inToAsia: Time-based Art Festival 2013 – “MicroCities” Film & Anime Art Screenings

When 27 Jul 2013 - 28 Jul 2013
Where Queens Museum of Art
Flushing Meadows Corona Park
Queens, NY 11368
United States


Tian Xiaolei, Paradise, 2010. Courtesy of the artist

Saturday, July 27 – Sunday, July 28 2013, 2-5pm

Press Release:

The Queens Museum of Art (QMA) is please to host the Film & Anime Art Screenings for inToAsia: Time-based Art Festival 2013 – “MicroCities” on July 27 and 28 from 2-5pm. The festival is organized by curators, CHEN Wei-ching, Joanne and LAI Lih-huei (Josiane) of the non-profit arts organization inCUBE Arts.

Uneasy Journey (TU Pei-Shih, 4:00, 2008)
This work begins with an innocent, happy and imaginative world. However, after a huge amount of rubbish is suddenly dumped, the peaceful scene turns into the depiction of local life in Guiyu, Shantou, China, which is the largest electronic waste site on earth. The work aims to reveal the dark side of western capitalism through a typical animation.

Paradise (TIAN Xiaolei, 5:21, 2010)
Neon, colorful and bustling city attracts countless people. People cannot stop, bringing destruction upon oneself. I compare the city of desire to a paradise. The modern construct the paradise with hard work, but imprisoned like a doll .It seems a nightclub where we ignited the body, we play there, becoming intoxicated and not knowing the way home.

November 1th, 1970 (HSU Che-Yu, 8:01, 2012)
This is a piece of news about sitting statuary at Tai-Chung Park in 1970. I’m unable to understand the atmosphere at the times before I was born, but today, I feel the illusion. I return to Tai-Chung Park, and the fictitious spirit is summoning me. In this work, I answered the old history news. Every image of my work is from Tai-Chung Park, and the credit roll subtitles are derived from the old news video. Of course it’s not a memorial work. This history is not true for me; I can only sense it as a ghost.

Printed Rainbow (Gitanjali RAO, 15:00, 2006)
Printed Rainbow is a 15 minute animation film that describes the loneliness of an old woman and her cat, who escape into the fantastical world of matchbox covers.
Gitanjali painted the entire film frame by frame over three years as a labor of love dedicated to her mother and cat. The film went on to premier in Cannes in 2006 and won her the first set of laurels with three Awards for the Best Short film in Critic’s Week, Cannes 2006. Then followed 22 International Awards and screenings in over a hundred International festivals.

Rabbithole (Chitra GANESH, 3:00, 2010)
Rabbithole is a short animation using the visual language specific to Ganesh’s comic based imagery to play with the fundamental story line of what is known as “hero’s journey & transformation” which lies at the core of many fairy tales and myths. It is inspired by the likes of the transgressions of Alice (in Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland) as well as The Aeneid, Odyssey, and Mahabharata, classic underground animations such Fantastic Planet and Yellow Submarine, and more contemporary works like Nina Paley’s Sita Sings the Blues and Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away. In “Rabbithole”, the main character’s journey is meditation on a cyclical series of internal transformations and interactions.

Doghole (WONG Hoy Cheong, 22:00. 2010)
Doghole (2010) is an exploration of the occupation of Malaysia by the Japanese during and following World War II. A total of about 450,000 Malayans were killed. At least 80,000 died in detention camps throughout the country. Doghole is based on an interview with Wong Kum Peng, a survivor of the much-feared Kempeitai detention cells. This work has its impulse from an 1990 work, Sook Ching (meaning “cleansing” or “purge”). The earlier documentary examined the “purges” through stories of terror and trauma related by survivors, and by the families of Malayans who were detained by the much-feared Kempeitai, the Japanese secret and intelligence corps. Doghole portrays the same historical event but concentrates on the single account of Wong Kum Peng, one of very few survivors of the detention cells. The film never makes clear why he was imprisoned, nor why he was allowed to survive, but does suggest that even tragic histories can incorporate alternative, hopeful narratives. Using filmed live action, motion graphics and animation, this film explores memory and history, the proverbial story of human resilience and indiscrimination in times of war.

