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 ─░stanbul 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