the not so ongoing smoke
The Cutting Room at Nottingham Playhouse, Nottingham, UK, 2013

Student Experimental Film Festival, Binghamton, New York, USA, 2012

Film in the House of the Word vol.1, Durham, North Carolina, USA, 2012

STIGMART.10/2012, Italy

"Eternal Eye" International Young Photographer Exhibition, Daegu, South Korea, 2014

“The First Encounter, The Beginning of ‘Empty’ Friendship” Exhibition, Incheon, South Korea, 2014

Athens SlingShot2013, Athens, Georgia, USA

48 Hours in Las Vegas, Durham, North Carolina, USA, 2013

Midlands Experimental Moving Image Collective Film Salon I, UK, 2012,

Duke Arts Festival, Durham, North Carolina, USA, 2012


the not so ongoing smoke is a spin-off from a 43-minute long wide shot that records some dense smoke arising from a fire happened in a dessert nearby downtown Las Vegas.

This video is a chance-operation piece based on three uncontrolled elements: 1) the unusual occurrence of a fire, which was an unfortunate accident; 2) the high-up shooting angle, which profiled the window view of an assigned room I stayed in Las Vegas during my work trip there; 3) a fairly sunny day with a clear cloudless sky, which was very favorable for natural light shooting. Without either of these elements, the not so ongoing smoke would not have existed.

Of course I found myself very lucky to have witnessed these three happenings on my first-ever visit to Las Vegas. So I instinctively turned on one of my cameras, which was a pocket size HD video recorder, and let it sit in front of the window capturing such an ongoing moment.

Frankly speaking, I didn’t know what I was going to do with the footage when I decided to shoot. The act of shooting was entirely spontaneous and accidental. When I returned to my workstation reviewing all the visual materials I shot in Las Vegas, I found this 43 minutes long take quite boring and almost mundane somehow.

To me, a videographer, the process of documentation begins with the moment I press the record button, and ends when I press it again. In this particular case, I didn’t even end the video recording myself but leave it to the depletion of two AA batteries. My notion of leave it all to fate was actually a good intention embedded with experimental rationale. However, the dangerous being overly experimental was that I allowed myself to rely solely on randomness and chance operation and forgot about being critical with the nature and characteristic of the collected footage.

Whereas the shooting process has occurred, I could only rectify such defect through editing. In the editing process, I endeavored to build a generative system by playing with as well as dissecting various elements, i.e. the slow pace motion of dispersing smoke; the dynamic movement of motor vehicles; and the casting of light and shadow on a spread-out surface. Through manipulating the moving image with thoughtful calculations and alternative editing, I enliven a tedious shot by showing the record of record, and presenting the presence of the completed present in a playful yet serious manner.