When I am Dead is an ethereal reflection upon mortality.
The Chinese artist Qin Jin gently approaches the theme of life and death. Her last work When I am Dead, a three channel video projection, investigates the lightness of being and its ephemeral meaning. Qin Jin involves the spectators into a cinematic experience at once mysterious and revealing. Three identical sequences are shown side-by-side to create a hypnotic visual repetition that conveys a deep sense of quietness strengthen by the rolling motion of the sea.
The subtle relationship that connects past, present and future is showcased through a series of emphatic actions that describe the life of a woman. Her existence lasts no more than a single day as if she was a fragile butterfly. The videos tell her story, gathering together in non-linear way memories of childhood, tactile perceptions of a day spent on a shore, thoughts conceived in an empty room. We do not know exactly what links them together; we can only imagine it. In this way the viewer completes Qin Jin’s artwork by giving its own interpretation.
The time flows as a continuum that never ends or begins as individual are born, grown into adults, became parents and then they reach the end, the space left in the world filled with new begins. Qin Jin expresses this concept through the foam, a recurrent element in When I am Dead. Bubbles speak of transience and, like the life of human beings, they are substances that can barely be touched, they can’t be controlled.
With great sense of understanding, Qin Jin suggests how we try to hold the immaterial and pout it into rational words, like the old woman writing the letter, while its real meaning is purely metaphorical and get lost into the ether.