the first memory with you
4:40 | Color | Digital | Stereo | TAIWAN, USA
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Could a memory still exist if there is no one capable of remembering it?
“the first memory with you” is made with a mysterious set of Polaroids my mother took in Dallas Texas, 1987, the year before I was born. The story regarding these photos has been long forgotten.
The film examines different phases of remembering. The Polaroids collide with hand shadow puppetry and the optical path of the Polaroid SX-70 camera to explore the memory from various perspectives: the womb, the viewfinder, a mother’s touch, the soundscape inside and outside of frames and the flow of time.
Hands serve as an instrument to capture stories and physically connect individuals to a time and place. The two hands in the film, the mother’s and the daughter’s, bridge the past and the present, conjuring the physical and inherent memory.
Polaroid taken by Pi-Jen Lee
Image by Hsuan-Kuang Hsieh
Sound by Hsuan-Kuang Hsieh, Judy Kim
Sound mix by Judy Kim

For private viewing link, please contact hsuankuang.h@gmail.com
statement:
I first discovered the Polaroids on a trip back to Taiwan in 2019. My mom can barely recall anything regarding these photos, despite its year and location, where she believes is a zoo or a farm near Dallas, Texas.
My mom often describes her time in the State as difficult and lonely since she was apart from my father and sister. She was hoping to complete her research. However, in the spring of 88, she flew back to Taiwan and gave birth to me. She has never been back to the U.S. since.
30 years later, I am in the U.S. with the Polaroids. They are the proof of the forgotten story. Although neither of us can remember the event, they still comfort me. "the first memory with you" provides an opportunity to unbox the time capsule and to reclaim the memory that once belonged to us.