Lo-fi home mix

 Still from Phung-Tien Phan, Girl at Heart (2020). Single-channel-HD-video, color, sound, 00:05:09. Courtesy Liste Expedition

For the February installment of Spike’s ongoing collaboration with Liste Expedition, Hong Kong-based writer and curator Chang Qu swims through the data flow of Phung-Tien Phan’s hauntologically-tinged videos.

A man abruptly shouting “lunch!” in the opening scene of Phung-Tien Phan’s Girl at Heart (2020) is just about the only indication of time in the video – or any of the three videos presented here, for that matter. Swiftly, the video takes a cheerful pace, intermixing photos of burning luxury sportscars with footage of a chef scoring squid from what seems like an Asian cooking show and a man sipping red wine in a cosy bistro, sound-tracked by upbeat erhu Chinese folk melodies paired with rapid chopping noises. Then it transitions to a wobbly handheld camera shot, tracing modern mouldings inside a clean, white-walled apartment. In a typical family kitchen, Mad Men plays on a laptop next to the stove. Accompanying the sizzling sound of tofu frying, Don Draper leers at colourfully dressed women on the street. Next, it goes to a mantelshelf, and outside to a boulangerie. It rotates past the window, the city spinning, the sun radiating. Following the light, it continues to wander through the city, a park, an empty street. Finally, it finds the artist, carrying a duffel bag that says “murder”, walking down a high street while in a stand-up-comedy-style voiceover she speaks about vintage fetishes and some of her mom’s crude jokes. The frying sound comes back. A Vietnamese pop song by Min cuts in. The end.

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