Updated: Nov 10, 2021
To love myself is to be honest with myself.
Loving myself means…
I was 15 when I discovered I like girls. It was then I stopped loving myself, or perhaps I felt I didn’t deserve to be loved. I grew up in a religious household and studied in denominational schools. The silent fear I suffered growing up turned me into a quiet introvert who seems pretty “normal” from the outside. It wasn’t until my 20’s when attending a lecture on buddhism I learned of the story about the poor man who unknowingly lived with buried treasures under his shanty. I was moved to tears when the lecturer told us, “We all have goodness buried within us waiting to be discovered.”
Not loving myself is…
Not loving myself is thinking I need to become someone I’m not before I’m able to speak my mind. Also makes me forget to be honest with myself and accept the good and the bad. This reminds me of the lyrics from a song called “Sunshine” by The Pancakes.
I shied away from studying fine art in university because I thought I lacked the talent required. As a kind of fallback, I chose cultural studies instead. My career somehow brought me back to the arts industry, and I realised it’s not all about technique, but also understanding of the world and human emotions. I still of course feel inadequate sometimes especially when I speak publicly about my work, but then I have just begun making films for few years.
I still remember the first time I stumbled upon the opportunity to make a short film. In the beginning of my master studies, I had my heart set on photography. A few months later it came a project with the EYE Film Museum, and that required all students to submit a short film, and that was how I got into it. I had to learn everything from editing to making output files on the fly, but that learning process made me realise what creating something feels like. I did get stressed and encountered many obstacles along the way, but that feeling of achievement felt so good.
《景外書 / Letter to the Outsider 》劇照 Film Stills
Through my experience of watching others’ and making my own documentaries in the last few years, I’ve used to have empathy for other people. But I do sometimes forget to treat myself in the same way and should not be so hard on myself. The pandemic has provided more opportunities for me to learn. I now realise that being harsh on myself also stems from love, and that what you love and hate are actually from both sides of the same coin.
The lifestyle of loving myself...
I was always meeting artists of various backgrounds in my previous career. It was soon apparent to me that I can get a sense of what the artist’s character is like through their work. It made me think about if I was blatantly exposing my gluttony when people see my work. Besides the food itself of course, I also like to capture the process of cooking, or start conversations with my subjects around food. Home, and a Distant Archive is a history documentary, but I included a lot of cooking footage in it.
《見光 / Home, and a Distant Archive》劇照 Film Stills
They turned pages of files with their hands, but they can also be used to cook, put on make-up, and write. The bind of history and everyday life is inseparable.
《見光 / Home, and a Distant Archive》電影海報 Film Poster
A lot has happened to oneself and the world in the past few years. To create the capacity to love yourself, it is important to keep doing what you love mindfully.
Dorothy Cheung | Hong Kong Artist and Filmmaker
www.dorothycheung.com 人像攝影 Portraits by Kiki Ho
作品劇照及海報 Film Stills & Poster © Dorothy Cheung
總編輯 Editor-in-Chief: Dani Chong
執行編輯 Executive Editor: Moon Mo
助理編輯 Assistant Editor: Tina Lee
英文翻譯 English Translation: Cliff Wu
NEXT 下一篇 / 專訪02 Tabu #我的愛自己是 真正合乎道德的自私
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