PAL, 13 min., English subtitle, 2008
Sign is a 2-part video work by Leung Chi Wo exploring the idea of non-mainstream communication and the meaning of human reality overloaded by mass media.
Part I is an educational video featuring deaf teacher Laisarn(Laisarn Leong) and her shadow(Belle Reily) about the idea of baby signs in Auslan(Australian Sign Language) and the demonstration of basic signs with which parents can actually learn to communicate with their children whoever deaf or hearing. Whereas Laisarn communicates with the audience in Auslan, her shadow does it with her eyes and mind.
Part II is a fictional video showing a young mother in communication with her baby in Auslan. Though taking place in a peaceful and pleasant atmosphere, the mother tries to convey the words that she comes across every day, which can be harsh or discomforting. The juxtaposition of loving expression and hostile meaning depicts a surrealistic scene of our schizophrenic world. The vocabulary here is chosen from The Canberra Times.
Video editing by Samantha Culp; music by Lullatone.
Words signed for demonstration in part I:
Mummy. Where is Daddy? Gone work. Home. You wet? You poo? Want change? Want eat? Want milk? Want more? You finish? Want sleep? Want play? No. Yes. Ta! [Thank you]
Words signed by mother to baby in part II:
Happy baby, Beautiful girl, School exam, Tuition fee, Child abuse, Social isolation, Discrimination, Extra-marital affair, GST(Goods & Services Tax), Unemployment, Domestic violence, Mortgage, Superannuation, Stock market, Freedom, Global capitalism, Illegal immigration, Post-imperial nostalgia, Avian flu, Global warming, Intelligence agencies, Humanitarian disaster, Relief operation, Radicalism, Terrorist attack, Air strike, Ethnic cleansing, Rape and murder, Genocide mass grave.