Hong Kong Arts Centre is dedicated to cultivating the audience of and fostering the development of Hong Kong indie movies. “Independently Yours”, 20 years after it was first presented by the HKAC, returns as a recurrent screening programme in the HKAC Cinema. In August this year, we are delighted to work with Floating Projects, bringing in a series of animated pictures in the Independently Yours x Elemental Dynamite - August programme.
About Elemental Dynamite
The Third Eye - a Retrospective from Nobuhiro Aihara
Curated by director Hirofumi Sakamoto from the Postwar Japan Moving Image Archive and artistic director Hangjun Lee from the Experimental Film and Video Festival in Seoul, screening program The Third Eye can meet its audience in Hong Kong. Eighteen works are selected from the collection, as a footnote of several critical transitions in Aihara’s creative practice, from his early work Rhabdophis Tigrinus where he combines documentary video with intricate drawings, to Stone where he explores the boundaries between physical space and space within the video frame, and last but not least, his substantial experimentations in the abstract and psychedelic world featured in Spin. Audience can have a glimpse of how Aihara began his journey from a subtle observation of life, to his critical enquiries and challenges to animation-making, up till the peak of his psychedelic animation creation.
Animations were shot on 16mm and aired in HD.
The interaction between the troops and sex-workers near the Naval Air Facility Atsugi (Kanagawa Prefecture), is animated from a child’s perspective. Aihara’s works of this period often contain a documentary view of Japanese society at the time of his childhood.
Moh-Doh （妄動）, 1974, 16mm, 3min
A turning point in Aihara’s career as he moved towards abstraction , this work was originally created for the “100 Feet Film Festival”.
Originally titled Stone No. 2, this is considered a seminal work of Japanese experimental animation. Stones, houses and the surrounding natural landscape converge, exchange shapes and transform..
A delicate and abstract hand-drawn animation beginning with a droplet of water.
Animation unfolds on wind-blown drawing paper, flying among youth sitting in the grass of a park.
Regarded as a creative extension of Stone (1975), animation unfolds on drawing paper placed on a field and farm.
Set in a cave imagined as an air-raid shelter, images is drawn directly on the tree. Vivid colors intermixed with the sound of wartime radio communications and bombing create a harmonious composition of documentary and animation.
My Shelter （マイ・シェルター）, 1981, 16mm, 9min
Following on from Shelter (1981), the setting is again an air-raid shelter. Close-up images of trees are dissected and reformed as abstractions. The many elements of the work culminate in images of elderly survivors of the war, another example of Aihara’s unique blending of documentary storytelling with abstract illustration.
A uniquely psychedelic animation of sordid and chaotic imagery.
Scenes of the mountains are combined with abstract animations. The deep blue color as presented in the final work involves a process developed by Aihara according to the instructions on the original film canister.
A dream-like mingling of disorderly images of a sea of clouds viewed from a mountaintop, and the candles of a Tibetan temple.
Beginning with a wriggle of colors, a psychedelic world expands around the motif of a finger through truly extraordinary precise drawings.
Wind （ウインド）, 2000, 16mm, 5min
Beginning with a pinhole camera photograph by Yasu Suzuka, an intricate abstract animation develops in the pitch-dark.
Lotus（ロータス）, 2007, 16mm, 3min
A vivid, chromatic animation.
The pinnacle of Aihara’s psychedelic animations, and his final solo work in 16mm. After that, he focuses on creating short animations (about 1 min) with video. From time to time, however, he still uses 16mm film in co-production with Keiichi Tanaami.
Regional Experimentation 1: Photographic Survey & Regional Experimentation 2: Free Radicals30/8 (Fri) 7:30pm*
Curated by Hangjun Lee, the film curator and program director of Experimental Film & Video Festival in Seoul, the first screening program of Regional Experimentation -- I: Photographic Survey -- features 8 works selected from the local (Korean) competition series in the EXiS archive to illustrate the different facets of the country’s experimental and contemporary moving image practices.
The selected works demonstrate a dynamic variety of techniques, including monotype in Oloc Boloc, optical printing in Footage, painting in Latent Sorrow, collage in Ganymede, chemical corrosion and high temperature treatment on paper in The Hardboiled Lovestory, electronic distortion in Latency Contemplation, and stop motion animation in 925 Pieces of Busan Tower and Moving Panorama, each manifesting its own eccentric visual language. Viewers can thus, through having a glimpse of such a spectrum of image-making approaches, observe how artists deconstruct the ordinary into the foundation of the abstract, transforming familiar cultural contexts and symbols into unspeakable experiences and beyond.
Regional Experimentation 2: Free Radicals
With the changes in time and unceasing technological advancement, it is critical that we do not lose sight of the history and the indispensable value of analogue film in moving image practices. Though the analogue is often regarded as a kind of obsolete technology in the digital age, this screening program manifests the vitality of working on this medium through a range of experimental works in film-based animations and shorts.
Curated by Hangjun Lee, curator and program director of Experimental Film & Video Festival in Seoul, Regional Experimentation II: Free Radicals features an early (1935) and a late (1957-1979) work by the late master Len Lye, filmmaker/writer Malclom Le Grice’s experiments of varied technical means, Jeff Scher’s reinterpretation of historical found footage by overlaying abstract animation, plus contemporary artists Jodie Mack and Patrick Bokanowski’s recent experimental animations. Regardless of prior knowledge or experience from the audience, this program calls attention to the genuine materiality and diverse aesthetics in analogue films.
Ticket price: $70 / $56*
*20% off discount for full-time students and senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities and the minder, Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients. Concessionary ticket holders must produce evidence of their identity or age upon admission.
*20% off for each purchase of 4 or more standard tickets.