph of the location, and the sketch on it is the shape of the house depend on my grandmother's description, it is the process of my imagination. I found that the difference between two kind of distance only exists in the imagination. I put my tiny imagination on my grandmother's imagination which is extensive, profound and full of emotion and memory.

© 2019 by SHIU JUI TSZ