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Embracing / Is There Anything Specific You Want Me to Tell You About? / Video Letters 1-2 / May You Live in Interesting Times

2 Dec (Fri), 9:45pm

Embracing (1992)
40 min, Japanese with English subtitles, Digital, Japan

After looking through an old photo album, Naomi Kawase decides to seek out traces of her father. She tries to construct her history by revisiting the locations that appear in the photographs. From a bar to an amusement park, the journey allows her enough space and time to fill the memory gaps caused by her parents’ separation when she was young. After she visits a number of her father’s old haunts, a phone call finally re-establishes their relationship.

Naomi Kawase (Japan, b. 1961) makes films that straddle the boundary between fiction and documentary. She shot much of her early work in Nara, her hometown, exploring subjects such as death and the absence of loved ones, reflecting on her life experience as well as her feelings towards her family members.
Is There Anything Specific You Want Me to Tell You About? (1991)
12 min, English and Cantonese with Chinese subtitles, Digital, Hong Kong

The scenes in this short film are excerpted from movies, travel shows, government propaganda, and historical photographs and accompanied by a monologue in the form of a letter home. The narrative reflects on the imagination and identity of a sojourner visiting foreign places.

Yau Ching (Hong Kong, b. 1966) is a film director and video artist. Her work explores her struggles with identity and also records the changes in society and culture.

Voiceover: Sikay Tang
Special Appearance: Pia Ho
Postcard: Lee Ka-sing
Video Letters 1-2 (1993)
5 min, Chinese and English subtitles, Digital, Hong Kong

In this poetic short film, Yau Ching uses found footage to describe a traveller’s state of mind. These video letters document her memories, as well as her desperate desire to express them. They recall and consolidate memories, becoming letters to anyone who can relate to them.

Yau Ching (Hong Kong, b. 1966) is a film director and video artist. Her work explores her struggles with identity and also records the changes in society and culture.

Courtesy Gregg Bordowitz
May You Live in Interesting Times (1997)
60 min, English, Mandarin, Indonesian, Dutch and German with English subtitles, Digital, Netherlands

Director Fiona Tan’s father is Chinese-Indonesian and her mother is Australian. She grew up in Australia and studied in Germany and the Netherlands. Her multicultural background led her to seek out family members scattered around the globe and interview them for this film, a journey that explores cultural origins and reconstructs family history.

Fiona Tan (Indonesia, b. 1966) is a director and video artist. Influenced by her background and her heritage, her works often address the nuanced subjects of belonging, culture, and identity.

Produced by Pieter van Huystee Film & TV

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