Information | Works

Tell Me What You Want
Yu Cheng-Ta at Hong-gah Museum

Jul,29,2017-Sep,17,2017

"It's about the exchanges of the gazes, desires, friendship, and wanting in between a traveler and an exotic culture."

Tell Me What You Want is the most recent film project by Yu Cheng-Ta. To carry out this project, the artist continually conducts relevant research in Manila and tries to make friends with local “pimps” while he films a dramamentary in collaboration with them. This project will be produced not so much by financial compensation as by reciprocal exchange of favors, a type of the time-honored barter economy. The aim of this project is twofold; the first is to document the vicissitudes of Manila's Red Light District under the advance of capitalism, and the second is to figure out how they define the artist as a foreigner in this “collaboration”. Going by the name “David” in this district, the artist uses this name in the film to weave an ambiguous narrative. More specifically, he makes cross-racial and cross-cultural observations on how we imagine others in Asia by reference to the figments of their imagination about him. In this way, the dramamentary will prompt the viewers to contemplate whether this collaboration represents true friendship or just a market transaction, and thereby revealing the stereotypes held among Asian countries and the class structure hidden behind international politics.