IS/LAND's "Lost Constellation (Pt. 1 + II)" explores individuality and interconnectivity through movement, sound, words, and video


IS/LAND, Lost Constellation

IS/LAND is a Southeast Michigan collective of Asian Pacific Islander American and Asian artists, and the group's "In Isolation Pt. 1 - SYNODIC" was a welcome respite of verdant color and light during January's gray darkness. Filmed and soundtracked by Chien-An Yuan, the video features dancer J Amber Kao moving and gesturing within a tightly prescribed area of Ann Arbor's Saginaw Forest, exploring change in a year where everything in the world was transformed and yet some days it felt like time stood still. (Read the review here.)

Kao and Yuan are back with fellow IS/LAND's members ciale and writer Frances Kai-Hwa Wang for two more performance pieces as part of the Detroit Institute of Art's celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Filmed at the DIA's Detroit Film Theatre, the two works in Lost Constellation explore individuality and interconnectivity:

Pt. I - 'A Path of Lights' 
Two dancers, J Amber Kao and ciale, explore interdependence, healing, and connection. The space between their motion connects yet divides them. As they navigate their individual spaces within the physical environments, the inevitability of their interrelationship manifests itself into a shared narrative. With a poem written and performed by Frances Kai-Hwa Wang and a music score by Jienan Yuan.

Pt II - 'Singular Plural'
A liminal meditation by ciale of gender expression and persona.

Christopher Porter is a library technician and editor of Pulp.

➥ "Ann Arbor's Chien-An Yuan produces music, photography, and design steeped in contrasts" [Pulp, June 9, 2020]
➥ "IS/LAND's 'In Isolation Pt. 1 - SYNODIC" performance video explores the subtleties of change" [Pulp, January 14, 2021]