Special Screening+Talk Show
Identity Issues in Singapore and Malaysia Seen through Films Summary
- Time and Date：January 22 (SUN), 2017 13:00～17:55
- January 29 (SUN), 13:00～16:40
- Venue: Auditorium, The National Art Center, Tokyo
- Host: Sayuri Kida（Associate Curator, the National Art Center, Tokyo）
Yumi Matsushita（Film presenter, curator and producer）
Ken Takiguchi（Deputy director/ translation editor, Asian Shakespeare Intercultural Archive）
Mami Kataoka (Chief Curator, Mori Art Museum）
Naoki Yoneda (Curator, the National Art Center, Tokyo）
Moderater：Yasutaka Takeda（The Japan Foundation Asia Center）
Less than six months until the opening of the SUNSHOWER: Contemporary Art from Southeast Asia 1980s to Now exhibition, the third pre-event was held on January 22nd and 29th with screenings of the Singaporean film Sandcastle (2010) and Malaysian film SEPET (2005). Multiple ethnicities, languages, and religions exist in both two countries which divided soon after their unification as a single country; differences that their inhabitants must face whether conscious or not. On the other hand, due to the different paths that each country has taken since their separation, the [social and personal] issues that have risen have taken different forms. The male and female protagonists in the two films are both around twenty years of age, a susceptible period in their lives, and their inevitable confrontation with issues of identity while threading their own stories of adolescence drew the audiences’ emotions. On the 22nd, a one-hour talk show was held that delved into topics surrounding art and performing arts using the films as an entrance. Mr. Takiguchi, one of the panelists, epitomized Sandcastle well, stating, “While watching the film, I could feel the difficulties that Singapore deals with; the burden of having to establish a nation by yourself, and of always having to establish your own identity.” This also applies to Malaysia, and it became clear from the discussion that these particular conditions permeated throughout various forms of [artistic] expression.
The SUNSHOWER: Contemporary Art from Southeast Asia 1980s to Now exhibition will include art from the ten ASEAN nations, and will be comprised of nine thematic chapters. Given the nature of the films, this screening program provided a reflection on Singaporean and Malaysian identities, raising the expectations for the exhibition itself.
Sandcastle, Boo Junfeng
2010/ Singapore/ 91 min/Subtitled in Japanese and English
Sepet, Yasmin Ahmad
2005/ Malaysia/ 107 min/Subtitled in Japanese and English
Ken Takiguchi is the deputy director and translation editor of the online digital archive, Asian Shakespeare Intercultural Archive(A|S|I|A). He is also working as a dramaturg and translator, and is a founding member of Asian Dramaturgs’ Network.
His earlier appointments include; assistant director of the Japan Foundation, Kuala Lumpur, consultant (international programme development) of Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre, board member of The Necessary Stage (Singapore) and research fellow of Theatre Studies Programme at National University of Singapore. Takiguchi was awarded the Cross-cultural Champion of the Arts Award at the Boh Cameronian Arts Award 2002 (Malaysia).
Yumi Matsushita grew up in Indonesia, Singapore, and Japan. While majoring in Political Science/International Relations at Sophia University in Tokyo, she studied in Austria. She spent time in Berlin to make a documentary and was awarded a scholarship to be an intern in the Netherlands. Upon returning to Japan, she has been working on media/film productions and acted as a consultant and line producer for films such as FOODIES.
Matsushita is a moderator, interpreter, curator and writer for film festivals and served as director of Sintok Singapore Film Festival Tokyo in 2009 and 2012.
She currently works as a lecturer and organizer to connect and raise social awareness of youths through films and to promote multi-lingualism and diversity in Japan.
Photo: Seiya Kawamoto