Proposal for a Film: Within the Leaves, a Sight of the Forest (Tintin Wulia 2016)

it was the end of summer 2014 that day I was just walking around I was watching observing I wanted to approach them but I was afraid of being rejected really because a few weeks before then I tried to approach a waste collector he was doing his things and I thought okay maybe I can ask him a few questions but he was just really unfriendly I was being polite you know but I realize well they’re busy they’re doing their own thing and Who am I just coming from nowhere asking them questions they don’t know what they’re getting for me and so I thought well yeah fair enough so I’ve been just observing really either in it right in the back cool once if not we did the size of the chorus this is a proposal for a film the film follows my project trait trace transit that i started in 2014 it’s about interconnectedness in a globalizing world when you think about the globalizing world you might not think of a cardboard box write something but that’s exactly what I’m talking about here I’m describing this globalizing world through a very local route of cardboard waste especially around Central Hong Kong I have seen it over and over again like sunrise on Mars it happens every day tell me something anything after earth or an hour roundup and then elected you so they’ll have them pressed build-up closed or not to let the press is something on me something not just that not adjust anything about the world I I shouldn’t work for it as well you know I should I should walk their walk I should do what they do to understand really I begin investigating the decades-old route where use cardboard boxes are collected from the Big Branch shops like Chanel Marks & Spencer starbucks by informal waste collectors like the elderly one couple the one couple are experts in negotiating the public space in Hong Kong they systematically combed the route for cardboard waste with their multiple trolleys parked in ready but unseen sports as I learned a variety of trolley configurations that identify different waste collectors I discover an active involves right taking place on weekends in central like sunrise on Mars local waste collectors like shuyi sells cardboard to her filipina ponyo of friends in Cantonese but her operation seems puny next to covert distribution senior grace and her teammates Rhea rose and rainy who resourcefully multiplying the cardboard wases value through a repeated weekly cycle of selling and recollecting fellow filipino domestic workers like high achieving manicures Michelle Celine Dion singing Monsieur Gloria enterprising young entrepreneur boy and his longtime girlfriend remee and their chassis friends are new customers who transform and reuse the carport ways for their temporary shelters and furtive

market stalls around central on their day off at weekends details let us see inside it Let It Pro and climbing up to Mars waste paper is like a forest plant a seed inside it and follow it up to Mars this is my point of deeper immersion in the road amongst the many sheltered side professions of the Filipino domestic workers I insert myself growing murals on their weekend homes most people in this weekend home say that what I wanted to do which is to trace the cardboard route until its endpoint and collect everything that has my trace on it to be shown in an exhibition in 2016 it’s a big project that must be very challenging I become only more ambitious however and request access to grazes park trolley during the week so i can draw more for more visibility there for ease of tracking managing to negotiate this I take the cardboards to drawn in a square near by attracting diverse audience including a local policeman who studied art and had a stint as a window display designer the policeman shows me the artistic photographs he takes when patrolling the square and offers to take my pictures when I show the pictures to grace she recalls the police force firing tear gas during the I’m here in in central is very scary they are shouting there and then I’m going to go home but I encountered there the deeper girls and then my eyes is a little teary eyes and I smell something it’s not good so I feel busy at the time very scary there’s a lot of people there’s alotta police I imagine stint in dee dee police turn maybe 20 police are 20 police massive field and I met my the word that I take care before them her mama that he called his mama her mama and then tell me oh mama I see Nana here in general I want to talk to him but it’s a beauty is that good so as my relationship with grace grows on a trip to London UK for an artist residency I bring that in Tagalog for salted fish for Grace’s favorite sister Felli an independent domestic worker now living in sorry who supported her daughter all the way into being a giant ecologist back in manila in the meanwhile one of Remy’s friends moves to the US with her fiance and Remy decides to end her longtime extramarital affair with boy causing the group to break apart thus I lose one of my host groups shuyi their cardboard supplier also decides to stop dealing because she has been fined a thousand Hong Kong daughter for committing an offence of abstraction of public places reflecting on the various strategies of street artists I decide to focus on quality over quantity and return to draw on site the murals which start very simply as decoration that the domestic workers can join in on drawing gradually evolved into a tool for me to communicate my deepening knowledge of what happens at the other nodes on the