The Story of Hoping Island (HSU Chia Wei, 12:40, 2008)
“The Story of Hoping Island” was shot in a shipyard on Hoping Island in Keelung, which has 88 years of history. During the Japanese occupation of Taiwan, it was the Japanese government’s southernmost shipyard, and as such, it supported Imperial Japanese, southward expansion. After the retrocession of Taiwan, the shipyard played a key role in Taiwan’s economic takeoff. This shipyard represents a highly compressed, symbolic timeframe, from WWII to now. The shipyard reflects how the locals identify themselves based on their specific, local histories, and at the same time, how the national government encodes and directs history. To support this history, complicated traditions and myths are continually developed and developing. So Hsu, Chia-Wei shot this shipyard, a real space, and responded to the shipyard’s other historical side: the legend.

Voices Seen, Images Heard (27:58, 2009)
A historian, also an interdisciplinary artist, engages in a self-dialogue of how to write the history of her city, Hong Kong. Drilling the disparate mines of sights and sounds, she re-examines the power and limitation of ocular epistemology, which favors visual perception as the dominant form of knowing. As she makes her way through the scanty and homogenous visual documents available, she re-imagines a city that has a precarious history of holding onto its look or preserving its architectural integrity at the interest of real estate development. In response, she re-constructs a visual essay that is also a collage of lost surfaces and shadowy fragments of existence. Her meditation leaves open the potential meanings of each of the sight-and-sound fragments that seem to have spoken to her, asking how feasible it is to access the past. Voices Seen, Images Heard is a work of experimental visual historiography based on visual ethnography.

My Child, Anak (Michelle DIZON. 27:00, 2001)
Foregrounds the work translation between languages, cultures, and selfhoods. Interviews with a group of children in the Philippines are set against a series of dialogues in the United States between the artist as a two-year old girl, and her mother as she teaches her how to speak. Between such refrains of “the child” stand the legacy of colonialism, the residue of ethnography, and the ever-present question of a local and global politics of representation.

About the inToAsia: Time-based Art Festival 2013 – “MicroCities”

In recent years, social and economic developments in East Asia have produced drastic changes in its urban landscape and introduced architectural diversity in its many cities. While developments in metropolis are inevitable, economic booms also affect small cities evolving into dense, fast-paced, technology-oriented societies. Changes in culture, ideology, social/economic structures, as well as ecological environment accompany this process of reconstruction. Dramatic changes in city landscape are prominent and obvious, but the collapse of the social system and its metamorphosis are not immediately apparent, and necessitates an in-depth examination of the global trends affecting life in the City.

“MicroCities” endeavors to investigate the current conditions in Asian countries by retroactively drawing back on their original states prior to colonization, through the experience of assimilation during colonization, to the individual predicament in the current and post-colonization period. It is this series of “introspection” that each city/location/region undergoes in order to come to terms with its own history and understand its internal system. Many Asian countries carry with them a painful history of colonization, which resulted in a marginalized culture struggling between foreign colonial rule and the sovereign power. After the Axis powers were defeated at the end of World War II, these once-colonized countries recovered their independence, and through a series of de-colonization, forcefully regained their self-identity and reconstructed their cultures that were once oppressed. Asian countries who have regained their independence in the late 20th Century have been heavily influenced by Western cultures. Not only have they been pursuing their developments according to the rules set by those Western cultures, but they also considered their identities from a Western point of view, resulting in a hybridized view of their own identity and culture. As a result, immigration flow and colonization have not only allowed the reconstruction of the once-erased and forgotten origin, but also introduced an innovative phase of cultural hybridization.

“MicroCities” also attempts to explore the current social phenomena associated with the struggle to assimilate, accept, and progress into the new century. What will the future bring by relinquishing tradition and embracing the new economic and social norms? Have we overtaxed our social and ecological environments in this cycle of destruction and reconstruction? What insight have we gained through this experience? Industrialization has not only generated speedy developments in the cities, it has also produced drastic changes in the entire social and economic system.

What kind of impact has the high-tech, comfortable, and convenient life style, accompanying urban development, brought to the ecological environment and the people dwelling in it? While the technologically-oriented society in today’s “flat world” easily connects the world with a variety of networks, it also gives rise to a fast-paced, information-overload and isolated modern living style. Would the metamorphosing in the organic relationship between the individual and the societies, resulting from the developments of technology, eliminate the actual local living experience? These aforementioned interrogations will allow us to analyze a series of phenomena that today’s society encounters in the post-modern era. “MicroCities” gathers together a group of time-based art, including videos, shorts, animations, kinetic installations, and real-time sound art performances. Coming from Taiwan, Japan, Korea, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, and India, these artists, with varying cultural and social backgrounds, reflect on their life experiences in relation to the world-wide social issues associated with a global culture, and how this affects the dynamics of the rising East Asian cities as a whole.

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