The Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore presents Spirits of cinema, the first ever curated screening of short films by Singaporean film collective 13 Little Pictures, celebrating six years of the collective.
13 Little Pictures supports independent filmmaking through ideas, collaboration and production support. The collective encourages diversity and experimentation, and the development of vision. Since its founding in 2009, it has organized three regional film labs and produced twenty-seven films. Many of these films take inspiration from the personal stories of their makers, and the history and cultural identity of the people and geography of Southeast Asia.
The programme highlights the collective’s exploratory approach to film techniques, genres and mysterious subjects. In Kopi Julia (2013), Tan Bee Thiam reimagines a short story of a blood-sucking stepmother by Malay writer Faizal Sulaiman as a black and white silent horror film. Silent light (2015) by Liao Jiekai experiments with the physical quality of film itself, presenting textured and broken views alongside recordings of a woman’s memories of growing up in Singapore in the early 1940s. Many of the films reveal the bonds that shape human relationships, from monetary and material exchanges to ideas of karma and redemption. Written and spoken texts are used to surface hidden thoughts and evoke the presence of mystical figures. These moments demonstrate the transformative capabilities of film: its ability to bring people together, express difficult emotions, and transport us to imagined scenarios and places.
Spirits of cinema will be presented on a 6-metre wide outdoor cinema screen on the LASALLE College of the Arts green. The programme is curated by 13 Little Pictures and Melanie Pocock, Assistant Curator, Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore. It features films by Wesley Leon Aroozoo, Daniel Hui, Lei Yuan Bin, Liao Jiekai, Gladys Ng, Sherman Ong, Tan Bee Thiam and Yeo Siew Hua.
In 2017, the ICA Singapore will present a retrospective exhibition of film and moving image by 13 Little Pictures. Spirits of cinema is part of Singapore Art Week (16–24 January 2016).
- Spirits of Cinema; Courtesy of The Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore