Slanted Vision

1995 / 50 Minutes
NTSC / Stereo / Color / Betacam SP video
Distributed by: Video Out, V Tape, Third World Newsreel,


Made in collaboration with Pablo Bautista, Justin Chin, Vicente Grolveo, Quentin Lee, Napoleon Lustre, Laura U. Marks, Nguyen Tan Hoang, Han Ong, and Dean Sameshima.

Slanted Vision is an energetic, stunning experimental video that explores the relation between vision and desire with eroticized images of Asian men. Working in collaboration with a diverse group of artists, writers, performers and musicians, many of them queer and Asian, Ma has created a promiscuous montage inspired by gay porn videos, kung fu movies and TV cooking shows.

Introducing the video with a quote from Richard Fung's ground-breaking essay "Looking for My Penis: The Eroticized Asian in Gay Video Porn," Ma links its three sections by visual layering and fast-paced editing. An exploration into pornographic and genre film images of Asian men leads into a documentary on contemporary sexual practices among queer Asians, and ends with a multiple re-staging of the popular U.S. television cooking show, Yan Can Cook, in which this "family-viewing" program is turned into a hilariously perverse safer sex demonstration seasoned with some serious kung-fu moves.

In these three sections, Asian males are shown sexually-objectified, as subjects, and perverted. Also, recurring elements concerning specularity — looking and being looked at, pornographic representation, documentary and fiction, identity politics, AIDS /HIV and safer sex education surface throughout the tape in their various guises, further linking the different sections. In this video, Ma irreverently assesses the debate on positive/negative images, media representation of sexuality and pleasure, sexual practices in the age of AIDS, and their impact on queer Asians. Slanted Vision presents a wide-ranging yet ambivalent perspective on sexuality that is at once humorous, sensual, radical and erotic.