Monday, November 30, 2009

Laughing in a Foreign Language

by Mami Kataoka (Author), Simon Critchley (Contributor)

Features Harry Dodge & Stanya Kahn

What is the role of laughter and humor in contemporary art? In a time of increasing globalization, this book questions whether humor can only be appreciated by people with similar cultural, political or historical backgrounds and memories, or whether laughter can act as a catalyst for understanding that which is not familiar. Do laughter and humor transcend difference and language, or are they dependent on inside knowledge and shared experience? Featuring illustrations of more than 70 video, photographic and installation works, this volume includes many artists who have relocated from their home countries, leading them to exploit the humor that arises out of everyday gaps in translation, or even to use humor to fill those gaps. Artists include Makoto Aida, Candice Breitz, Olaf Bruening, Marcus Coates, Cao Fei, Ghazel, Matthew Griffin, Taiyo Kimura, Peter Land, Julian Rosefledt, Shimabuku, Nedko Solakov, Roi Vaara, Martin Walde and others.

Published on the occasion of the exhibition Laughing in a Foreign Language, The Hayward, London, UK, 25 January - 13 April, 2008.

Paperback: 152 pages
Publisher: Hayward Publishing (March 1, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1853322660
ISBN-13: 978-1853322662

(possible resource for our conference next year)

SFIAAFF Student Delegate Program

The San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival is proud to continue its annual Student Delegate Program. Aimed to engage students with Asian and Asian American cinema, the program strives to cultivate the next generation of scholars, artists, administrators and activists invested in the field of Asian American media.

As part of the Student Delegate Program, participants have the opportunity to:

  • Participate in a structured program of screenings, events and meetings
  • Access other festival events, i.e. panels, talks and parties
  • Create online content for the SFIAAFF website

The program is open to both undergraduate and graduate students in colleges and universities. We encourage both non-film and film majors to apply. The most important qualities we seek in a candidate are a love for film and desire to share this passion, the ability to interact with other students and festival guests, and a willingness to follow a
rigorous program of screenings and discussions.

With only 6 spots available, each student’s full commitment to the program is mandatory. In addition, students will be asked to write an article, blog or create a video during the festival, as well as complete a post-festival survey.

Download the Application here.
Deadline: Dec. 31, 2009

For more information about the Student Delegate Program, email christine[at]asianamericanmedia[dot]org.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

To Gaza with Love

Monday Nov. 30, 6pm, Goldsmiths Cinema

The true story a rag-tag team of international peace activists aboard two fishing boats, who decided to take on the might of the Israeli military and break the siege of Gaza. Refusing to be intimidated, only one thing could stop them; and that was themselves.

Screening, 6pm Goldsmiths Cinema, Monday 30 Nov 2009


All Welcome

Thursday, November 26, 2009

ASA Meeting: Dec. 2

Our next meeting (and last for the year) will be this Wednesday, December 2, at 2pm, Graduate House, Goldsmiths. We'll be discussing next semester's seminars, workshop, as well as next Fall's conference and funding opps.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Cinema Typhoon: Waikiki Brothers- VENUE CHANGE

Join us again tonight at 6pm for a screening of Soonrye Yim's "Waikiki Brothers" (2001). Please note the change in venue: Room 309, Richard Hoggart Building, Goldsmiths. The rest of the films this semester will still take place in the Cinema, RHB, Goldsmiths.

See you this evening!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Toshiba Lectures on Japanese Art

Toshiba Lectures in Japanese Art

In the Floating World / Slash with a Knife by Nara Yoshitomo.


13 November / 6.15 pm
In Praise of Impurity: The Condition of Art and the End of Universalism
BP Lecture Theatre, British Museum

16 November / 6.15 pm
Wounds, Happiness and Distance: Three Exhibitions about the Condition of Art
BP Lecture Theatre, British Museum

19 November / 6 pm
Turkey, China and Japan: Three Case Studies in the Development of Modern and Contemporary Art
Blackfriars' Hall,Norwich

All Welcome. Admission Free.

About the Speaker

David Elliott (Artistic Director, 17th Biennale of Sydney) is a curator, writer, broadcaster and museum director primarily concerned with modern and contemporary art. Elliott was Director of the Museum of Modern Art in Oxford, England from 1976-96, Director of Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Sweden from 1996-2001, the founding Director of the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo, Japan from 2001-06 and, in 2007 the first Director of Istanbul Modern, Turkey. From 1998-2004, he was President of CIMAM (the International Committee of ICOM for Museums and Collections of Modern Art) and in 2008, he was the Rudolf Arnheim Guest Professor of Art History at Humboldt University, Berlin.

Elliott is a cultural historian whose main interests concern contemporary art, Russian avant-garde and the visual cultures of central and eastern Europe, Asia and the non-western world from the late nineteenth century. Beginning in the early 1980s, he formulated a series of pioneering exhibitions in one of the first programs to integrate non-western culture with contemporary art. He has published a large number of books, articles and catalogues on these subjects and has curated many exhibitions. He has also written extensively about the present-day role and function of museums and contemporary art.

