Doppelganger is a video work by Yi-Chi Lin that explores early overseas migration in Kinmen. With a narrative focusing on a premonition of “doppelganger” in a family that had migrated abroad, the piece ties together members across three generations in Taiwan and Indonesia and their experiences of diaspora through different periods in time, including separation, growing up in a foreign land, and eventually settling down and building a life there. Departing from the perspective of the family, the work recounts the life history of the migrants and then further explores issues of nationality, history, and identity in Southeast Asia.
In regards to production, the work employs cinematic mise-en-scène and theatrical performance arrangements, and the idea of a doppelganger in a foreign country is presented with actors from three generations each taking on two roles, showing close contrasts of similar mysterious encounters that the two sides have both experienced. Additionally, more clues and codes are hidden in the images presented. With theater-like scene transitions, the narrative spans across three different dimensions of time, traveling from the past, the present, to the future, with the distances between Kinmen, Taiwan, and Indonesia stitched together. For the presentation, the video is screened in a cave-like setting to represent the historical tunnel in Kinmen, which further augments the audience’s corporeal perception, with more possibilities evoked by the images and the space.