Tour 1-3
Digital video
2'11''
2011

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Tour 1-3
2011
2’11”
HD video with sound



Script:

Tour 1

This is my 5th floor studio, my daily place of work and creation. The glass panes in front of me allow the light to stream in, energizing my creative batteries. From here I have a bird’s eye view of the cityscape, its people and cars circulating like a blood stream, coming and going in an endless fellow. There are labourers everywhere, renewing the city each day. Never in Japan have I seen the face of the city rise and shift so constantly. It is a new place, even since my arrival. I have always seen construction in terms of re-construction, a response to nature changing the cityscape in its own course, not for the sake of profit or development. After the October 2005 earthquake, construction in my city was omnipresent for a number of years. Hundreds of helicopters swarmed in the sky; huge black flies with their ever-present buzzing. It terrified me. Sports halls were bursting with the evacuated. Privacy and rest had both left them, replaced by stress and worry. Eventually, as normalcy returned, the memory of the earthquake became more remote in the minds of the city dwellers. That memory came flooding back on March 11 of this year. People simply had to deal with the catastrophe in front of them, with what they had to do at that very moment; there were no alternatives. The dramatization reported on the international news, was simply that, dramatization. There was no tragic, emotionally complicated story, just reality. Those falsehoods of drama awoke the resentment in me. There was a gulf between the stories for emotional consumption and the real, ongoing issues of alternative energy supply, safety and economic catastrophe for the people there…and for me.


Tour 2
This is my 5th floor studio, my daily place of work and creation. The glass panes in front of me allow the light to stream in, energizing my creative batteries. From here I have a bird’s eye view of the cityscape, its people and cars circulating like a blood stream, coming and going in an endless fellow. There are labourers everywhere, renewing the city each day. Never in Japan have I seen the face of the city rise and shift so constantly. It is a new place, even since my arrival. Even the new subway system has come into existence. Its construction is reminiscent of the 3.20 Subway Sarin Incident in Tokyo in 1995. I was still a child. A new religious group, Arum Shinrikyo, took the lives of 13 people with Sarin, when they released its deadly power onto the morning rush hour. Another 6300 were injured. Masses of other people ran for cover in the crammed train stations of the central business district. This dark day followed the Great Hanshin Earthquake of Kobe into the living rooms of the Japanese for many evenings to come.  People feared an invisible threat. Indiscriminate terrorism had stolen the sense of security from the hearts of the public. The abnormality and morbidity of Arum were revealed gradually and people began to realize that the thief was a faith many had believed in. It makes me shudder still. So many people gave their hearts to a monster that fed on abduction, confinement and murder for the sake of emancipation from worldly attachment. People frantically sought peace of mind. The father of this false faith was sentenced to die nine years later. Now, normalcy has found its way home to Tokyo, but has returned to the reality of the illness and weakness of the human mind.


Tour 3
This is my 5th floor studio, my daily place of work and creation. The glass panes in front of me allow the light to stream in, energizing my creative batteries. From here I have a bird’s eye view of the cityscape, its people and cars circulating like a blood stream, coming and going in an endless follow. There are labourers everywhere, renewing the city each day. Never in Japan have I seen the face of the city rise and shift so constantly. It is a new place, even since my arrival. Even the new subway system has come into existence. Its construction reminds me that there are hoard of migrant workers in this country. They are a cheap labour force that fuels the strong Singaporean economic machine. I bypass so many Bangladeshi workers every day, but I have never ever spoken with a single one. I know so little about them, except of their kindness; they often stand for those who have greater need of their comfort. I don’t even know their names, but they are close to my heart. My childhood was passed during the Lost Decade after the bubble economy of my parents’ days finally burst. We all realized the arrival of the ‘working poor’ – new poverty in rich country, but for me, even the word was heavy and dark. The new, uncertain future would be one of social anxiety stemming from economic stress. However, it was still an affluent society, although Singapore’s economic gap was visible, something I had never before seen in Japan. I walk past them everyday.