After collecting the imagery that forms part of the film, Richard Forbes-Hamilton would return to these images sporadically over an 18 month period. The landscapes that form part of the final work seem to sit outside of time and place, somewhere in between past and future, nature and urban space, myth and document. The only inhabitant of this world is an ambiguous figure and their buffalo. The motif of a youth riding an oxen or buffalo is one common to Chinese Buddhist mythology, of which the ox is one of the earliest similes for meditation practice.
The title of the film refers to a Cantonese proverb, meaning to slur your words. By removing the proverb from its language of origin, its meaning becomes a fumbled articulation, obscured like the ghostly figure in the film. The ghost is often at the periphery of the frame, a floating observer moving through through the collage of environments, yet somehow always outside of them. If the film suggests a transitional realm or liminal space, then the youth and the buffalo are of this same realm. The artist’s navigation of these scenes could be considered equivalent to the suggested experience of the protagonists.
Richard Forbes-Hamilton’s practice also includes drawing, sound, photography, textiles and painting. He recognises painting to be an intuitive practice, an engagement through direct material interaction and a process where understanding is found through making. With 'A Ghost Eats Mud on the Mountain', the artist applies these material concerns to filmmaking. The presentation and inherently physical quality of video or film is directly associated with the quality of surface within painting.
As part of a live event, Forbes-Hamilton will perform variations of the score and produce drawings from memory, based on corresponding scenes from the film.