Toc Storee

1992 / 21 Minutes
English / Chinese / Subtitled
NTSC / Stereo / Color / B&W / 3/4” video
Distributed by: Video Out, V Tape, Third World Newsreel, NAATA,


Toc Storee utilizes the story-telling format to create a multilevel narrative that explores the relations between speech, language, and desire. Addressing the issues of sexuality, subjectivity, tradition, and identity in Asian gay contexts.

Trinh T. Minh-ha wrote in Woman, Native, Other:" Each story is at once a fragment and a whole; a whole within a whole." This idea of commonality and difference is the premise in which Toc Storee operates. In the video, stories from Chinese and Japanese history as well as from the contemporary experiences of three individuals of the same cultural descent, and texts by authors including James Baldwin and Trinh T. Minh-ha are juxtaposed with each other to create an open sense of resonance and tradition. Here, connections are tenuous, yet poetic at the same time - there are no direct or linear connections between these stories from our past and our present self-identification as Asian gay men. Yet the footage from New York Gay Pride 1991 showing the lesbian and gay Asian contingent, and footage depicting two Asian men in an erotic encounter that are used to 'illustrate' these stories nevertheless establishes a sense of continuity that is as elusive as our identities, but no less empowering.