Photography Cinema

Sera Chen: Wearing Red

Image Maker
Sera Chen
Sera CHEN (b. 1991) mainly works with video, photography, and new media. Her work focuses on urban observation and cultural identification while probing the invisible and unstable relationship between the human, the environmental, and the social. By interweaving non-linear narrative and mixed media, she explores the heterogeneity between fiction and non-fiction, and attempts to construct possible perceptual space and a speculative field beyond the mere visual.
Place of Origin
In Mandarin, Japanese and English with Chinese and English subtitles


In Wearing Red, three performers hold up the same photograph and describe a memory of it in their first languages and with gestures. The performers are from China, Japan, and the United States, three countries that each have complicated relations with Taiwan, historically and politically. Before making the video, I told the performers about the memory of the photo (which was recounted by my mother). I then let them improvise in their own ways in front of the camera to retell the story. I also asked them to combine their own childhood memory with mine in their retellings, therefore creating a fictional story. I wore red as I did in the photo, walking back and forth through the space held up by the screens of the three-channel video. In it, I was the only person who was silent and unable to speak for myself, despite being the real owner of the photograph.

Wearing Red explores the fictionality of memory and examines the legitimacy of cross-cultural representation. The video also investigates the shifting boundaries of identification by exposing the gap between what we are watching and how we are identifying with it.

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