Ming Yuen S. Ma
USA, 1997, 3⁄4’’UMATIC>DIGITAL, 5 MIN
In a stark white room, a naked man crawls in a circle on an unmade bed, trying to remember the men he had sex with by searching for their smells. A fragmentary account of his encounters layered within a dense electronic soundscape of whispering voices evokes a sense of memory, loss, and the fear of death. While viewing Sniff, I feel as if the man is searching for himself, trying to remember or get a sense of who he once was. The part of ourselves that we give away, lost, while a scent of the memory remains.
Ming Yuen S. Ma, media artist and Professor of Media Studies at Pitzer College, LA, was born in Buffalo and raised in Hong Kong. His experimental videos and installations have shown in national and international venues. He has worked with numerous arts organizations, including LACE, LA Freewaves, MIX/NYC, Foundation for Art Resources, Inc., and the American Film Institute, and he co-directed (with Carol Stakenas) Resolution 3: Video Praxis in Global Spaces.