Narrative Reflection on Looking

Victoria Sin

Narrative Reflections on Looking
Preface/Looking Without Touching
Single-channel Video, 4K, Colour, Sound, 1’07”
Courtesy of the artist and Chi-Wen Gallery 

Picture an image
This is had been floating in your mind
You know the one
Don’t be coy.
Focus on the image now – recall her clearly in your mind.
As if she’s lying there beside you.
What is she saying to you?
(What is she whispering softly in your ear?)
Sweet Nothings?
Your fly’s undone?
Did you say you’re hungry, babe?
Let her touch you, comfort you, please you.
She loves you, you know.
It’s just that she’s trapped in your picture plane.
She’d do anything for you,
If she could.

Narrative Reflections on Looking
Part One/She Was More than the Sum of My Parts
Single-channel Video, 4K, Colour, Sound, 3’36”
Courtesy of the artist and Chi-Wen Gallery

Something alarming happened to me today.

I was in a waiting room, 
looking through a magazine, 
when I came across an image of a woman 
who looked just like me.

Looking at the image, 
gazing back at me, 
I became unable to look away.

As we continued to look at each other
I became aware of the awkward position 
I was sitting in

I tried to adjust myself several times, 
But I couldn’t quite sit right.
And she looked so at ease.

The image was gazing at me so intently, 
and she was pouting at me, 
just slightly 
so that I couldn’t be sure if she was trying to seduce me
or if she was just unhappy

She looked just like me,
But there was something strange in her expression
It was like looking into a mirror
and finding that there was something missing in the reflection.

Her skin shone in the gloss print
And her lips looked 
so soft and inviting

I felt my heart beating, 
And swallowed hard,

I felt fingers twitch with urge
May I?.. I asked her quietly under my breath

But she didn’t answer
She didn’t move
She didn’t even blink
She only looked at me

So I hesitated for a long moment
Then reached out to caress her cheek

But my touch was met with the cool and smooth texture of the page

Narrative Reflections on Looking
Part Two/The Reprise of Cthulhu
Single-channel Video, 4K, Colour, Sound, 3’31” 
Courtesy of the artist and Chi-Wen Gallery

Last night I was eaten alive.
I was making small talk with someone in the room
When over their shoulder
She caught my eye.

As she turned the corner
And came into view 
I inhaled 

There was something alien about her
As she moved through the corridor towards me,
Gliding across the floor
As if she weren’t taking steps at all, but moving on many limbs

And there was something distressing about the way that her dress held her.
It flowed like tentacles around her over the ground
But hugged her waist and clung to her thighs


Underneath the silk, her skin appeared to writhe
Or maybe it was the way the light refracted as she advanced
And placed one leg in front of another

And again
And again

She paused there, framed in the entrance

Languishing as the object of the room’s collective gaze

I found myself staring helplessly,
Taken by her image.

She looked 

But then,
She looked 

At me.

As her gaze struck squarely onto mine,
I felt my body suddenly and involuntarily tense.

As she began again
To place one leg in front of another,

I began to panic,
Fumbling in my mind for something I should do or say.

But she was so close now –
And she smiled at me

As her glassy eyes left mine
Pressing slowly down my body
Caressing my lips,
Sliding down my neck,
Trailing between my breasts
Lingering on my waist
My hips
My ass
My sex

Luxuriating down my thighs and calves


With a lasting look at my feet and toes

She had finished me.


Narrative Reflections on Looking
Part Three/Cthulhu Through the Looking Glass
Single-channel Video, 4K, Colour, Sound, 4’02”
Courtesy of the artist and Chi-Wen Gallery

Someone in the room cleared their throat and I looked up
How ridiculous I must have looked!
Sitting there mouth open, gawping at this image

I took my hand off the page and closed the magazine quickly
Placing it furtively in my bag

Later, in the restroom, I locked the door carefully behind me
And sitting on the toilet, flipped eagerly back to her page

There she was, looking back at me again
Caught in the reflection of my pupils looking in turn back at her

I brought the image to eye level and breathed
Before pushing my face into hers

I’m not sure how long I sat there for
With the magazine pressed against my face
I could feel the paper becoming moist
As I breathed into it, repeatedly

Somehow in this action I felt incredibly unfulfilled
I wanted more from the image
I wanted it

When I took the image away from my face she was still looking at me
Only she was a bit wet and the page a bit crumpled
It looked at though she were upset, disappointed now.
“What did you think would happen?” Her expression seemed to say

I thought for a moment and then tore out the image
Carefully along the contour of her face
Then, I tore two holes into her eyes
So that when I carefully placed her face onto mine
I could see clearly.

I tore a hole between her two lips, and
Through that hole I placed my index and middle fingers into my mouth

My mouth was warm and wet,
And my fingers were salty.
I sucked my fingers until my mouth was salty,
And my fingers were warm and wet.

Then, starting from around her mouth and working outwards
I caressed the image until it was wetted to my skin
Until it was soft and malleable enough
To cling on its own to my face

Then, not wasting a moment
I unlocked the stall door and opened it
As I stepped through the threshold
The eyes of a woman in the mirror widened
But she quickly recovered into a coy smile

Before leaving the restroom, to make her entrance.