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.