60:00 min (Installation version)
“Hostile Landscapes” is a two-channel installation film initiated in 2022. It revolves around the remarkable true story of Jhu Hyeun-ken (朱贤健/주현건), a North Korean defector imprisoned in the Jilin Prison in Northeast China for illegal border-crossing since 2013. Jhu managed to escape from the prison on October 18th, 2021, with bare hands. After eluding local police and authorities for 40 days, Jhu was ultimately shot in the leg and apprehended near the Fengman Dam and Reservoir, a historically significant location with deep Japanese colonial ties.
As a filmmaker hailing from Jilin Province, I meticulously tracked and filmed Jhu’s confirmed and potential hideouts with a series of cinematic gazes of the local landscapes, reconstructing his fugitive odyssey along with other border-crossing East Asian (hi)stories. The work contemplates notions related to Chinese/Asian identities, and their connections to nationalism and colonialism, within the framework of contemporary and modern East Asian history, exploring the geopolitical shifts of the past and the present.