Exhibitions he has conceived or worked on include: 'Art and Power: Europe under the Dictators 1930?1945' (1995); 'Wounds: between democracy and redemption in contemporary art' (1998); 'After the Wall: art and culture in post-Communist Europe' (1999); 'Organising Freedom: Nordic art of the ?90s' (2000); 'Young Video Artists? Initiative' (2002); 'Absences' (2002); 'Happiness: a survival guide for art and life' (2003); 'Africa Remix: contemporary art of a continent' (2004); 'Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, Where is Our Place?' (2004); 'Follow Me! Chinese Art at the Threshold of the New Millennium' (2005); 'Hiroshi Sugimoto' (2005); 'Tokyo-Berlin/Berlin-Tokyo' (2005); 'Bill Viola: Hatsu-Yume [First Dream]' (2006); 'From Ottoman Empire to Turkish Republic' (2007); 'Time Present, Time Past: Highlights from 20 Years of the International İstanbul Biennial' (2007); and 'The Quick and the Dead: Rites of passage in art, spirit and life' (2009).

Contact and Information

T: 01603 624349 F: 01603 625011

Sponsored by the Toshiba International Foundation

In association with the Sainsbury Institute, The Japan Society and British Museum

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

MONITOR 6: New South Asian Film and Video

MONITOR 6: New South Asian Film and Video
DEADLINE: November 16, 2009

SAVAC (South Asian Visual Arts Centre) invites submissions for its sixth annual experimental short film and video screening program, Monitor 6.

Monitor 6 is dedicated to the presentation of experimental short films and videos by and/or about South Asians from Canada and around the world. We invite independent and innovative short films and videos that explore the aesthetic and form of the moving image and its relation to narrative. Monitor 6 encourages new experimental work that takes risks and beckons the viewer’s active engagement.

Selected works will be screened at the sixth annual short film and video program, Monitor 6 on 24th March, 2010 at the National Film Board of Canada, Toronto. Monitor 6 will be curated by Toronto-based video artist and cultural critic Richard Fung in collaboration with a MONITOR Jury (TBC).

Works must be under 20 minutes and produced between 2007 - 2009. Submissions from first time directors are welcome. Artists’ fees will be paid.

Submissions should be sent on DVD (PAL, NTSC) enclosed with the following:
- Name artist or director
- Full contact information (address, phone, fax, email)
- Title of work
- Date of production
- Brief synopsis of the work
- Brief biography of the artist
- High-resolution production stills

Send all materials to:
401 Richmond Street West, Suite 450
Toronto, ON Canada M5V 3A8

Inquiries can be sent to

All deliveries from international participants must be marked:
"NO COMMERCIAL VALUE" Please do not claim any monetary value over $50 on your package for insurance or otherwise or you will be charged customs, duties and taxes.

All submissions must be sent prepaid. SAVAC will not accept collect or C.O.D. shipments and will not accept shipments incurring expenses for duties, taxes or customs brokerage. Submissions will only be returned with a self-addressed stamped envelope (in Canadian postage) or send a cheque payable to SAVAC for the return postage amount.

For more information, please contact:
Srimoyee Mitra
Programming Co-ordinator
SAVAC [South Asian Visual Arts Centre]
Telephone: 416.542.1661

Monday, October 5, 2009

Cinema Typhoon, Oct. 5-Nov. 23

Every Monday starting at 6pm in the Small Cinema (Richard Hoggart Building), ASA (Alternative Studies for Asias) presents films from different regions in Asia with music as a theme plus a special screening and Q&A of Ananya Chatterjee's "Understanding Trafficking." Supported by The Centre for Cultural Studies.

Location: Small Cinema, Richard Hoggart Building, Goldsmiths, New Cross

Time: Mondays (Oct. 5-Nov. 23) starting at 6pm

All welcome. Free

October 05

The Burmese Harp (1956). Directed by Kon Ichikawa and written by Takeyama Michio.

Based on a children’s novel written by Michio Takeyama, The Burmese Harp is a tale of the Japanese Imperial Army regiment in Burma finding spiritual harmony through song despite harsh circumstances at the close of WWII. The film methodically presents music as a symbol of peace, highlighting its ability to transcend cultural and linguistic boundaries. Although the songs featured in the film represent uniquely Japanese sentiments, they were not originally written in Japanese. They are in fact European folk songs (“Dreaming of Home and Mother”, “Home, Sweet Home” and “Auld Lang Syne”) re-written and adapted by the Imperial Japanese government for educational purposes. This film captures the strong de/territorializing force of music and its power to assemble a milieu upon chaotic disjuncture (between feudal societies and the imperial nation-state).

Summary by Masa Kosugi

October 12

Together (2002). Directed by Chen Kaige and written by Xue Xiaolu and Chen Kaige.

