In 2012, Liu Yu chanced upon a stack of love letters in a flea market in Taipei. Dating back to the 1970s, the letters were addressed by Dong-Zheng Lai, a seafarer working on cargo ships, to his wife-to-be. Interwoven in this correspondence are descriptions of port cities and fishing villages as well as hints to monsoon seasons and the political climate of the time which cast both history and geography on an intimate scale. During the residency, Liu Yu will work on the second film of a series inspired by Dong-Zheng Lai’s movements and memories. Titled Love Letter and A Map of Memory, this experimental documentary will focus on the monsoon route from Taiwan to Singapore, a busy shipping lane that cuts across the Riau islands and was historically frequented by pirates. Framing the sea as a space impervious to geopolitical boundaries and piracy as an instance of political upheaval, the artist will chart historical events and modern-day occurrences of piracy to create a work that speculates on power and personal relationships growing at the intersection of climatic patterns, geographical features, and human agency.
The artist was scheduled to be in-residence from April – June 2020. Due to the COVID-19 virus outbreak and international travel restrictions, the artist was unable to participate in the residency programme physically.
Liu Yu screened Somehow I feel relaxed here (2017) as part of the Residencies Online Screening Programme Stakes of Conscious(ness), conceived by Dr Anna Lovecchio for the three artists whose residency at NTU CCA Singapore has been disrupted by the viral pandemic.