Screening Program 1, Curated by Loredana Pazzini-Paracciani
As part of the Community Partnership Gallery exhibition inToAsia: TBA Festival 2015 – Architectural Landscapes: SEA in the Forefront, we will be showing the following video in our theater.
Feature Image: Still from Apichatpong WEERASETHAKUL’s “Syndromes and a Century”
Participating Artists: HO tzu nyen, Khvay SAMNANG and Apichatpong WEERASETHAKUL
Utama – Every Name in History is I
HO tzu nyen (b. 1976, Singapore), 2003, Single channel SD video with stereo sound, 23’
Although government-sanctioned accounts of Singapore’s history tend to emphasize its British colonial past and “founding” in 1819 by Sir Thomas Stamford Bingley Raffles, there are few reliable sources that document the country’s precolonial founder. One story can be traced to the mid-14th century. A Sumatran prince named Sang Nila Utama arrived on the shores of an island, where he spotted a strange beast. Utama’s aide, Demang Lebar Daun, informed him that the beast must be a lion (the source of his conviction, however, is unclear). Utama thus decided to name the island Singapura – by which singa means lion, and pura means city.
As clouds of mist drift across the verdant shores of the as yet undiscovered tropical island of Singapore, Ho considers Utama’s genealogy through both plausible and implausible interpretations of the origins of this dapper prince.
Khvay SAMNANG (b. 1982, Cambodia), 2011–2013, Single-channel video with sound, 4’22”, Courtesy of the Artist and SASA BASAC
Untitled by Khvay Samnang addresses fundamental issues in Cambodia’s capital city. Phnom Penh’s many public lakes – vital urban water systems – are spaces of contention as the Cambodian government illegally sells, privatizes and sand-fills for commercial projects. Thousands of families living on the periphery of the lakes have been evicted from their homes; many who protested the meager compensation packages were abused and imprisoned. Before the news was reported internationally in 2010, the artist had repeatedly visited the city’s five major lakes, spied, and made nine documented performances during the armed security guards’ breaks. A camera documented Samnang at each site as he poured one bucket of sand over his head. This succinct gesture is repeated in his single-channel video, which acts as both an acknowledgement and poetic resistance to such urban change.
Syndromes and a Century
Apichatpong WEERASETHAKUL (b. 1970, Thailand), Thailand/Austria/France, 35mm, Dolby SRD, 105’, © 2006, Kick the Machine Films Co Ltd
The two-part film is a tribute to Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s parents. A new doctor returns from the army and applies for a position in a provincial hospital. Weirdly, he is afraid of blood. Monks also come for health tests. One elder monk is having bad dreams about chickens. Another monk goes to the dentist for the first time in his life. He wishes to be a disc jockey, the dentist wishes to be a country music singer; a special relationship blossoms between them. A shy doctor asks to marry a lady doctor Dr Toey. She does not say yes or no but narrates her own story to Noon, the boss of an orchid farm, who is only interested in his flowers. These relationships do not conclude. The second part of the movie happens in a hospital in the city. The same actors play the parts but their scripts are different inside the city. The dental practice is like an industry. The dentist simply focuses on his work; there is no small talk with the monk. Another relationship between a doctor and his girlfriend seems to go nowhere as he wants to stay in Bangkok but she wishes to work in Rayong in an industrial park under development. Finally the movie ends in Lumpini Park, an inner-city nature haven in Bangkok, where people do their evening aerobics together but they are dancing alone. There are beautiful lengthy sequences characteristic of Weerasethakul’s work.
ABOUT inToAsia: Time-based Art Festival
Based in New York City, founded by CHEN Wei-Ching, Joanne, inCube Arts is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering new forms of cultural exchange and creative expression through exhibitions, art festival, workshops, public lectures and year-round public programs. To boost the visibility of Asian contemporary art, inCube Arts launched inToAsia: TBA Festival in 2013, a public event for new media art. inToAsia: TBA Festival is the bridge for Asian media arts to more effectively reach Europe and America, providing Asian perspective through multi-disciplinary media including videos, animations, kinetic installations, net arts and real-time sound art performances.
The second edition of inToAsia: TBA Festival will take place on 1–31 October 2015 at various location in New York City including the Queens Museum, The Sylvia Wald and Po Kim Foundation and inCube Arts SPACE .
For further information on the artists and works, please check our website: www.incube-arts.org, or email to inCube Arts firstname.lastname@example.org
Organized by｜inCube Arts
Sponsored by｜Ministry of Culture, R.O.C. (Taiwan), Taipei Cultural Center of TECO in New York, The Taipei City Department of Cultural Affairs, Jim Thompson Foundation, Rhema Events and Arts Services, DCA Art Consultant, 100 Tonson Gallery, Taiwanese American Arts Council
Exhibition Support｜The Queens Museum, The Sylvia Wald and Po Kim Foundation
Media Support｜Singapore: Inside Out
Thanks to｜SA SA BASSAC, Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler (Berlin), Brooklyn Artist Studio, Mr. Jeremy HU
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