March 13th, 2012

One of the phenomenon that I encounter daily whilst I am here is that of being looked at. Stared at. It’s quite disconcerting at first but, like many things characteristic of other cultures, one manages to become used to them as time passes (or not to notice them at all); aside from the odd occasion where it all becomes personally quite draining – perennially being looked up and down at by every passer-by. Maybe it’s the beard? don’t know. Anyway, whilst waiting for Nico at the Xiamen-Gulangyu ferry terminal earlier last week, I decided to film the throngs of people in tourist parties on their way to Gulangyu but instead became drawn in by an older chap (who had, I hope, seen better times), wandering alone, barely detectable amongst the crowds. No one noticed him.

I figured that, as I have been the victim of so much indiscreet staring I would try to put this catalogue of eyeballs I’d been collecting to some creative use – hoping in some way to turn the stares I’d received into something positive, discreetly passing the remnants of others’ eyes over to someone who undoubtedly needs far more love (and certainly more care and attention) from his fellow neighbours than I do. At first I felt a little uncomfortable about surveilling this chap with my camera lens but my idea was to follow his movements as best I could – to notice and to capture a face peeking out through the crowds, if you like. I’d inevitably lose sight of him as he was shunted anonymously from place to place until eventually he went unseen altogether.

I’d recorded a few¬†little piano ideas on my field recorder a few days ago and am not sure if adding anything to this footage enhances it in any way but thought I would give it a try, otherwise I’m merely a voyeur…