Underwater Rickshaw Race
‘A Different Kind’ of rickshaw race:
Filmed underwater, Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba’s 13-minute video installation portrays the simultaneously mundane but epic struggle of six Vietnamese fishermen pulling cyclos (rickshaws) along the sea floor.
Meant to signify the harsh, challenging conditions of everyday life for many Vietnamese people, the arduous job of dragging the cyclos through the ocean speaks to the difficult burden of the past in face of modernization. Memorial Project Nha Trang: For the Courageous, the Curious, and the Cowards does not employ actors, using actual fishermen instead, for the grueling task. The film’s sense of absurdity is heightened by the fact that the physical struggles are real; from the splashing and stumbling trek from beach to sea-floor, to the maneuvering around boulders and beds of coral. Each time a man seeks traction in the sand with his toes or pushes to the surface to breathe, he does so out of the necessity to overcome the tangible barriers he faces.
Watch selections from the film here