Ji Strangeway is a multidisciplinary artist (director, cinematographer, and writer) specializing in avant-garde and progressive narrative fiction. Her style is inspired by New Wave French Cinema, documentaries, early experimental and independent films. The real influences that shaped her creativity are drawn from real life experiences and living an authentic life among the fringe:
There is a certain level of immodesty that people detect when they hear the word “avant-garde,” “art” or “arthouse.” But all avant-garde means is “new” and newness is what I’m after.” – Ji
Ji grew up in Denver, Colorado where she spent her teenage years in night clubs: underground, punk and alternative music scenes. She was influenced and surrounded by poets of the older beatnik generation. In the 90s, she moved to New York and lived in the East Village. She was immersed in the dance music culture (house and early electronica) where underground artists from the Warhol years and early drag queen performance art thrived. These colorful experiences—in particular the music and diverse culture—shaped the creative outlook of her work and self-defined genre to date.
In 1999, Ji released her first low-budget feature film, MYSTERY’S CHOIR (re-issued 2009). Mystery’s Choir is a coming of age lesbian story about a transgenerational romance between an older woman and 15-year-old teenage girl lost in love. The art film mixes experimental and narrative genres by combining abstract dream imagery, documentary and linear storytelling techniques. Mystery’s Choir is notably unique and bold for its use of realistic (unsimulated) sex and purist art cinema values (see press reviews).
love actually (.)—aka “L.A.,” is a hypnotic and erotic experimental trance short with semi-cruel love-making and artful touching where characters earn miraculous Zen-sensual payoffs without actual sex. The film tells a story through pure female-body poetry without dialogue and features trance music by New Zealand recording artists, Antix/Fiord.
Ji is in LA, working on her next feature and inventing better and stranger ways to do things that have never been done before.