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fAf's 15th Anniversary travelling screening program
fAf celebrated its 15th Anniversary this year with a showcase of multimedia artworks. fineArt forum presented its travelling program at the Substation in Singapore on 20 June this year to celebrate it's 15th Anniversary as an online arts magazine.

The travelling program, which debuted in Australia, showcased works from all over the world, including six from Singapore.

A total of 14 films were shown back to back to an audience of more than thirty people, most of whom were students and young adults. The short films shown covered a wide range of topics from 'color therapy' and environmental concerns, to the less serious cartoon adventures of a dog named Cepe.

'Against the tide' deals
with endangered turtles.
Curator for the event and fAf Editor-in-chief, Nisar Keshvani gave an introduction before the screening and explained that some artworks were "produced with very raw, and primitive equipment, and others with high end machinery". He continued by suggesting that viewers might "find some of the work has mass appeal, and others are artistic, but each brings an element of their home culture".

However, Mr Keshvani outlined that this screening would be a stepping-stone for the filmmakers, giving them a chance for their artworks to be seen by an international audience.

Among the 14 works screened during the one and half hours, the audience seemed to enjoy three particular ones - Microwave, Derman and Imagine. Imagine was a short piece, where different colors were shown on the screen and changed according to John Lennon's hit song. Meanwhile, Derman is a cute 3-D animated character playing around with two doors and Microwave was a rather controversial and morbid one - a Barbie figurine inside a microwave, melting away.

Tan Pin Pin, creator of the video installation Microwave said that the original piece of work was almost half an hour long. Different objects like money and an Amex card, apart from Barbie were shown spinning inside the microwave. "I was really curious on what kind of new meaning could be shown in such an unaccommodating environment," says the filmmaker, whose work was dubbed 'a gem' by the DoubleTake Documentary Film Festival.

From the morbid to a cute animated character, Derman was a rather funny and enjoyable 3D- animation where an amusing blue character played around two doors. Derman was an idea spawned by four Ngee Ann graduates for their final school project. According to Nicholas Liaw, the group "initially wanted to do an adaptation of nutcracker." Nicholas and his fellow groupmate Eldred Tjie, were present at the screening to witness and answer questions asked by the audience.

"Although [Derman] looks simple, we actually took half a year planning it and another half a year doing it," explained Eldred, when asked how long the group took to complete their project. Eldred also added that they "didn't expect to come so far" and have their work shown to people all over the world. The guys, who are currently serving their National Service, were quite happy that their hard work could now be recognized.

Keh Li Ching, lead animator for Against the Tide (excerpt pictured above), a short animation about endangered turtles also commented that she didn't expect her group's work to be chosen for the fAf screening.

"I really didn't expect this! This project was rather experimental," she quipped. However, she added that it was a "privilege for us as students" to actually have our works shown, especially on the topic of conservation. Li Ching is currently an Assistant Producer with a production house - Moving Visuals Company.

Keshvani said the idea is "to introduce and showcase the works of young and emerging film makers, digital artists from different parts of the world." Fourteen short films were run: from a glimpse of an afternoon in a Malaysian village depicted in full, crisp 3D animation (A Friday's Prayer by Ta Jin Ho, Malaysia) to one UPD student's attempt to cast in quick-changing images what defines him (Self-Portrait: I on Some Pieces of Paper by David Liongoren, Philippines).

The Program is in celebration of fAf's 15th anniversary celebration and is being co-launched in DMF2001 and in the Multimedia Festival in Brisbane, Australia. Its focus is on the rich cultural digital content developed daily.

Following the screening program, Keshvani lectured on how emerging artists can promote themselves, what they should focus on and how fAf can help them through its programs and activities.

Takahiko Iimura's video, film and CD-ROM based works were screened after the lecture.

Iimura is a pioneer artist of Japanese experimental film and video. An established international artist, he has been working in film since 1960.

"Taka's migration from film and video to CD-ROM (spanning over 35 years of dedicated work from analog to digital media) serves as challenge and inspiration to a number of video and filmmakers here," Lasay said.

"Iimura is one of the very few artists who crossed the border from video to CD-ROM. He took a real piece of work [his videos] and converted it into an interactive medium, [a feat] which is very rare" said Keshvani.

Wednesday's workshop was on Flashpro, a program used in creating and manipulating images for animation and film. Multimedia specialist Ronnie Millevo delivered the much-enjoyed lecture that taught the basics in manipulating the much-in-demand program.

Thursday and Friday were devoted to videos. The dim lights at the Corredor witnessed the screening of Multimedia Art Asia Pacific's (MAAP) Oil Friction, Excess videos from China and Australia; artists' videos from Romania, Greece, USA and Australia.

Based in Brisbane, Australia, MAAP organizes media events, festivals and online forums (

"Throughout the Thursday screenings, the movement and scenes in Margaret Roberts's Cook East Cook West installation video seemed constantly to serve as our window to the fast moving outside world," said Lasay.

After a brief lull of events on Saturday, the festival was capped with an online forum from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, October 14. The forum provided a dialogue between audiences, artists and writers. Contents of the discussion is available at the Australian ABC Website:

DMF 2001 not only impressed home-based artists but international artists as well, including Japanese artist Iimura.

"It's very impressive. Lasay collected many important art works by different mediums. Sometimes, you have to put together all the important works and you have to know who is doing it and what they are doing so you have to make a lot of research on this. She has done quite a good job and I think it will be very successful," Iimura said.

fAf's 15th Anniversary screening was definitely a success to both its filmmakers and the audience. The travelling program will soon be shown in other countries such as Peru, Malaysia and Japan and will help put Singapore on the world art map and expose the latest South East Asian talents to an international audience.



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