fine print

Jiu Tong Deng

Introducing the fourth in fine print’s digital commission series pause ~ play, focussing on experimental film and sound for online presentation.

Project by:
Play Audio

Jiu Tong Deng, titled after her dad’s name in plain English, is a work in response and reaction to conflict, both within a domesticated household and within a saturated and opinionated world. The tensions between rational mindedness and emotional experience sit at the core of the work.

Jiu Tong Deng, 2023
single channel digital video, 10 min 38 sec
commissioned by
fine print for pause ~ play, presented for SALA Festival

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00:24 fades in - 1:17 fades out

A Spanish song fades in. A male and female voice sing together accompanied by an acoustic guitar.

1:04 fades in - 2:10 fades out

Mandarin song fades in, sung by a female voice.


Jiu Tong:

Everything need to practicing.


Ha ha.


Oh hi. This is just for fun.


Thank you. For fun is good.

Sizzling food cooking in the background.

Jiu Tong:

You do mm gou a gou a. Put some oil in there.

(translation: If there if not enough oil, add some)

2:54 - 4:21

Jiu Tong sings Yue Ban Xiao Ye Qu by Hacken Lee on the karaoke


Female voice 1#:

Hehe. Yes we are.

Young male voice:

That’s the Murray there. That’s the whole Murrary. So that’s we -

Female voice 2#:

There’s definitely more than a cloud in the sky.

Young male voice:

Through, Lot 5.

4:44 - 6:24

Jiu Tong continues to sing Yue Ban Xiao Ye Qu by Hacken Lee on the karaoke

Voices and laughter continue in the background.

Jiu Tong:

You go to Hong Kong three years, your Cantonese pre- good.


I know.

Jiu Tong:

With the Chinese people, where to Hong Kong -


I feel so tiny, compared to them.

Voices faintly speak in the background and react excitedly.


Jazmine begins to sing along with her dad



Ba, goung ye.

(translation: Dad, say something)


Hello, how are you, Jazmine?

Family laughs


Conversations between Jazmine and her friends and Jazmine and her dad continue atop one another.

6:14 - 6:50

Jazmine and Hugh share a conversation about the ocean, questioning whether what they see at the horizon is a boat or an oil rig, and talk about Impressionist painters in reference to the sunset.

7:05 - 8:23

Jiu Tong sings another Cantonese pop song on the karaoke.

7:20 - 7:45

Jiu Tong, grandpa and Bob speak in Cantonese together debating over the meaning of


7:44 - 8:07

Bob and grandpa debate over whether we have more time or money in life and what the point of money is if you have no time to enjoy it.


Tammy plays a soft melody on the piano.

Multiple voices begin to speak atop one another disjointedly and incoherently.


The sound of the ocean is heard


A man argues with his wife, Grace, attempting to convince her that no one is complaining about her decorating.


Various types of music splice in and out with one another

Voices and arguments get louder

Voices heard the loudest:

‘Urgh, Grace, c’mon!’

‘You know, you’re the only one!-’

‘If you hadn’t convinced me to go into Advertising, I could have painted that picture instead of buying it’

‘I-I could never do this, but sometimes I want to start fresh and paint free form all over the walls with a big messy brush!’


Jackie Chan:

Comedy. When Bruce Lee kicks high, I kick low. When Bruce Lee, after punch, ‘Urgh!’, I do this, ‘Poaw!’’ You know, just like, normal human being. Normal.



Yes, that’s it! Love! Romance! I knew you’d guess it. Urgh! Everything in Italy was so romantic.

The scenery, the food, the wine. The art. The art. I-Isn’t that right, Grace?


Music becomes progressively more overlaid and distorted. Jiu Tong and other voices continue

to speak atop one another.

9:35 - 9:53

Speaking fades away and only the piano continues to play, repeating itself with a slight lag.


Female voice:

I think you can be a little bit -


Piano transitions into another melody, The Name of Life by Joe Hisashi


Male voice 1#:

This is not a game to me, alright?

This is a fucking way of life.

Male voice 2#:

I got a fucking family!

Male voice 1#:

Yeah well I got NOTHING!

No one gives a fuck about me!

Male voice 2#:

I do.

Male voice 1#:

Oh, fuck you!

9:58 - 10:10

Family members announce that dinner is ready, calling out for the kids


Piano fades out