The paradox lies in the saying, “Smiling is better than cry.” The irony behind this phrase reveals the fact that the relationship between facial expression and emotion is questionable, as the former not always truly reflects the latter. This is the base for acting. For crying and smiling, as revelations of different feelings, the former is generally believed to be more difficult than the latter, and therefore, no matter true or fake, crying is considered more precious than smiling.
In this unabridged video clip of 8 minutes and 4 seconds, one actress stands still in front of the camera with her long hair blown by the artificial wind, and she has changed her facial expression from smiling to tearing. The fact that the actress was involved in a social scandal in reality a year ago has given her otherwise routine mask-acting here a different meaning in the viewers’ eyes. As the actress finishes her gaze at the camera with “precious” tears, this whole process, exploring relationships between facial expression and feelings, acting and emotional revelation, good and devil, subject and object, further pushes the question: is she smiling, or crying?
The artist says: “I see myself through them.” However, the question is: are we able to really see them through ourselves?