Mr Ai has been sent to observe the inhabitants of the snow-bound planet of Winter. An androgynous people, like animals they enter phases of sexuality and can be both mother and father at different times in their lives. To Mr Ai they seem alien, unsophisticated, confusing. But during a long tortuous journey across the ice, he finds himself losing some of his progressional detachment, befriending one of their outcasts, and reaching a painful understanding of their true nature. But will he ever learn to see them as they see themselves?