This is a story is about a thirteen-year-old violin prodigy Liu Xiaochun who moves to Beijing from a small town with his father, Liu Cheng, to participate in a music competition. After winning fifth prize, Liu Xiaochun begins to take lessons from Professor Jiang while his father works as a delivery man in the city. As Liu Xiaochun develops a crush on his neighbour, an urban young lady, and gains a second music teacher, the film implicitly shows the lives of young women in the big city, the father-son relationship between Liu Xiaochun and Liu Cheng, as well as the economic and educational gaps regarding class and commercialisation around arts and music.

Summary by Apple Cho

October 19

All About Lily Chou-Chou (2001). Written and directed by Shunji Iwai

This film portrays juvenile problems (bullying, shoplifting, rape, etc.) in Japanese society by describing the real/virtual ambiguous relationships between a particular group of youths. While struggling socially, they turn to the music of the singer Lily Chou-Chou, and unwittingly connect with one another virtually on an Internet fan site. The original story for the film was based on an experimental site managed by Shunji Iwai to produce a participatory novel. In addition, the music of Lily Chou-Chou originally made for the film (performed by Japanese singer, Salyu) became popular among the fans of the film and Salyu. The film incorporates the real and the virtual on multiple levels while obscuring the borders of our real life and virtual worlds.

Summary by Kumiko Yamada

October 26

Sleepwalking Through The Mekong (2007). Directed by John Pirozzi

Sleepwalking Through The Mekong, the documentary film featuring Dengue Fever, chronicles the journey taken by Los Angeles-based Khmer rock band Dengue Fever to lead singer, Chhom Nimol’s native Cambodia during the 2005 Water Festival. On arrival to Phnom Penh, the band performs on a TV program, as well as putting on gigs, recording new songs with Khmer master musicians, interacting with schoolchildren. The culmination is an open-air show in a shantytown. The band’s performances there marked the first time a Western band had performed classic 1960s and ‘70s Cambodian rock’n’roll in the country where it was created and nearly erased from existence by the brutal Pol Pot regime. At once a homecoming for Nimol and a reversal of roles for the other band members who have to depend on Nimol to navigate Cambodia, this documentary is a cross-cultural reflection and portrait of Cambodia’s music scene.

Summary by Karen Tam

November 02- (VENUE CHANGE- Room 309, Richard Hoggart Building)

Waikiki Brothers (2001). Directed by Soonrye Yim

Waikiki had been regarded as one of the places most worth visiting among traditional Koreans who experienced the rapid Americanization of Korean society since the end of the Korean War. Now, any word associated with "Waikiki" is regarded as a symbol of the unenlightened due to its strong connection to the generation of old-timers. This quiet South Korean film is about the slow demise of a nightclub band, Waikiki Brothers. Set in the late 1980's in rural Corea, this is primarily a character piece centered on the band leader, the quiet and enduring Hae-il. Over the course of the film, there is a lengthy flashback to the Hae-il’s youth, which sets up and explains further events over the course of the film. The collapse of Waikiki Brothers is anticipated in the first scene, and the plot is about how each band member compromises with modernized and contemporary Korean society. The basic emotion of this film is nostalgia through an archaeological review of ancient cultural icons, rarely witnessed now. Nostalgia for the past can serve as a powerful resource for preparing for the future.

Summary by Sung Woo Park

November 09

Platform (2000). Directed by Jia Zhang-Ke.

as a movie in some ways offers another ‘’platform” to tell the stories of the 1980s in China. Under the economic boom and massive changes of society, Platform focuses on two rural couples, showing their desires to the change and loss of love. The use of pop songs in the film also crystallises bittersweet memories of the country during that period. This film was banned by the Chinese government in 2000.

Director Jia Zhang-Ke's films always focus on the social fabric of daily life in present-day China. He is the most important 6th-generation director in China and is the winner of the Venice Film Festival Golden Lion (2006) and numerous international film awards.

Summary by Ben Chiahung Lu

November 16

Understanding Trafficking (2009). Directed by Ananya Chatterjee Chakraborti.

Legend goes, there is a magical line that Laxman drew around Sita, which no woman is supposed to cross. If any woman dared to cross the magical line, she would risk being kidnapped by Ravan the demon. Women have for centuries been discouraged to cross the line, to remain indoors, and within limits. The lines and limits of their existence have always been defined by patriarchy. So what happens if a woman does cross the line? By circumstances, through need, or just by a desire to dare the magical line?

November 23- End of series discussion

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Step Out Arts BEACDS Showcase

25 September 6.30pm – 8.30pm: University of Bedfordshire
02 October 6.30pm – 8.30pm: Greenwich Dance Agency

The two showcases are a celebration of performance work created by four British East Asian choreographers working in various dance forms. All four pieces will feature innovative and contemporary choreographic ideas that have been researched and developed as part of the British East Asian Choreographers Development Scheme (BEACDS) which is funded by Arts Council England. Each of the four choreographers were chosen to take part in the BEACDS after a nationwide selection process and have worked with a professional mentor to advance their choreography and dance practice.

