What is Asia?

Happy Family Night Market


Jacob Cruz-Rine

2 min., 2023, Guahan (Guam) & United States, color, 16mm film Languages: English 9 min., 2019, Guahan (Guam) & United States, color, digital video Languages: English

Sea Calls Me Home is a meditation on ancestral memory, and the Pacific Ocean as a bridge from the California coast to the Pacific Islands.

A Forest with No Birdsong is a conversation between the filmmaker and his mother about their heritage, their family, and legacy, while shaving coconuts on kamyus.

Sea Calls Me Home was born when a professor at CalArts handed everyone in my cohort a 16mm camera and told us all to shoot something stationary with no sound. I immediately knew exactly what I was going to shoot. I don't remember a time that I didn't know the sound and image of the ocean, and specifically, the Pacific Ocean. I believe this to be ancestral. The film is a simple meditation on this thought.

A Forest With No Birdsong was born out of a deep desire to reconnect with my CHamoru heritage. While researching the island, I learned that, as an effect of colonialism and trade, brown tree snakes made their way to the island, and with no natural predators present, flourished. The snakes ate the all birds, leaving no birdsong in the tropical forests.

I started having conversations with my mother about the island and the snakes, and then began recording them. While making the film, I learned things about my extended family and the island that I had never heard before. I hope that viewers learn something about Guahan, an island that many people may have absolutely no knowledge of.

Jacob Cruz-Rine is an artist currently based in Los Angeles. Through film and photography, he is exploring creation stories, the effects of colonialism, a deep longing for “home,” and ancestral practices associated with Guahan, as a CHamoru person living in the contiguous United States. Cruz-Rine received his BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2018 and is currently pursuing a Master's degree in film directing at CalArts. He exhibited at Bass and Reiner, CTRL+SHFT Collective, ProArts, Kearny Street Workshop, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and SFMOMA.


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