Qingqian Liu

A Couple of Minutes Is Enough for Me to Tell Your Story

My whole family is living in Tangshan, a small city in China. I miss them very much, but I don't see myself going back to China. This contradiction plays out in my relationship with my mom. We differ in our views on many things, but we still have a strong bond.

During the Spring Festival, my mom started sending me phone footage, which I would then edit and add my own voice-over to. Our on-going collaboration began because of my absence at this important holiday. My mom tried to record every family gathering for me. I experienced the reunion with my family through those long-distance videos and phone calls.

While editing these videos and revisiting family stories, I began understanding more about my mom and her generation, about myself as a potential immigrant in the U.S., and about the life choices I have yet to make. So far this process has had a positive emotional effect on us, but we also feel lost in our communications. It brought out the complexity in our relationship.