LOST SECRETS OF THE ROYAL
COMMISSIONED BY LIFT AND REEL ASIAN FILM FESTIVAL
PRESENTED AT A SPACE GALLERY & BLACKWOOD GALLERY
The Lost Secrets of the Royal project is a commissioning initiative of the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT) and the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival working with four contemporary Asian-Canadian artists to produce media works for the gallery setting. The discussions leading to this project originate with Colin Geddes’ donation of an archive of incomplete and decaying 35mm Hong Kong films salvaged from the basement of what is now Toronto’s Royal Cinema. The only stipulation for Geddes’ donation of this trove of orphaned reels was that they became the source for remaking, transforming and plundering into new works.
Curators Heather Keung and Ben Donoghue started discussing the possibility of commissioning artists to engage the material in 2008. They initiated the project by producing an inventory of the films’ titles, states of decay and, often, adult film classification labels. Yet without a single complete film, the contents of this inventory mostly remained a mystery. Based on this inventory, and a notion of remaking the material for the gallery space without resorting to clichéd notions of didactic collage, a request for proposals was circulated to a number of artists. Four of the proposals were accepted and with the support of a Media Arts Commissioning grant from the Canada Council for the Arts, these works entered production.
The projects realized within this commission are Cindy Mochizuki’s Yokai and Other Spirits with Daïchi Saïto’s Never A Foot Too Far, Even at the Blackwood Gallery and soJin Chun’s Officer Tuba Meets the Happy Ghost with Louise Noguchi’s Snake’s Shadow at A Space Gallery from November 9 – December 11, 2011.
A SPACE GALLERY
SNAKE’S SHADOW | Louise Noguchi (Toronto) | Canada 2011 | 3 x HD Video
Louise Noguchi’s three-channel video installation, Snake’s Shadow, fills three walls with an intricately executed sequence of dance and motion composed from high-definition scans of 35mm CinemaScope action films. These archetypal fragments of fight scenes are recomposed with a newly commissioned soundtrack into a dizzying mix of movement and light. The work is divided into four acts across three channels, assembling a sequence of pivotal moments without an end. Noguchi writes of the work: “Maybe having to accept real endings and loss, as opposed to staged drama, which is seductive, is what viewers may perceive of the sequencing; although, others may have another reaction to the ending.”
Toronto-born Louise Noguchi works in video, photography, sculpture, and other media. Noguchi’s concepts confront the spectators’ notions of identity, perception, and reality. Her recent videos have examined tourist locations and key monuments of her Canadian and ancestral histories in terms of cultural memory and experience.
OFFICER TUBA MEETS THE HAPPY GHOST | soJin Chun (Toronto) | Canada 2011 | HD Video, Lightbox
soJin Chun combines characters appropriated from two Hong Kong films and digitally rotoscopes them into contemporary Super 8mm film footage shot in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and Toronto, Canada. Pulled from their Hong Kong settings, these characters are recast as Koreans, playing with western perceptions of Asian identity. The ruptures and continuity of culture within diasporic communities frame these figures displaced in time, space, language, and culture. Chun builds a small cinema within the gallery, complete with illuminated film poster, but the cinematic code—its narrative conventions, framing, and representative structure—is broken.
soJin Chun is a photo and video artist based in Toronto. Her work demonstrates narratives from diasporic positioning, exploring the fluid nature of identity within a place. Her work has exhibited internationally, including in the United States, Serbia, Mexico, England, France, Argentina, and Bolivia.
NEVER A FOOT TOO FAR, EVEN | Daïchi Saïto (Montreal) | Canada 2011 | 2 x 16mm Projection Loops
Appropriating a brief fragment from a 35mm print of a 1970s kung fu film, Never A Foot Too Far, Even creates an action movie without action. Presented as a double projection with two 16mm film projectors and loopers, the chemically and optically manipulated images are overlaid to form a single composition. Focusing on an obscure figure caught between perpetual motion and stasis, the painterly images fluctuate in a complex shifting of colour and texture, phasing in and out through a polymetric structure. The installation also features a new audio composition by Malcolm Goldstein.
Montreal-based Japanese filmmaker Daïchi Saïto has exhibited in numerous venues worldwide. His work explores the relation between the corporeal phenomena of vision and the material nature of the medium, fusing a formal investigation of frame and juxtaposition with sensual and poetic expressions.
YOKAI & OTHER SPIRITS | Cindy Mochizuki (Vancouver) | Canada 2011 | HD Video, Glass Case, Fog Machine, Telephone
Paranormal phenomena are common in Asian films, literature, and popular culture. In Japanese folklore, for instance, yokai are a class of supernatural creatures that often shape-shift and play tricks on humans. This interactive, animated, and sound-based installation repeats a key moment in the 35mm film, Happy Ghost 3, when the lead ghost calls “home” through various phone booths throughout the city. The animated projection is an accumulation of hand-traced frames of the original film through rotoscoping. The film explores the interiority of the archive and, like an X-ray print, uses light as a means to make visible what we cannot normally see. This work uses the presence of audience members to trigger the projections and sounds; without their actions, the film lies unseen and unheard, leaving only the stark presence of the scenic and museological props. With sound design by Antoine Bédard, programming and electronics by Bobbi Kozinuk, and construction design by Minoru Yamamoto.
Cindy Mochizuki is an interdisciplinary artist with a practice that moves across several forms, including drawing, animation, multimedia, and performance. Her body of work explores cultural memory and experimental narratives that play with the space of the documentary and the imagined. She lives and works in Vancouver, BC.
LOST SECRETS OF THE ROYAL
Exhibition at Blackwood Gallery and A Space Gallery: Nov 9 – Dec 11, 2011
Presented by Liaison of Independent Filmmakers Toronto (LIFT), Reel Asian, the Blackwood Gallery, and A Space Gallery
Curators: Ben Donoghue and Heather Keung
Installations by Daïchi Saïto and Cindy Mochizuki
Kaneff Center, University of Toronto Mississauga
3359 Mississauga Road North
(905) 828-3789, firstname.lastname@example.org
Hours: Mon to Fri 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM, Wed 12:00 PM – 9:00 PM, Sat- Sun 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Opening Reception at Blackwood Gallery: Wed Nov 9, 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Transportation to Blackwood Gallery for the Opening reception: Wed Nov 9, 6:30 PM
Bus departs OCADU, 100 McCaul St at 6:30 PM. Bus departs Blackwood Gallery at 8:30 PM
A Space Gallery
Installations by soJin Chun and Louise Noguchi
401 Richmond Street West, Suite 110
(416) 979-9633, email@example.com
Hours: Tue to Fri 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM, Sat 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Artist Talk at A Space Gallery: Sat Nov 12, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Opening Reception at A Space Gallery: Sat Nov 12, 5:00 PM – 7:00 pm
MEDIA CONTACT Virginia Kelly, V Kelly & Associates – 416-466-9799 – firstname.lastname@example.org Visit www.reelasian.com for further press information, including digital images, press releases, and accreditation.