STOP10 Oct 2017: 'Chua Mia Tee' by Eric Khoo and other works in 'Art Through Our Eyes'



Chua Mia Tee is a short film directed by Eric Khoo and is part of a larger omnibus of Southeast Asian short films under the title Art Through Our Eyes. The omnibus will be screened under the Painting with Light: International Festival of Films on Art presented by National Gallery Singapore. It brings together for the first time, five award-winning ASEAN film directors - Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Thailand), Brilliante Mendoza (Philippines), Ho Yuhang (Malaysia), Joko Anwar (Indonesia) as well as Eric Khoo (Singapore). 

Each director handpicked a masterpieces from the Gallery's art collection as inspirations for the short films, and Eric had picked Portable Cinema, painted by Chua Mia Tee. 


The film begins with a comical reinterpretation of a localized superhero film in black and white, dubbed over by a child's voice. The nostalgic and self aware piece is charming and fun, but the real gem really begins where it ends.

Unlike the other works in the omnibus, Eric finds time to include a small biographical documentary section in his work as a tribute to the painter. Chua Mia Tee, the painter, shows up in the film itself and recounts the past, when portable cinemas still existed and how they used to crank the films at a slower speed just to maximize the experience of watching those very brief films. It is a touching and genuine piece of work, that gives the painting itself a new personal depth and dimension.

The rest of the omnibus is certainly worth checking out, being made by a distinguished group of filmmakers, each completely different in style and interpretation of the paintings they were assigned.

Amorsolo's Dream (Phillipines)
by Brilliante Mendoza
Fri–Sun 7–29 Oct | 7pm | FREE

As competing political parties flex their might in the run-up to an election, a grandmother and her grandson are forcibly removed from their fruitstall. When they return home, the family jokes about the incident, indifferent to the election campaigning on television. Mendoza was inspired by the festive mood in Fernando Amorsolo's Marketplace During the Occupation, which he saw as capturing the resilience of the Filipino spirit in the midst of crisis.

Ablaze (Thailand)
By Apichatpong Weerasethakul
FriSun 729 Oct | 7pm | FREE

Ablaze responds to two paintings by Raden SalehMerapi, Eruption by Day and Merapi, Eruption by Nightwhich capture the intensity of light at different times. Filmed in a single take, the camera moves across a dream-like forestscape until it reaches two silhouettes gazing into the distance.


Wounded Lion (Indonesia)
by Joko Anwar
Fri–Sun 7–29 Oct | 7pm | FREE

Inspired by Raden Saleh's painting of the same name, Wounded Lion is the portrait of a classical dancer who is forced to perform on the streets to support his family. With every clang made by coins tossed into his metal tin, the dancer wrestles with the pride he still takes in his art and his diminishing sense of self. 


Aku (Malaysia)
by Ho Yuhang
Fri–Sun 7–29 Oct | 7pm | FREE

A man walks through a desolate landscape, and encounters another who asks if he is lost. This triggers a series of disturbing flashbacks, revealing that the man was once a soldier who is now struggling to cope with life after war. In this film, Ho imagines the psychological landscape and emotions simmering in Aku, Latiff Mohidin's portrait of poet Khairul Anwar.

Written by Rifyal Giffari

The Painting with Light: International Festival of Films on Art was launched by National Gallery Singapore, dedicated to films that uncover the transformative power of art, and the passion and humanity of those who live and work with it around the world. The film festival will feature over 30 feature-length and short films by acclaimed filmmakers, with many making its premiere in Singapore.

Painting with Light: International Festival of Films on Art is presented by National Gallery Singapore and will run from 7 to 29 October 2017 at The Ngee Ann Kongsi Auditorium & Foyer, Level B1, City Hall Wing. Ticket sales started from 14 September and can be purchased through the Gallery and SISTIC websites and ticketing counters. 

Learn more about the festival in our earlier ShoutOUT! on this upcoming festival.

Also, check out the festival site for more information.

For the full list of October 2017's under STOP10 click here.

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