Yangtze Scribbles and a bigger obssesion

Tan Pin Pin’s ‘Yangtze Scribbler’ gives you an a obtuse way of making a connection with a place like the Yangtze cinema at Pearl’s Centre.  It takes you away from the over-sensationalised world of uncles watching soft-porn with umbrellas to an unknown world that is lurking in the darker corridors and keeping itself very much alive.

Pin Pin follows the journey the Debbie Ding who has discovered a strange series of graffiti in the damp and dark staircases of the cinema. These graffiti scribbles bear a similar trademark – numbers and human figures in a oval with an eye at the front, making it look like a stylized version of male genitalia. It makes you think twice the next time you see another phallic scribble on the toilet door for there may be more than just plain ‘artistic’ expression.

The documentary is also equally intriguing in the depth of the curiosity (presumably graphic designer Debbie Ding) of the explorer who narrates the video. Speaking in a timbre and tonality that resembles the filmmaker Pin Pin uncannily, Debbie’s curiosity for the odd and overlooked borders on an obsession that also mirrors the same fascination for ‘life’s patterns’ inherent in several of Pin Pin’s films like ‘Singapore Gaga’, ‘Snow City’ and ‘The Impossibility of Knowing’. While the origin of the scribbles at Yangtze may not turn out to be interesting eventually, the film does present an engaging and intimate conceptual dialogue between the filmmaker and her subject, making them somtimes indistinguishable. 

Check out Tan Pin Pin's 'Yangtze Scribbler' in this link.
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