This shot film on London is commissioned to 'One minute video exhibition of cities around the world'.
Exhibition: 2010 World Expo City Culture Pavilion Shanghai, China.
Traveling through 12 lines and among 270 stations of London underground, that covers diverse aspects of the global city, I try to observe and record this tunnel space as a sphere that all possible characters of London might exist and interact with each other.
The people, the diversity of people, getting on and off, interact, interweave, interrelate with each other, with the very space, constantly constructing and reconstructing the space for its maximal multiplicity and plurality.
The busy bankers arriving at the metal-grey futuristic Canary Warf in the early morning; the trendy yuppies getting on at the oldest station of Baker Street, whose architecture has traveled through time machine, in dialogue with today’s modern advertising posters. The Pakistan man with sun glasses standing in front of white business men; the Muslim women walking with their children in the tunnel like corridor at Waterloo, passing the blond lady in suit; an old Mediterranean couple sitting straight in front of the camera. The travelers with big backpacks pointing at the tube map at Paddington, looking for the next train taking them to Heathrow or King’s cross & St. Pancras; the professionals reading the daily Metro or Financial Times at the platform of London Bridge, waiting for the train home or to the heart of night life at Piccadilly area.
The snake –like train, passing through the green field and summer blue cloudy sky of the city suburban, arriving and leaving, either fully packed like a can, or as lonely and tired as the two sleepy Londoners in the late night.
Through the making of London Tube, I experiment with the concept of public and private domain of daily life. The tube is a huge public space, where everyone with a pass can get on and off freely. It is also the space consisting of private circles that everyone is an individual; everyone is here for their next transaction or destinations. There is always someone or something waiting for everyone, even if there is nothing, the tube would still take you to a corner of London, for your next interaction with the city: Mild End or Brixton, Ealing Broadway or Camden Town, or just in the centre of Oxford Circus.
I intertwine people’s voice-mails with the inhuman mechanical sounds of tube operation. Voice-mails are private messages, mumbling detail textures of multi-layered London life, in all kinds of accents and international dialects. Through the electronic tunnel, they reach each individuals coexisting in this very contemporaneous public space of London Tube. (Kiki)