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Tiyan Baker, Lena Bui, Prapat Jiwarangsan, Russell Morton, John Torres. ‘Soft Country’

Thursday 23 November 2023, 7 pm

Tiyan Baker, Lena Bui, Prapat Jiwarangsan, Russell Morton, John Torres. ‘Soft Country’
Soft Country, featuring Lena Bui, Russell Morton, Prapat Jiwarangsan, Tiyan Baker, John Torres. Curated by Alfonse Chiu. Image courtesy the artists

Soft Country is a proposal to consider the powers of memory-making through the moving image.

Presenting five works by contemporary Southeast Asian artists that each contemplates the relationships between land, language, and history, this film programme invites audience to question the mechanisms of remembrance and forgetting in an era of shifting grounds and disappearing horizons. As the neoliberal logics of technology and politics continually shape and re-shape the terrain of the world we live in, how may we find resistance and justice against the violence and capital—and how may we mourn, make kin, and find pleasure in each other? How can we, as Derrida wrote, ‘come to ourselves through this memory of possible mourning’?

Beyond the standard narrative trappings of conventional fiction, each work acts as an essay, a testimonial, and a poem that constantly re configures the artist’s observation of being and becoming in the hard states of geopolitics, and imagines a soft country of mutable entanglements and slippery tongues.

Lena Bui, Kindred (Vietnam, 2021, 8′)
Russell Morton, Saudade (Singapore, 2019, 21′)
Prapat Jiwarangsan, The Wandering Ghost (Thailand, 2018, 20′)
Tiyan Baker, Tarun (Malaysia, 2020, 16′)
John Torres, After Nonoy Estarte, a certain Orpheus, and those flowers in Dahilayan that accompanied this other sense
they told me about (Philippines, 2016, 10′)

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