"While the disciplines of cinema and the visual arts have produced their respective innovations in image making and modes of representation, they share intricate relationships of exchange, as contemporary artists and filmmakers alike, deal with the complexities of image and narrative making. A Figment of Film presents five artists whose works deal with the very subject matter of film. Each presentation engages with a broad dimension of cinema, ranging from the investigation of the still and moving image, to the reframing of the imagery.
In the exhibition, artists deal with the translation of cinematic images into painting, and vice versa, presenting new ways of looking at composition, perspective, spatial dynamics as well as time. Other works explore film history and the blurred boundaries between historical fact and Hollywood mythmaking. Through these works, A Figment of Film raises questions that allow us to consider these languages of art making, as well as new contexts of creation, reception and subversion in artistic production.
Hilmi Johandi is known for his interest in films of the 1950s and 1960s that examine pre- and post independence Singapore society. Working with archival photographs, found footages as well as his research on P. Ramlee films, Johandi makes paintings and videos that translate filmic imagery into painting, and vice versa. Street Market (2014) and Man Smoking Pipe (2014) began as the artist's study of how the composition and framing of images, whether in the form of long shots or close-ups, mediate the spectator's perception. They also reveal how movement act as markers of time. here, time elapses as much as it stands still. Through stop-motion animation techniques, Johandi's videos highlight detailed textures and movements of filmic sequences that appear as vivid paintings."
Written and curated by Michelle Ho.