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Culture > Film Series: "Sherman Ong"

Film Series: "Sherman Ong"

Ciclo de cine:

Casa Asia presents the filmography of the independent film director Sherman Ong. From March 2nd on, a series of five films will be screened (Flooding in the Time of Drought - Drought (2009) Flooding in the Time of Drought - Flood (2009), Hashi (2008), Dancing the Love - A trilogy of dance (2003, 2010 and 2011) and Memories of a Burning Tree (2010), and the four short films belonging to the project Motherland (2011), (Xiao Jing, Agnes, Jesmen and Verena), of this multidisciplinary artist that displayed a photographic series in the last edition of PHotoEspaña, at the group exhibition curated by Fumio Nanjo.

He has presented his works at art biennials, film festivals and museums around the world, including the biennials of Venice, Singapore and Jakarta, the Mori Art Museum of Tokyo, the Museum of Asian Art of Fukuoka, the Martin-Gropius-Bau of Berlin, the Museum du Quai Branly in Paris, the Pompidou Centre in Paris, the Institute of Contemporary Art of London, the Art Museum of Singapore, the Cultural Centre Banc do Brazil, the Queensland Art Gallery, the Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia and the Contemporary Art Centre of Vilnius, as well as the Noorderlicht Photo Festival, the International Film Festival of Rotterdam and the International Electronic Festival VideoBrasil.

In 2009, he was invited to take part in the Pavilion of Singapore within the Biennial of Venice, achieving a special mention. He is a founding member of 13 Little Pictures and artistic director of the International Photography Festival of Singapore, as well as teching in several schools and universities. In 2010, he won the photography award ICON of Martell Cordon Bleu and, in 2011, was nominated to the APB Award of the Art Museum of Singapore. His works are part of the collection of the Asian Art Museum of Fukuoka, of the Singapore Art Museum and of the Art Centre of Seoul. In 2012, he worked at the Little Sun Project, directed by Olafur Eliasson, which was recently premiered at the Tate Modern Museum of London.

Saturday, 2nd of March, 2013, 7.30pm

Flooding in the Time of Drought Part I - Drought · Dir.: Sherman Ong. Singapore. 2009. 92’ VOSE

First part of a long film that mixes documentary and fiction following eight couples of emigrants in Singapore who stage episodes of their lives, often filmed during their conversations. These migrants are the basis of the prosperity of Singapore, but they are also the ones that receive the blows when things go wrong. Through these characters the social and political situation of Singapore is understood, a country whose economy depends on workers like them. Instead of directly interviewing them the filmmaker lets them interpret episodes of their own lives, achieving a result more real than life. Altogether this docudrama lasts 184 minutes and at the time it was part of an installation at the Singapore Biennale, characters are from different nationalities - Continental China, India, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Singapore, among others. The background of their stories is the water shortage that threatens the city and causes the anxiety that comes over this city-nation, because even when it rains people experience water scarcity, because they can not even take advantage of rain water.

Saturday, 9th of March, 2013, 7.30pm

Flooding in the Time of Drought Part II - Flood · Dir.: Sherman Ong. Singapore. 2009. 92’ VOSE

In Flood the situation, as well as the climate, is similar, but a new circumstance is introduced. The scenario where the action happens is very different from the small apartments where most inhabitants of the city live. It is a mansion with a pool that shows the great disparity between the rich and the poor or the privileged citizens and most of the population. A young man arrives home and his wife tells him to put on a woman's dress to sleep, because according to her many Thai men have died because of a ghost that attacks men. Within the ethnic diversity of Singapore, the story lays in the framework of the Thai identity of the couple.

