An almost wordless screening programme featuring studies of land and sea by Southeast Asian artists Nguyen Trinh Thi, Charles Lim, Khvay Samnang and Nget Rady, and Taiki Sakpisit. These works invite us to reflect on the ways in which physical and sovereign forces shape and reshape space, and take lives or reverse fortunes. They channel undead forces. These potent videos utilise the tactile, gestural and durational capacities of video to embody subterraneous currents charged with anteriority and danger.
Landscape Series #1
Nguyen Trinh Thi Vietnam/2013/5’/color/HD
“I am interested in the idea of landscapes as quiet witnesses to history. During my online search for such photos, I came upon hundreds of images in which anonymous persons were portrayed in landscapes – and always in the same position, pointing to indicate a past event, the location of something gone, something lost or missing...” (Nguyen Trinh Thi)
All the Lines Flow Out
Charles Lim Singapore/2011/21’20”/color/DCP
“When you look at Singapore as an island,
you think of the island as a territory, but I was thinking of the idea that the island is actually not the territory, [but] the static space where things don’t happen. Everything that happens is in the water, there’s a lot more changes there...” (Charles Lim)
Where is My Land?
Khvay Samnang with Nget Rady Cambodia/2014/13’ 30”/color/HD
A collaboration between contemporary artist Khvay Samnang and dancer Nget Rady in response to the fatally changing face of the land in Cambodia. "Several hundred homes have fallen into Cambodia’s rivers in recent years, and several deaths have been reported. Villagers blame the extreme erosion on sand-dredging barges and pipelines, the sound of which torments them day and night. With few options for compensation and little if any access to the luxury developments for which the sand is being mined, many are left wondering: Where Is My Land?" (Roger Nelson)
A Ripe Volcano
Taiki Sakpisit, Thailand/2011/15;15"/color/HD
The artist cuts footage from the faded Rattanakosin Hotel, an emblematic site of political haunting in Bangkok, with images of mass rituals and other temporally charges spaces of Thailand’s capital city. The result is an abstract, sensorially intense evocation of the recent political uprising and massacres. “Featuring scenes of incredibly potent and withheld power...the awesome work is a penetrating signature of a nation on the verge of massive change but little security as to how the country will develop.” (George Clark)
First shown at BIMI Essay Film Festival (2015), touring destinations to Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (Seoul 2015), and Bophana Audio-Visual Resource Centre (Phnom Penh 2017).