In my family, the moth is the messenger of death. When a family member passes away in Taiwan, before receiving a phone call about the sad news, we receive a visitor moth in our house in California, United States. Because of these messengers, I have traveled through North America, Asia and Latin America, in the last few years, learning about my family in the diaspora. On this road, I was guided by the moth — and then by grasshoppers, bees, blue flies and the "taparaco" owl butterfly —, to traverse the Andean highlands, the Amazons, the deserts, sites of slave labor such as sugar plantations and guano islands, as well as carry out detective work in cemeteries.
I documented this journey in a multiplatform project titled that can be experienced as a trilingual publication, lecture performances, a migratory museum, video art and oral history interviews in order to fully explore how family ties survive geographical distance, transient spaces between cultures — and sometimes even death.
This seven-part “Taparaco Myth” video rewinds 160 years back via a journey through Peru that embarks on retracing the collective memory of coolie geography into forgotten plantations, railroads, guano islands, cemeteries, oral tradition, and even into a village in the Amazonian Rainforest called "El Chino" -- where no Chinese live. The fragmented narrative of migrants is embodied within the romantic notion of a lone figure wandering in the ceaseless cultural, geographic and mystical landscape composed of meditation on those spaces where the ghosts of history persist within today’s realities.
Editing, concept and camera by Beatrice Glow with the support of Colectivo Zoom and Vasco Pimentel
Music: Pauchi Sasaki; “Bajo el Sol Loretano”, film score used by the first filmmaker in the Amazons, Antonio Wong Rengifo; Tibetan Chant.
Learn more about Taparaco Myth here.