The showcases act as an opportunity for these new and emerging choreographers to present their considerable talents to an audience comprising both public and industry professionals. After the performances there will be a Q&A session to discuss issues raised by the pieces and the project as a whole – for example, issues of East Asian identity and diverse work in the UK dance/choreography scene. This also represents a chance for the choreographers to meet their peers and, in turn, Step Out Arts hopes that promoters and programmers will discover new artists they would like to work with in the future.

Artist details

Annie Pui Ling Lok is a British born Chinese contemporary choreographer and performer. Half Truths and Allegories is a work in progress exploring processes of translation/mistranslation and possibilities of storytelling and communication through verbal and abstract non-verbal languages.

Chisato Minamimura
is a Japanese deaf dancer, tutor and choreographer. BEATS will focus on Chisato's ongoing exploration of what it is like to experience visual sound/music from the perspective of a deaf person.

Khamlane Halsackda is a British Lao choreographer. Khamlane will stage a duet called ACT 1 – ‘Origin of Love’. The work is inspired by the moment he first fell in love. By exploring this period in his life with his former partner, and memories of his childhood, he questions the core of what love is to each of us.

Quang Kien Van is an established British Chinese professional dancer, and is currently focusing on developing his choreographic career. Patient 319 is a cautionary tale that highlights the dangers of social exclusion and cultural alienation.

Tickets are now available for both showcases, early booking is essential as capacity is limited.

Ticket prices are £6 full/£5 concession

To book your place telephone:

Greenwich Dance Agency Box office: 02082 939 741
Greenwich Dance Agency, The Borough Hall, Royal Hill, London SE10 8RE

University of Bedfordshire Box office: 01234 269 519
University of Bedfordshire, Bedford campus, Polhill Avenue, Bedford MK41 9EA

For more information and a detailed timetable email Matthew Bamber at

Monday, July 20, 2009

Future of Asian Contemporary Art discussion

Future of Asian Contemporary Art
NEW YORK, May 11, 2009 - As part of Asian Contemporary Art Week 2009, Asia Society Museum Director Melissa Chiu, artist Lee Ming Wei and Documenta 13 artistic director Carolyn Cristoff-Bakargiev discuss the future of Asian contemporary art. (1 hr., 11 min.)

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Year: 2009
Director: Chris Chong Chan Fui
Cast: Zahiril Adzim, Amerul Affendi,Hariry Jalil, Mislina Mustapha, Nadiya Nissa

Set in a village estate of a Malaysian oil palm plantation … Betik returns home.

During the day, Betik helps shoot karaoke videos, while at night, he lends a hand to his reluctant mother at the family’s karaoke joint. This is the place where he falls for Anisah. A job, a love and a family. His return home comes together quickly.

But life isn’t so innocent. Everybody wants something. Subtle manipulations driven by self interest and personal desires seep through yet the songs continue to be sung. Unwavering.

The home has changed. The oil palm trees have grown in endless symmetry. The landscape rusts and the nostalgia turns.

Saigon Love Story

Year: 2006
Director: Ringo Le
Cast: Ngo Thanh Van, Hua Vy Van, Yen Vy, Chanh Tin

"Saigon Love Story is Vietnam's first movie musical filmed entirely on location in Vietnam including Saigon and Phan Thiet. One of the first films independently produced outside of the Communist controlled film industry,overseas Vietnamese director Ringo Le decided to return to his birthplace to shoot his first feature film project. "Saigon Love Story" was highly acclaimed at VC FilmFest 2006. Thereafter, the film was an official selection into the Panorama selection at the Shanghai International Film Festival 2006 and was nominated for the "Winds of Asia-Best New Film Award" at the Tokyo International Film Festival 2006. Currently, the film has been traveling throughout the United States in sold-out roadshow tours to help bring attention to Vietnamese films and artists.

The movie is set in Vietnam during the 1980s. Danh is a young boy growing up in Saigon. Though he should help his mother to sell noodles from a cart out of their home, he often sneaks out to buy cassettes.

One day, he inadvertently stumbles into a mysterious beautiful street vendor named Tam, selling her cassette, Saigon Love Story. Intrigued about her music, Danh decides to buy the cassette, only to discover that it is blank. When Danh confronts Tam, he finds that she is penniless and unable to repay him, so she serenades him a song in her cassette. Enchanted, Danh finds a voice that has long been suppressed, a voice that is the ticket out of their impoverished life." (from Wikipedia entry)

Hoedown Showdown

AKA: Monpleng Luktung F.M.
Year: 2002
Director: Bhandit Thongdee
Cast: Roong Suriya, Looknok Suphaporn, Koong Suthirath, Yodrak Salakjai, Sunaree Rachseema, Dao Mayuri, Chiya Mitchai, Apaporn Nakornsawan

"Over-the-top Thai musical featuring an all-star Luktung (Thai country music) cast. The plot is as conventional as they come, but fluffy performances and the ironic tone of the film make the experience enjoyable. Along with Molam and Thai-pop, Luktung (literally "music from up-country") is one of Thailand's most popular music genres. It's been influenced by pop, rock, electronica and obviously foreign music. But, one of the reasons of its success is that it always keeps a link to the past. Hoedown Showdown marks something new for Thai Cinema, as it's the first film completely dedicated to the Luktung industry, and features many of the biggest stars of the genre like Roong Suriya, Looknok Suphaporn, and Sunaree Rachseema." (from review)

Check It Out, Yo!

