(Tending) (to) (Ta) is a narrative-led speculative fiction film grounding itself in ‘tā’, the monosyllabic sound which in Mandarin Chinese encompasses all third person pronouns: 他 (third person male), 她 (third person female), and 它 (more-than-human lifeforms and objects). The film follows an exchange of internal letters between two protagonists who imagine one another across parallel dimensions. Each communicates to an envisioned other, who exists as a possibility beyond their self-perceived boundaries of reality, and these two beings meet in a shared world of imagination. In this reciprocal reach for the unknown, a world that bears an uncanny resemblance to our contemporary reality – colonised by Western capitalist constructs of race, gender and class, and characterised by a collective distance from Ta – opens a portal to another realm.
Screening as part of Queer East 2021 Artists’ Moving Image Programme.