At a younger age, I thought making wishes to a birthday cake was such a precious moment. I would include all the gifts I wanted in the wishes and hope they will come true. Later in my life I came across the grammatical usage of the English word “wish” and realized when one says “I wish I could”, it is implied that the wish is something that cannot materialize in reality. It is as if the wishes over a birthday cake are simply made to compensate the regrets for things we can never have.
In the Wish Project, I plan to shoot 10 people with different backgrounds. They all have some regrets due to unexpected twists and turns in life, and they all have wishes they make on birthdays. The moments they make those wishes are irrelevant to the mainstream values, as everyone, every soul needs to sing for their happiness, happiness by their own definitions.
Three sets of edited footage are on display at this exhibition. While the three participants have very different personal stories, they all use birthday wishes as opportunities to send blessings to their beloved family.
Wish04: the main character Ma currently lives and works in China. For the past ten years, Ma has experienced the transformation and development of high-tech industry in China. However, he chooses to fly back to Taiwan to stay with his family in every vacation as much as possible. Even though he does not do any particular things with his family except for driving the kids to school or spending some time with them, the daily happiness is enough to call the migrant birds back.
Wish05: Sent by his company, Ricky and his family moved to Vietnam ten years ago and have lived there since then. Ricky has made great effort to adapt himself to the society. He even passed the Vietnamese qualification exam. His family later moved back to Taiwan and he also needed to find a new job. However, he still decided to stay in Vietnam, a place where devoted most of life to. Nevertheless, he knows well that the definition of “home” is the place where the family is.
Wish06: Among the interviewees, Louis is the one who has left his country for the longest time. He moved to the United States of America for graduate studies. After graduating with a PhD., he got a dream job. As the only son in his family, however, he cannot avoid the dilemma between his job and his family. Visiting his parents annually is a necessary itinerary for him. The first thing he does when he comes home is to hold the incense in front of the alter, praying for ancestors’ protection from somewhere distant.