This site features selected works by Jen Goya / Jennifer Goya-Smith.

The Lychee Tree

Jennifer Goya
The Lychee Tree, 2004 and 2009
Experimental Documentary
9 minute, 29 seconds
Interactive: Web
Interactive: DVD-ROM

This is a 17+ year project that started in my final year of college. I recorded a series of conversations with my grandfather for my senior thesis project. He passed away while I finished this film. He never got to see the film we made together. I still get emotional thinking about him and the impact he has had on my life. I have come backed to this film and made other projects with it over the years.

He was the one who encouraged me to leave Hawaii. He was the one who inspired me to connect with the land and to never forget where I come from–my ancestors, my home. I never got to say goodbye, but in away this is my way of doing that.

There was a quote by Peter Galison, “we must have images, we cannot have images…” from an essay called Images Scatter Into Data that is interwoven as the secondary narrative of this documentary. To me my grandfather’s words about the life of his plants and trees and that quote are still relevant today.

This piece has been one that I’ve returned to over the years as way to pay tribute to his legacy and his life. I don’t think I’ll ever stop.

Experimental Documentary

Documentation of DVD and Archived Website