I am not sand, they told me (2023)
4K video, color, sound; 13min 15sec

I am not sand, they told me is a filmic, speculative unmooring of the archival life of Jew Yeung, a Chinese woman who arrived in San Francisco in 1906. Jew Yeung, who at sixteen, was returning to her native California, was accused of being an imposter and a prostitute and was subsequently detained and deported.

I am not sand responds to Jew Yeung’s case as an historic moment of incredible anxiety over Asian/American sexuality, and one that represents the earliest use of photography in border surveillance and regulation. The film tends to Jew Yeung’s case through the unique geography and history of San Francisco’s North Bay, and through testimonies archived in her immigration case record. It strains against the perceived legitimacy of immigration archives and procedures, and imagines the reparative possibilities of Jew Yeung’s fugitivity from the state.

I am not sand, they told me excerpt

Headlands Center for the Arts Project Space, CA, USA, 2023

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