Synopsis: Empty Room is a narrative music video about a closeted gay man, Gabriel, who feels lost and alone in a church that is both cultish and homophobic. Directed by Grant Hao-Wei Lin with collaboration from Co-Producer/Choreographer Peter Cheng and Composer Oscar Chang, the narrative was inspired by Lin’s personal experience with the institution he was a part of. Through the struggle of standing up for himself against the ideology at the church, he was able to finally accept his authentic self, but at the cost of a lost community he yearns for and a broken relationship that can no longer be fixed.
Jesse Herndon (M)
Kathy Chen (Dancer)
Leo Yu-Ning Chang (Pastor)
Cameron Surh (Dancer)
Maya Lam (Dancer)
When I first immigrated to the United States, I was barely learning about myself, who I am, and my sexuality as a gay man. When I finally gathered up the courage to come out in high school, I was bullied by those who I thought were my closest friends. Moving on to college, I was sucked into a church that turned out to be a cult. I thought they fully accepted me despite who I was until I realized at the end that not only the church does not care about inclusivity, but they also emotionally manipulate its member to the point of irreversible trauma. On top of that I was in a secret relationship with a man at the time and did not end well because I was not fully accepting of who I was at the time. Being fully accepting and loving of who I am now, I decided to make this piece both as a remembrance of how far I have come and, more importantly, as a piece to raise awareness about the importance of being yourself and loving yourself fully.
Currently pursuing an MFA in Photography at Parsons School of Design, Grant is a Taiwanese Director/Cinematographer/Photographer based in Brooklyn, NY. Having worked with The New Museum Resident Dance Director, Gotham Dance Theater, Dryer Marinaro Dance Studio, Crunch Fitness, and several drag queens in NYC, Grant has specialized skills in capturing movement, storytelling, and editing that connect otherwise disjointed movements of different time and place.