Art


Diptych (noun) A painting, especially an altarpiece, on two hinged wooden panels which may be closed like a book.

Image Credit: Still from Himala (Miracle)

Ingenious. Curators, Philip Cheah and Teo Swee Leng, together with the Gallery’s lovely film programmer, Pauline Soh, have lifted film beyond film.

Let me explain.

The Gallery has a film series called Painting with Light: Southeast Asian Film Series.

Why do I say “beyond film” and called this post “Diptych of Film”?

“Painting with Light” is held over the first weekend of every month – Saturday and Sunday. Two films – diptych – paired very deliberately over the weekend. I guess much like how a gourmand pairs food, wine, table setting, etc. to enhance the entire dining experience.

Philip is obviously passionate about film – specifically Asian film. I admire a person with passion, focus and actually doing something. Read about him here.

The first two films were screened on 5th and 6th of March. I watched both of them.

Quick details on both (click the title for synopsis and details):

GURINDAM JIWA (SONNETS OF THE SOUL), 1965, 84 minutes

Director: M Amin

TEMPORARY VISA, 2016, 124 minutes

Director: Ghazi Alqudcy

Very cleverly paired.

One movie is from the past (Saturday), the other from the present (Sunday). Both films are from the same national cinema and explore the same subject matter, but at different periods and different settings. The first two were Singaporean directors, the next instalment, Filipino, followed by Vietnamese and then Burmese.

This is from the Gallery’s website:

The inaugural edition of Painting with Light pairs a classic and a contemporary film from a national cinema in Southeast Asia each month. An older classic that addresses an important issue of its time will be screened on the Saturday, followed by a more recent film with a contemporary view on the same subject on the Sunday.

The first two movies were about being displaced from home. But I saw another theme in both movies – the tension between morality and love. In both movies the main players had to make morally tough decisions balancing love and doing the right thing.

What I really liked about the first pair is that not only did I enjoy the movies individually but also as I watched the pair, it made me reflect on how love, duty, morality and societal pressures have changed.  In my worldview, morality and love should be absolute and unchanging. But that’s me. I tend to think about these things a lot.

I had the honour of meeting the curator too – a very unassuming  gentleman. But if the first pair is anything to go by, the rest of the programme should be brilliant.

Looking forward to the rest. Go. Tickets here.

 

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This is 29-year-old, Kseniya Simonova, a Ukrainian sand artist or “Lady of the Sand” as she likes to be called.

This piece is beautiful.  She is clearly dedicated and has put in A LOT of hard work. I appreciate that in anyone, not just artists. In this clip, from the semi-finals of Ukraine’s Got Talent, she uses her art, music, setting, theatrics and her costume to good effect. It clearly moved the audience. Even without sand in their eyes, many were crying.

She eventually won Ukraine’s Got Talent.

This 8-minute piece is called “You are always nearby” and it is a story of a young couple who were separated by the war. “The young Lady and little Son were waiting for the Man to come from war, but he was killed. In the end he came to their window and watched them with a sight of love and hope.”

Not only is she talented and passionate, she dedicates her time to help children who need medical treatment and economic help. She also a champion for pregnant women who had considered abortion because of lack of resources but decided to have a child in spite of economic challenges.

I can also learn from her dedication. Together with the help of her husband, they spent months looking for the right sand to use (reminds me of Michelangelo looking for the ‘perfect’ slab of marble). Eventually they found the perfect sand – volcanic sand. The only place they could buy it from was from a group of geologists. However, it cost too much. Instead of giving up, her husband Igor, sold all his printing equipment from his little magazine business to buy 3kg of sand. When she started on sand art, she was a mother of a little boy – cooking, cleaning, changing diapers, playing with her son during the day.  She would start working on her craft from 10pm to 4am every day. It was so difficult that she felt like giving up in three days. But she persisted, and in her words, her discouragement “vanished into thin air.” The craft was physically demanding, requiring her to stand for hours on end but she kept going. I salute her passion, commitment, dedication and hard work.

She attributes her gifts and success to God.

Read more about Kseniya and her story here.

I love this. A lot. Mesmerising. This piece by Enra is called pleiades.

Enra is a Japanese troupe that combine dance, performance art, music, technology, light, music and more to create, in this case, “magic.” Incidentally, pleiades  “is an open star cluster containing middle-aged hot B-type stars located in the constellation of Taurus. It is among the nearest star clusters to Earth and is the cluster most obvious to the naked eye in the night sky.” (Source: Wikipedia)

The people behind this dance/light performance are:

Music and Direction – Nobuyuki Hanabusa. He is also enra’s team supervisor.

Choreographers and Dancers – Saya Watatani and Maki Yokoyama

Animation – Seiya Ishii and Nobuyuki Hanabusa

This is Enra.

Source: http://enra.jp/about

Marvelous piece of choreography. Good work.