Creepy Beijing Subway GIF Portraits

February 15, 2013 | Eugene Reznik

Chinese filmmaker Kit Chung has been experimenting with GIFs pulled from a video he made shooting portrait close-ups on Line 2, Beijing’s oldest running subway rail. The voyeuristic loops of subtle facial gestures are a little bit Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests meet Chris Marker’s Passengers. He’s been posting to his Tumblr which also reminds of Rebecca Davis’ New York Underground series of Instragrams featured recently on ANIMAL. In an interview with Creators Project, Chung explains the shift toward animation:

I didn’t want to edit the GIF into a loop that looks just like a video. Instead, I used it to created a “moving portrait” and got some surprisingly interesting results. In these GIFs, the person is in the train going forward without a beginning or an end. Because of the GIF, these people exist in the train forever.

What a nightmare — a beautiful, compelling nightmare.