Japanese: Chekeraccho!
Year: 2006
Director: Rieko Miyamoto
Cast: Hayato Ichihara, Tasuku Emoto, Yuta Hiraoka, Mao Inoue, Ayumi Ito, Konishiki

Three high school kids try to form their own hip hop band with hilarious results in this intensely likeable, feel good teen comedy from director Rieko Miyamoto.

Perhaps Love

Year: 2005
Director: Peter Chan Ho-Sun
Cast: Takeshi Kaneshiro, Zhou Xun, Jacky Cheung Hok-Yau, Ji Jin-Hee, Eric Tsang Chi-Wai, Sandra Ng Kwun-Yu

Acclaimed director Peter Chan takes the helm for this lavish, award winning musical concerning the love triangle between a handsome actor, his beautiful co-star, and a talented film director. Lin (Takeshi Kaneshiro) and his ex-lover Sun (Zhou Xun) are shooting a movie for celebrated director Nie Wen (Jacky Cheung) when the flames of their former passion are gradually rekindled. A charismatic director who has poured his entire heart and soul into making a movie about a passionate love triangle, Nie finds his entire production about to collapse as Lin does everything in his power to win back the ravishing Sun.


Year: 2007
Director: Royston Tan
Cast: Qi Yuwu, Mindee Ong, Yeo Yann Yann, Liu Ling Ling, Teh May Wan, Teh Choy Wan, Ming Zhu Sisters (voices)

"This uniquely Singaporean musical-comedy-drama from writer/director Royston Tan is at once funny, poignant, and thoroughly entertaining. A box office hit in its home country, 881 is one of the best movies to emerge from Singapore in the last few years, and a stellar film in its own right." (from review)

The story of two childhood friends who grew up mesmerised by the glitter and glamour of getai. They are The Papaya Sisters, two of the showiest performers on the circuit because the "song stage" with all its pomp and pageantry is a respite from the emptiness and dreariness of their own lives.

Princess Raccoon

Year: 2005
Director: Seijun Suzuki
Cast: Ziyi Zhang, Jô Odagiri, Hiroko Yakushimaru, Mikijiro Hira, Taro Yamamoto, Gentaro Takahashi, Saori Yuki, Miwako Ichikawa, Hibari Misora, Eisuke Sasai, Papaiya Suzuki, Taro Nanshu

Amechiyo is being hunted by his father for being too beautiful and as he tries to escape he runs into Princess Raccoon, a raccoon in human form. They fall for each other, but humans and raccoons shouldn't mix so the raccoon court causes some trouble. She saves his life, then he saves hers by finding the Frog of Paradise on the Sacred Mountain and so forth, until the tragic finale.

Sleepwalking Through The Mekong

Year: 2007
Director: John Pirozzi
Cast: Dengue Fever (Chhom Nimol, Zac Holtzman, Ethan Holtzman, Senon Williams, David Ralicke, Paul Smith

This is the trailer for Sleepwalking Through The Mekong, the documentary film featuring Dengue Fever. The two disc set, including the DVD of the film and the film's soundtrack, will be released on April 14, 2009 in the US. The film chronicles the journey taken by Los Angeles based Khmer rock band Dengue Fever to lead singer Chhom Nimols native Cambodia during the 2005 Water Festival. The bands performances there marked the first time a Western band had performed classic 1960s and 70s Cambodian rock n roll in the country where it was created and nearly erased from existence by the brutal Pol Pot regime.

Beijing Rocks

Chinese: 北京樂與路
Year: 2001
Director: Mabel Cheung Yuen-Ting
Cast: Shu Qi, Daniel Wu, Geng Le, Richard Ng Yiu-Hon, Yu Feihong

"Reading some reviews, I thought this film wanted to explore the underground rock world in beautiful Beijing and failed, but it's simultaneously more and less than that. There is an attempt to explore Beijing's rock 'n roll culture, but it's only used to introduce a more conventional, albeit quite charming love triangle as well as an analysis in general of what it means to be Chinese in and out of the Mainland." (from review)


Chinese: 音樂人生
Year: 2009
Director: Cheung King-Wai
Cast: Wong Ka-Jeng

"Cheung King-Wai ’s KJ is a bittersweet documentary about a musical prodigy that is easily one of the most fascinating film subjects in recent years. Documentaries about young musicians in private schools may not be the most appealing subject, but this is an exception to the rule." (from review)

For Horowitz

AKA: My Piano
Year: 2006
Director: Kwon Hyung-Jin
Cast: Uhm Jung-Hwa, Sin Ee-Jae, Park Yong-Woo, Choi Seon-Ja, Yoon Ye-Ri, Jeong In-Gi

Kim Ji-su is a 31-year-old single woman who once wanted to become a famous pianist like Horowitz. Her dream was shattered but she was able to go on by teaching children to play piano. One day, she discovers a young boy Gyung-min, is a musical genius. She starts to give him intensive music lessons, preparing him for competition, but it does not turn out well. But later, when all seems lost, Ji-su is utterly shocked when she realizes that Gyung-min carries a secret that will change her life forever.

