Project II: She’s like me, but not me

Variation, change, endlessness, eternity.

The World, the universe, the thoughts, the mentality.


My journey of studio project II started with some stories I acquired at my auditing class Contemporary Canadian arts. On the class, we were shown the pictures of some famous venues and architectures in Vancouver and how they developed in past decades. 

The evolution of Western Front

The evolution of Vancouver Art Gallery

Those impressed me so much and made me think of setting off my own trip of exploring this city.

By the end of April this year, I completed my personal physical transition and came to Vancouver from my hometown China. Up to now, I still regard myself as a visitor in this city. Therefore, I think this is a very good opportunity to start experiencing everything. Because every object I see in the city, every person and every building, comes from a unique and personal perspective, which is my own view. 

City Walking Therapy

So I gave up worrying about the exhaustion of thoughts, picked up a film camera purchased at a second-hand store for ten dollars, and loaded it with the film that a friend gave me four years ago, which opened my exploration of the city. I would like to call it city walking therapy. I try to record what this city looks like in my eyes from my personal perspective, and also try to find myself when I explore this city.

My city walking map

The art of Yoko and John exhibition. After the exhibition I went north to the harbor and saw a street singer singing Imagine

Went on a little trip with April to UBC Botanical Garden.

Wandering around on Main Street from King Edward to Broadway.

A Dream

During the process of doing my project II, I had a very interesting dream. 

I’m telling my dream in Mandarin, because I dreamt this in my own language.

I dreamt that I found my childhood old photos in a thrift store in Vancouver. But the streets outside the store were the combination of the street I lived when I was in junior high school and street in Vancouver. And when I wanted to prove that the photos were me, they were not me anymore, they became another girl just looked like me. 

Looking back on this story after I woke up from the dream, I still felt it was very real. In my dream, I was not overly surprised to see my childhood photos, nor was I confused and lost because the person in the photo became someone else eventually. I just thought there was nothing wrong with all this happening like this.

Collecting as a therapy

So I continued my city walk journey and went to second-hand stores, flea markets and so on, as I dreamt of. In the process, I collected a lot of old photos, old reversal films, and interesting objects. I didn’t think much in the process of collecting them, but then I found out that they could be inextricably linked with myself.

The song of Tsui Ping. Tsui Ping was a Mandopop signer active from 1950 to 1971.

I think this is an exquisite and wonderful song. It tells about a girl who met her favorite person in the forest but missed the opportunity to chat with him because of the rain. She missed the boy so much and came to the forest again, but only heard the evening bell ringing at Nanping hill. The bell seemed to wake her up, understanding that all this is impossible. She walked out of the forest, but unexpectedly harvested a beautiful sunset.

Ten years ago, I first time watched Taiwanese director Tsai Ming-liang’s film The Skywalk Is Gone. I was fascinated by the ending song Evening Bell at Nanping Hill (南屏晚钟). I was familiar with this song, but the version was the first time I have listened to it. It sounded very retro without complicated accompaniment, so it made the melody very catchy.

When I found this vinyl in a record store on main street in Vancouver, I just thought it was very interesting to find a Chinese record in a store where all records are in English. So I bought it. And when I got home, I found that it contained the song Evening Bell at Nanping Hill version of which I liked very much back then.

Neptoon Records

This song describes a state of life and also reflects my own life portrayal. Sometimes you just want to pursue something but don’t get it, but when you lose it, you will also get another good thing you didn’t expect.

I also collected some old photos from flea market. Many of them seem to be shot randomly, even out of focus or very blurry, but the emotions they all reflect are very vivid.

And I also feel very glad that I packed a huge digital folder of old photos from my family that were digitized by my father several years ago. They feed my nostalgia and make me feel warm and comforted when I’m lonely. 

However, when I looked back these photos, I pleasantly found there are many common things between my old photos and photos I collected from flea market. I suddenly realized this probably allude how I experience in my dream. 

Old photo from flea market
Childhood me
Old photo from flea market
My parents at their wedding day

Variation & Conformity

Everything in the world is changing, the city is changing, our locations are changing, our mentality are changing. 

But relative to the entire universe, everything is virtually unchanged and endless.

Eternality & Termination

Every second is the termination of our life. 

If I take a photo of you, you are dead. Because the moment I take the image will be never relived. 

But everything is eternal, because someone is always born, living a life similar to you, thinking about thoughts similar to you. 


We are only one ten-thousandth of everything in the universe, and all we can see is only a few percent of the discovered universe

All the rules we make are subjective. 

Since it’s all like this, why not try our best to do what we want to do and don’t be bound by any kinds of values. This is also my point of view to heal me when I encounter setbacks. 

She looks like me, but not me. Because I can watch myself being emotional, thinking about my thoughts, and witnessing my growth, like I’m watching everything in the universe.  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *