​ © 2024 C. Liu

A love story: between the strait

06:04 minutes
colour digital video, sound

'A love story: between the strait' is an artist video exploring individuals' life stories around the event of diaspora. It is a sequel to 'A complete story: between the strait' with a focus on the love stories of Yuan's relative and the artist's grandparents and how they were affected by the 1949 relocation as a result of the the Chinese Civil War.

During the turbulent time, Yuan's relative was in her twenties expecting to marry her partner, an Air Force pilot working for the Nationalist Party. On day he was assigned to fly an aircraft to Taiwan from China and asked her to come together. She refused assuming he would come back to China soon. Within a short time the strait was blocked for political reason- and the travel ban was only lifted after almost four decades. Before the ban, two million individuals relocated to Taiwan with the Nationalists and the idea that they would return to mainland shortly.

Her story is intertwined with the artist’s own family experience during and after the War that is also a construction of history but with a very different outcome. Her grandfather was also in the Nationalist Air Force and met his future wife shortly before the relocation. They took the boat to Taiwan before the travel ban and settled down in the island. They only saw their family in Chongqing after about four decades when travel was finally possible between the strait of Taiwan and China; meanwhile the the pilot visited his then girlfriend, now an elderly woman in Chongqing, China with his family from Taiwan.