Cape No. 7

Chinese: 海角七號
Year: 2008
Director: Wei Te-Sheng
Cast: Van, Chie Tanaka, Kousuke Atari, Rachel Liang Wen-Yin, Min-Hsiung, Mai Tzu, Ma Nien-Hsien, Ying Wei-Min, Shino Lin, Johnny C.J. Lin, Ma Ju-Lung, Bjanav Zenror, Pei Hsiao-Lan, Chang Kuei, Lee Pei-Chen, Chang Chin-Yen, Yukihiko Kageyama

"Taking place in the seaside town of Hengchun, the story concerns an upcoming concert from Japanese pop crooner Kousuke Atari. The organizers want to provide a local act to warm up the crowd, but they lack a band worthy of opening for the star. The town representative (Ma Ju-Lung) refuses to outsource, though. Thanks to his determination and exceptional skill at loudly berating others, the town holds an open audition to find its own representative band. Among the disparate locals who join up are traffic cop and ex-SDU member Rauma (Min-Hsiung), his father Olalan (Bjanav Zenror), teen church pianist Dada (Mai Tzu), and dorky mechanic Frog (Ying Wei-Min). The nominal leader is Aga (singer Van), the town representative's stepson and a former rocker who's bitter from his failure to make it on the Taipei music scene. He's supposed to handle lead vocals plus write the band's signature song, but his surly manner and obvious rebelliousness are issues." (from review)


Year: 2002 Director: Chen Kaige
Cast: Liu Peiqi, Chen Hong, Wang Zhiwen, Chen Kaige, Tang Yun

At the urging of his working class father, a young violin prodigy enters Beijing's hyper-competitive music scene in a bid for fame and fortune. But what he finds in the process turns out to be far more important than mere celebrity. Together amounts to a solid, if unspectacular, film from director Chen Kaige." (from review)

All About Lily Chou Chou

Japanese: リリイ・シュシュのすべて
Year: 2001
Director: Shunji Iwai
Cast: Hayato Ichihara, Shugo Oshinari, Ayumi Ito, Takao Osawa, Miwako Ichikawa, Izumi Inamori, Yu Aoi

"Iwai Shunji's haunting and emotionally charged social drama paints a dark and
sometimes bleak picture of Japanese youth culture. While the film's hard look at the issues of apathy, teen aggression, obsession and nihilism are indeed compelling, the powerful performances from Iwai's talented and youthful cast make this film an absolute must-see." (from review)

Linda Linda Linda

Year: 2005
Director: Nobuhiro Yamashita
Cast: Bae Doo-Na, Yu Kashii, Aki Maeda, Shiori Sekine, Takayo Mimura, Shioni Yukawa, Kenichi Matsuyama

"With time running out, a newly-formed all-girl rock band must learn a few new songs before their big debut in Linda Linda Linda, a remarkably understated "feel-good" movie like no other. The film's iffy pacing and less obviously commercial sensibilities may confuse viewers expecting a more conventional underdog story, but ultimately, Linda Linda Linda packs quite a few surprises, including a great performance by Korean actress by Bae Doo-Na and undeniably rousing climax." (from review)

Go Go 70s

Korean: 고고70
Year: 2008
Director: Choi Ho
Cast: Cho Seung-Woo, Sin Min-Ah, Cha Seung-Woo, Song Kyung-Ho, Choi Min-Chul, Kim Min-Goo, Hong Kwang-Ho, Lee Sung-Min, Kim Soo-Jeong, Yoon Chae-Yeon, Lim Yeong-Sik

"Credit should be given to Korean writer-director Choi Ho for trying not to make the same film twice. From the modern drug-addled young adults of Bye, June to the gangster drama of A Bloody Tie, Choi has clearly made an effort to try new topics with every film. His fourth film, Go Go 70s, is his attempt at a Korean version of a music biopic. Based on a true story, Go Go 70s follows the trials and tribulations of The Devils, a soul band from an army town who go to Seoul and end up leading the so-called "Go Go" movement of the mid-70s. " (from review)

ASA Summer Meeting- Tues. July 14

Our next meeting (probably our only one during the summer!) is next Tuesday, July 14, from 2-4pm. We'll meet up in front of the Goldsmiths Library, and either walk over to the Graduate School (if a room is free) or stay in the library. Topics to be discussed: ASA autumn film series (music as a theme), ASA conference to take place next Feb./March, with a similar theme, maybe contemporary arts in a globalized Asia?, and a reading list for the Fall term.

