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19 - 26 August 2023: Tomorrow’s History


Tomorrow's History is a two-part shorts programme curated by Sine Screen, presented as part of Vulnerable HistorIes, an on-going series that explores the representation of historical trauma in East & Southeast Asia, bringing together experimental works from Taiwan, Vietnam, Philippines, Thailand, China and Hong Kong that delve into a range of personal and collective narratives. Working with alternative mediums such as animation, digital reenactments and reconstruction of archives, the artists actively question the validity and limitations of the indexical documentary image in representing historical events and its impacts. These visually inventive shorts not only portray historical narratives but also seek to document “history in the making” through highlighting contemporary moments of social change. From the colonial history in the Philippines, aftermath of the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia, the social movement in Hong Kong, to the White Terror period in Taiwan.  By juxtaposing the historical with the present-day, the programme seeks to examine how history comes to be documented, narrated, remembered and erased.


Programme 1

Landscape Series no.1
Nguyễn Trinh Thi, 2013, 5 min

As the journey starts, wide empty landscapes make one wonder what one is looking for. A mysterious object? A crime scene? Something horrifying? The scenes are getting more and more specific, but they do not lead to any concrete solution – only an injury in place of a metaphor.

Huang Pang-Chuan, 2017, 21 min

Two journeys take place in two different periods. One is a return by rail, passing through two continents; the other is an old photograph tracing back to war life. The rhythmic swaying of the train merges past and present, revealing a forgotten memory, and a longing for a place called Taiwan.

That Spring, In The Sky of H-Ville, There Was _
Chung Hong IU, 2022, 9 min

That spring, there was _____ in the sky of H-ville. What is _____? No one can tell. The sudden “unknown” caused absurd and strange phenomena. The real nightmare was not a natural disaster, but a man-made one. The regime used this to implement the "state of exception". The system continued to operate. How much human value would be left? An absurd dystopian take on Hong Kong’s social movement under the context of the pandemic.

Parasite Family
Prapat Jiwarangsan, 2022, 5 min

Re-discovered film negatives represent families of affluence who absorbed Thailand’s wealth, like parasites. The journey from analog to digital, and finally to AI-generated images, gradually evolves these captured faces into a new species of monster.

Devil’s Peak
Simon Liu, 2021, 30 min

Through overlapping poetic narratives and coded references, Devil’s Peak reflects on recent unprecedented shifts in the socio-cultural fabric of the artist’s homeland of Hong Kong, creating a site of remembrance for a time and place that may never be as it was.


Programme 2

Followed by a conversation with Lin Weilun 

When the Sea Sends Forth a Forest
Guangli Liu, 2020, 21 min

Through a 3D virtual universe simulated by a game engine intertwined with historical pictures, a lost moment of history can be experienced. The story revolves around the memory of a Chinese survivor of Khmer Rouge.

Still on My Mind
Jittarin Wuthiphan, 2020, 3 min 

Created as a School Project to “tell a story about myself in 10 existed-pictures.” Jittarin decided to reminisce about a traumatic event that happened in his hometown after a great passing, inspired by Angela Deane’s “ghost” animation technique.

To Pick a Flower
Shireen Seno, 2021, 17 min

A video essay incorporating archival photographs from the American Colonial Era in the Philippines, exploring the sticky relationship between humans and nature and its entanglements with empire.

Love Letters
Darren Lin, 2022, 25 min

Captured and imprisoned by the government, Liu Yao-ting is forcefully separated from his wife Shih Yueh-hsia. During this time, they write to keep their love alive. Eighty letters, lipstick-smudged and sweat-stained, are the vessel for their passion and the embodiment of their spirits.