route tell me something anything about the world worn out build up flattened sold build up collected collected slept so compressed compress enough tell me something not just anything about at the end of cycles I help grace and her teammates sort the worn-out carport waste to sell to the recycling collection point yeah going down you’re very funny am i funny okay give it to oh wow you grace usually drops her trolleys off at money recycling collection run by Bobby and his stuff but I find it difficult to communicate with them even with the Cantonese translator I find it easier to communicate through the translator with home who runs a small businessman changhong where the loose cardboard waste is compressed into bales as heavy as 350 kilograms who inherits the small business from her older relative and employs as many as four workers but as hard as it is to continue because of her lack of skills and knowledge to benefit from government support it is also difficult to stop because she wouldn’t know how and where to quickly sold and heavy machinery she currently runs as a small business owner she works twenty-four seven and earning minimally so she plans to quit in a few years when her body ceases to compromise to start work as a cleaner in a big department store at least her holidays will be paid she says a dog with no leash passes by it came from homes neighboring business also a recycling point much quieter and smaller and homes when compressing the bills Hong and her staff put sicker cardboard sheets at the ends of the bills I suggest they use the murals for these turning the bales into big thick book withdrawn covers

hitching a ride with home strata to the port I get to know q a forklift 420 zoo who supervises paper waste storage and ugly logistics cloth at the port until the bales are ready to be shipped or truck to paper mills like billionaire Jeong Eun’s nine Dragons people in China my great record is going back and forth between between the southern hemisphere and Mars you know it was five hundred thousand dollars for person 2017 or something you know around the 20 2020s basically and the SpaceX Dragon think it would take six months every time they do it and then yeah because they say that when they were young going back and forth you know so the fridge thought there was my grandmother was born on Mars and then they left her with dessert a surrogate family so there’s a surrogate family on Mars while my great grandparents would go back earth you know because they have businesses in both places and so on earth their second daughter was born on earth and she stayed there so imagine that I have relatives honor that I I’ve never met and you know it goes back that that long ago so basically they just kept doing that you know I continuing that business going back and forth between Earth and Mars and at one point they were just too old and frail to fly and so they stopped and they they stayed on earth but by that time my grandmother was an adult already so basically she took over the business and never got to see her parents you know Oh on their way from central to the port at confession home struck as well as Bobby’s truck passed by the hong kong convention and exhibition center the hong kong convention and exhibition center is the venue for art basel hong kong a major art fair in asia as it is include this is where i hook the cardboard waste market on to the art market i do this by recollecting 16 bales that carry the traces of my emotions as components in my installation five tons of homes and other under stories at the encounters section art basel hong kong 2016 presented by Asajj gallery commercial arm of the Asajj group however Asajj gallery expresses concerns about not being able to sell the major work because it is made of paper and about their limited storage in which they can only accommodate three of the 16 valence I decide to throw the bales the components of my installation back in ways circulation as my major work is staying sold at the end of the art thing I called a forklift rhetoric you to pick

the bales up and bring them to the plant things and people are waived in cycles like rain water pouring down on earth to the river going to the ocean and back into the clouds gathering and dispersing in the next rain the d insulation at art basel hong kong finishes at midnight that is when all exhibitors must go away from the venue the exhibition technicians parked at thirteen bales at the side of the street the three bills are brought to Asajj gallery in quinton an industrial area in kowloon opposite of hong kong island there they’re dismantled back in Toulouse carport waste in preparation for my solo show a few months after in June 2016 at eight in the morning Kim comes to pick up the 13 bales he loads them one by one into the truck and drives them to the port as a port gate opens he drives the truck onto a waying doc the scale says 9800 and 31 kilograms he parks the truck close to the water and one of his skillful forklift drivers comes by and dances with the bales I have seen like sunset on Mars it happens every day they’re gathering and dispersing it the brain I had to see inside in and climb in a mall and wait to be there it tells me something not just anything about worn out wasted fold it up button so collected waste paper is like a forest woven in a cycle it starts all over again the last episode is set in my solo show the works at the solo show including miniatures inspired by the murals are used as materials for a stop-motion animation in the rift with images from the insulation and the installation of the show as local waste collectors Longet gathers the remains of the show and sauce it by wed the local recycling collection point which again compresses it into bills trucks into the dock and salsify the tongue the waist shapes aboard an incessant global are modern and ships to the recycling facilities in China to be reworked in the new cardboard boxes to the distribution of Chinese goods to every corner of