After the meeting, we can all head over to the MA Visual Arts: Transnational Arts' Graduation Show at Camberwell College of Arts (University of the Arts London) in support of ASA member, Gerard Choy. The Private View is from 5-8pm at House Gallery (70 Camberwell Church Street, SE5 8QZ) and from 6-9pm at Wilson road (Camberwell College of the Arts, Wilson Road, SE5 8LU). More info:

Daiwa Foundation Small Grants

Deadline: 30 September

The Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation offers grants from £1,000- £5,000 to individuals, societies, associations or other bodies in the UK or Japan to promote and support interaction between the two countries. Grants can cover all fields of activity, including educational and grassroots exchanges, research travel, exhibitions, and other projects and events that fulfill this broad objective. There are two application deadlines each year, 31 March and 30 September.

Call for Korean artists and designers working in the UK

Deadline: 28 August

Ground Floor, Grand Buildings, 1-3 Strand, London WC2N 5BW
Tel: 0207 004 2600

The Korean Cultural Centre and British Council are looking for artists and designers of Korean origin working in the UK. The selected artists' work will be exhibited at the Korean Cultural Centre in December 2009. The Centre will be responsible for insuring the works during exhibition and transit, organizing pick-up and redelivery of the work within the UK, installation and dismantling. A small catalogue will be produced on occasion of the exhibition.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Photography in Nineteenth-Century Japan

Book Launch
Tuesday 30 June 2009, 6.00pm-8.00pm
Daiwa Foundation Japan House
13/14 Cornwall Terrace, London NW1 4QP

Luke Gartlan - Lecturer in the School of Art History, University of St Andrews.
Sebastian Dobson - Independent scholar of the history of Japanese photography.
Toshio Watanabe (Chair) - Professor of History of Art and Design at the University of the Arts London Chelsea

From the earliest accounts of its arrival in Japan the camera has played a key role in the visual culture of Japanese society. In this provocative collection of essays, six renowned scholars have highlighted the historical diversity and significance of photography as a medium par excellence of Japanese visual modernity. This is a Special Issue of History of Photography (Summer 2009, Taylor & Francis), guest edited by Luke Gartlan.

Book a place

Dawn by Naoko Miyazaki

July 9 - August 7, 2009
Atrium Gallery
1 Embankment Place
London WC2N 6NN

Private view: Wednesday, July 8m 6-8pm
Curated by Dickson Russell Art Management

Dawn showcases the work of Naoko Miyazaki, a London-based Japanese artist and graduate of Chelsea College of Art/University of the Arts, in the atrium space at PriceWaterhouseCoopers. The principle work is a 10m high suspended cut paper installation at one end of the atrium, as well as more recent wall-mounted works on paper and a floor-based installation.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Spring Break!

We'll be resuming ASA meetings and readings after the break- although there was talk of doing Adorno, Benjamin, Gramsci, and Negri during the vacation. Any thoughts?

Monday, March 16, 2009

March 18 meeting- Self-Orientalism in Music

We will be reading Tony Mitchell's chapter "Self-Orientalism, Reverse Orientalism and Pan-Asian Pop Cultural Flows in Dick Lee's Transit Lounge" from Rogue Flows: Trans-Asian Cultural Traffic, ed. Koichi Iwabuchi, Stephan Muecke, Mandy Thomas (Hong Kong University Press, 2004) (Goldsmith Library: 306.4095 ROG)

Listening to samples of Dick Lee, a Singaporean Chinese pop singer/composer
1. Dick Lee, Asia Major

2. Dick Lee, Flower Drum Song

3.Dick Lee, FantAsia

And, producer Dave Liang's The Shanghai Restoration Project, traditional Chinese instruments meet hip-hop and electronica
1. The Shanghai Restoration Project, Miss Shanghai

Taiwanese-American singer/actor, Alexander Wang Lee Hom, who calls his music 'chink-ed out', and is heavily influenced by traditional Chinese music.

UCLA Asia Pacific Arts article on Wang (here)

1. Lee Wang Hom, Beside the Plum Blossom

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Notes & Minutes from March 11

-We watched Lily Mariye's short film, Shangri-la Café, about a Japanese-American family running a Chinese restaurant in 1950s Las Vegas.

Plot synopsis from Mariye's website:
Las Vegas, Nevada, 1959, is a tumultuous time for everyone. Blacks are not allowed to eat in "White Only" restaurants. It's easier for Japanese-Americans to pretend to be Chinese-Americans in order to escape post-WWII racism. Emiko and Tad Takashi own the restaurant where the Reverend Charles Osteen would like to have his family dine with the white customers. The ultimate choice Emiko must make, and the effect it has on their daughter, Annie, will change their lives forever.

(I've got a copy of the film, let me know if you want to borrow it!)