Saturday, 16th of March, 2013, 7.30pm

Hashi · Dir.: Sherman Ong. Japan, Singapore and Malaysia. 2008. 111’ VOSE followed by the short film QnA

This film shows the everyday life of three women of different ages: Shino (50). Junko (30) and Momo (20). Momo is a delivery girl that takes Shino and Junko their lunch who are office colleagues. Momo always used to tell Junko and Shino about her dreams. One day Shino receives a call from an ex boyfriend who has not seen for thirty years. Junko has doubts about her relationship with her boyfriend. Their lives cross and diverge obliquely and tangentially. This story is about love, relationships, insecurity, death and confusion between dreams and reality, the men of their lives are always present, but they are hardly seen or heard. Hashi is a film made with prior knowledge of our limitations and represents a way of working once they are assumed. Limitations allow to explore the nature of cinematographic fiction film itself. This film is inspired by That Obscure Object of Desire by Luis Buñuel: if an actor can play a role, why not two, four or more in the same space-time of the story?

Saturday, 23th of March, 2013, 7.30pm

Dancing the Love - A trilogy of dance films · Dir.: Sherman Ong. Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia. 2003, 2010 and 2011. 80’ VOSE

Three different stories about the facets that make up the human soul when love is present. Through dance, bodies give life to emotions that otherwise would remain unexpressed. In Exodus two women and a man engage in a dance of love and death. In When the End of Winter is Almost Spring, a father, his new wife and their son compete with hostility, seduction and jealousy. And finally, in I Want to Remember a man remembers with tenderness and regret the time spent with her ​​young lover. Dancing the Love is a leaflet of apparently unrelated stories. Three stories that have to do with the lightness and delicacy of love, which find in the poetics of dance the highest form of expression of feelings. Words that only be drawn by bodies in urban space which act as the setting for these three short stories and revoke the lack of communication between human beings separated by resentment, social class and historical events. In these three films, dance has the power to reveal hidden truth and the abstraction of real life. Sherman Ong's cinema is completely aimed towards an investigation of dancing bodies, structuring the direction of the film in terms of choreographies and music.

Saturday, 6th of April, 2013, 7.30pm

Memories of a Burning Tree · Dir.: Sherman Ong. Tanzania, Holland, Singapore and Malaysia. 2010. 86’. VOSE

A man named Smith arrives in Dar Es-Salaam to solve some issues. There he meets his tour guide who is his link and offers him help. Gradually, he needs more help like the gravedigger Abdul's and the junk collector Toatoa's. Each of them searches for their own path. Like the other filmmakers involved in the collective project of Forget Africa Sherman Ong had never been to Africa. His budget wasn't higher than that of his other colleagues. He stayed a month in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and the filmmaker took advantage of his financial resources to the maximum, and achieved to make a feature film coming in this period of time in a foreign country with very limited means. Ong is more interested in the improvisation of actors and dancers than in creating a conventional show. All the actors with whom he worked were amateurs. Most lacked experience because what Ong cares about is to involve real people to build any story.

Presentation of the series: 2nd of March at 7.30pm

Delivered by:
Sherman Ong, film-maker
Menene Gras Balaguer, Director of Culture and Exhibitions of Casa Asia

Saturday, 13th of April, 2013, 7.30pm

Motherland · Dir.: Sherman Ong. Singapore. 2011.  46’  VOSE

Ongoing project that explores the cliché of diaspora. Singapore is a city-state with one of the largest concentrations of population - and millionaires- in the world. The city also has a magnetic attraction for immigrants many of whom come from China. Some of them have lived in the region for generations and no longer speak their native language. Others are new and are fighting with feelings of rootlessness and disorientation. In a series of documented confessions the inhabitants of the cities talk about their lives and their future in a land characterized by hybridization. The four short films that make up Motherland are Xiao Jing (13 ') Agnes (10') Jesmen (12 ') and Verena (11').

2013/03/02 > 2013/04/13
From the 2nd of March to the 13th of April
Casa Asia Headquarters
Samarcanda Hall
Av. Diagonal, 373
Free admission with limited capacity.
Casa Asia, in collaboration with the Singapore International Foundation and the National Arts Council Singapore
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