Myth(s) of Creation

1997 / 17 Minutes
Chinese / English / Spanish
NTSC / Stereo / Color / B&W / Betacam SP video
Distributed by: Video Out, V Tape,


Myth(s) of Creation, the first in Ma’s Xin Lu project, is a conceptual road movie that not only travels between cities and countries, but language and identities as well. This experimental video combines diary accounts of family trips to China, Europe, and the U.S. with excerpts from travel writing, testimonies of political exiles and refugees, and quotes from theoretical discussions on nomadic subject positions. Home movies, travel footage, and stylized performances done “on-the-road” are combined into a poetic flow of images. Through a discursive essay of sound, text, and images, Ma and his family assume and discard the identities of tourist, traveler, foreign investor, immigrant, refugee, illegal alien, exile. The romanticism in travel writing is juxtaposed against the harsh realities of political exiles and refugees. While post-modern theorists postulate a de-territorialized nomadic subjectivity, recent immigrants stubbornly hold on to their ideas of nationality.

Recent socio-political changes loom behind Ma’s exploration of his relationship to his family and the Chinese Diaspora. The turn-over of Hong Kong in 1997 from British to Chinese rule becomes a focal point in a process that includes large-scale emigration, mass demonstrations around the June 4th Massacre, the depletion of European and American capital and the influx of Chinese investment. De-colonization, cultural hybridity, and displacement of populations are some of the issues highlighted by Hong Kong’s current predicament, and echoed in Ma’s journey. In his attempt to map a history of modern migratory existence, he does not privilege one line of thought over the other: there is no main road in this video, but many divergent paths that endlessly intersect with each other. The viewer can choose one or more of these to follow, but as Lao Tzu, one of the writers quoted in the video, wrote, “One who excels in traveling leaves no wheel tracks.”

Read more on Xin Lu Project