-discussion on Iwabuchi's "Lost in TransNation: Tokyo and the urban imaginary in the era of globalization" (link) and Sophia Coppola's film, Lost in Translation
topics that came up:
loneliness in Asian society, and alienation
-roots- why do we feel the need to search for our roots? pilgrimage, tourist industry
-cultural hybridity since ancient times, as a natural process; hybridity of culture vs. hybridity of blood
-to do: filling out Student Union form for ASA to register as a student society
-new reading for future meeting, David Palumbo-Liu "Assumed Identities" from New Literary History, 2000, 31: 765:780 (link)

Monday, March 2, 2009

Next Meeting: March 4

We'll be holding our next meeting from 3-5pm (after the Stiegler seminar). John won't be able to join us. Instead of readings, we'll be watching two films (if we can squeeze them in): "Perhaps Love" and "Lost in Translation" or "Memoirs of a Geisha". The readings next week will be a quick review of the Stephen Teo & Chris Berry texts (which reference "Perhaps Love"), as well as Koichi Iwabuchi's "Lost in TransNation: Tokyo and the urban imaginary in the era of globalization."

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Readings for Feb. 25 and March 4

The readings for Feb. 25 and March 4 have been switched, as John Hutnyk will be able to join us on March 4.

Feb. 25 Chinese Film
1) Stephen Teo "Promise and perhaps love: Pan-Asian production and the Hong Kong-China interrelationship" Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, Vol. 9, No. 3, 2008, p.341-358
2) Chris Berry and Mary Farquhar "The National in the Transnational" from China On Screen: Cinema and Nation, NY: Columbia University, 2006, p.195-222 (Goldsmith Library: 791.430951 BER)
-inviting Chris Berry to speak to us (or at a later date?)
Film Screening: Peter Chan's "Perhaps Love" (2005) 107 min.

March 4
1) Re-visit John Hutnyk's "Culture" + another Hutnyk text. John will (hopefully) be joining us for questions
2) Allen Chun "The Postcolonial Alien in Us All: Identity in the Global Division of Intellectual Labor" positions: east asia cultures critique, Vol. 16, No. 3, Winter 2008, p.689-710 (link)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Hall "Cultural Studies: Two Paradigms"

Hall, Stuart (1980). Cultural Studies: two paradigms

- there is no absolute beginnings

1. “Culturalism”

- Richard Hoggart

o “Uses of Literacy’

o ‘culture debate’ : high/low culture distinction

o Leavis “Scrutiny, Culture and Society”

o Practical criticism : to “read” working class culture as if it is a ‘text’

o Rejection of high/low cultural divide

o Culture and Society as one and the same (unity) movement

- Raymond Williams

o “Culture and Society”

o “The Long Revolution”

§ Against empirical, particularist thought

§ The experiential ‘thickness’

- E.P. Thompson

o “Making of the English Working Class”

o English Marxist historiography

o Economic and ‘Labour’ history

§ Took culture seriously: culture as the site of politics

§ Culture : Changes in industry, democracy, and class (Williams)

§ New Left

- ‘Culture’


§ R. Williams: “the sum of the available descriptions through which societies make sense of and reflect their common experiences

§ Culture = Society (community of common meanings)

§ No longer the best, highest values but all conventions, common meanings,

§ “The art is there, as an activity, with the production, the trading, the politics, the raising of families” (59)


§ One must study ‘the relationship between these patterns’

§ Patterns are lived and experienced as a whole (structure of feeling)

o Against

§ “Idealist” tradition of culture, elitism

§ Vulgar materialism, economic determinism

· Base/superstructure

· => R.Will : radical interactionism (interactions between all practices in and with one other)

· => no distinctions between practices, because they are all variant forms of praxis, of general human activity and energy

- Revisions

o Lucien Goldmann (Lukacs)

§ ‘Genetic structuralism’

o E.P. Thompson’s ‘Base and Superstructure’ ( critique of “The Long Revolution” )

§ There are different ‘dimensions’ of struggle and confrontation between opposed ‘ways’ of life

2. “Structuralism”

- Ideology, as opposed to ‘culture’

- Levi-Strauss’s culture

o Culture as the categories and frameworks in thought and language through which different societies classified out their conditions of existence, especially human and natural worlds

o Ideology: unconscious categories through which conditions are represented and lived

- Experience:

o Culturalist: experience as the ground where consciousness and conditions intersected

o Strucuralist : experience as mere effect of categories, classifications, and frameworks of the culture (unconscious structures)

o Althusser: ideology is a system of representations, but it has nothing to do with consciousness. imaginary relations (For Marx)

- Structuralist advantages

o 1. Difference, rather than of unity

o 2.

o 3. decentering of experience (ideology): not a central idea for the culturalist

- Culturalist advantages

o 1. affirmative moment of the development of conscious struggle and organization as a necessary element in the analysis of history (agency)

§ Gramsci

3. the Alternatives

- Lacanian psychoanalysis

o Filling the empty spot of the “subject”

o (Weakness) Subject= transhistorical, universal character

- Return to the Political Economy of culture

o Restoring base/superstructure

- Foucault

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Random Notes

-to organize film festival, eg. music-themed where we could screen Randall Stevens documentary "Made in Queens" and John Pirozzi's documentary on rock band Dengue Fever entitled "Sleepwalking Through the Mekong"
-peer-review each other's writing