'Against a clear background, amazed at their own transparency, the faces of Tsaï Ming-liang’s films appear transfixed, born to the streets in a forgotten season where nothing is familiar. Sculpted from some strange substance, they belong to a generation of ashes born by the wind, arriving in the real through the action of foreign forces, foreign bodies; transported by distant, inexplicable energies. They fail to recognize themselves. They examine themselves and each other, but never grow. They search the secret of their mysterious origins in underground conflicts, guided by depressing enigmas. They hope to tell their story in a different way than in submission to the present, to their appearances in each shot to the daily paths. They wish to trace a fold in which to hide halfway, or a line in joining a current of challenges. Control is a distant force for these lost, mistreated, short-winded beings, something that belongs to the rest of the world, to objects, to geometry, to pointless conflicts, their art of sudden awakenings, of unprovoked aggression, of crises without cause, object or even effect, When they can be explained, the answer only appears, finally, as an illusion, a pretext, an accidental creation that sends one back to abstract feelings and their multiple destinations.'
Olivier Joyard, 'Coproral Interference', translated from the French by J. Ames Hodges, in Tsaï Ming-liang edited by Danièle Rivière, publisher: Dis Voir