Toc Storee

Ming Yuen S. Ma

1992, 21:00 minutes, colour/B&W, Chinese, English w Subtitles


This is the first in a series of video works that explores the various aspects of Asian/Pacific Islander Gay experiences.

Trinh T. Ma-ha wrote in WOMAN, NATIVE, OTHER:
"Each story is at once a fragment and a whole; a whole within a whole." (Indiana Univ. press 1989 p.123) This idea of commonality and difference is the premise in which Toc Storee operates. In the video, stories from Chinese and Japanese history as well as from the contemporary experiences of three individuals of the same cultural descent, and texts by authors including James Baldwin and Trinh T. Ma-ha are juxtaposed with each other to create an open sense of resonance and tradition. Here, connections are tenuous, yet poetic at the same time - there are no direct, linear (rational/Western) connections between these stories from our past and our present self-identification as Asian Gay Men. Yet the footage from Gay Pride 1991 showing the Lesbian and Gay Asian contingent, and footage depicting two Asian men in an erotic encounter that are used to "illustrate" these stories nevertheless establish a sense of continuity that is as elusive as our identities, but no less empowering.

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Critical Writing

The Skin of the Film: Intercultural Cinema, Embodiment, and the Senses
by Laura U. Marks. Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2000.
Polar Recap
by Ann Kaneko. Afterimage, Nov. 1994, v. 22, no. 4.