Katy Martin

Film and Video





2009, video, 7 minutes

Featuring Lu Yu reading from

Records of the Historian

by Sima Qian (ca. 92 BCE)

Developed in association with

The Museum of Chinese in America's Chinatown Film Project

Calligraphic images of paint on skin, which the filmmaker traces on her own body, are intercut with details of New York′s Chinatown.  Meanwhile, a classic Chinese story, about a clever messenger and a treasured piece of jade, emerges in passing from the ambient sounds heard on Chinatown's streets.

BREATHING TWICE is a portrait of a specific place, and also a study of line - line as drawing, painting and writing, and line in relation to language. BREATHING TWICE also looks at less visible lines, especially the elusive, disappearing lines that may, or may not, divide one cultural frame of reference from another.

This piece unfolds in two languages, so the experience is different depending on whether the viewer speaks English, Chinese, or both.


on vimeo