2 1/2 D Cinema

2 screens

In June 2011, I was invited by Playeum to be part of their Children’s Season curated exhibition at the National Museum of Singapore.

An interactive cinema experience, 2 and 1/2 D Cinema uses historical footage of the Ivan Polunin archive to create 5 minute-long movies for children to interact with. The footage was edited in collaboration with Russell Morton. To create the footage, we selected from hours of footage filmed by Ivan Polunin in the 60s. The resulting films had to be dubbed because they came with no sound. The sounds are mostly the sound of nature, children playing and catching fish, all recreated in the backyard. Finally, I called on Mohamad Riduan, a sound artist/sculptor to help create the sound for one of the 5 films on display.

The film is only complete once the children perform in front of the projection, where they are being filmed.

The installation  lets the children walk into the cinema-like space, and walk into the beam of the projector. Soon, they figure out that their antics in front of the projection are being filmed, and they enjoy watching themselves on the TV screen, outside the projection space. If they stay long enough or come back, they start interacting with the actual film rather than just the beam of light.

The result is exciting, not least because I get to observe how children interact with the work, and learn from them. I also hope that in a small way, this exhibition (together with other beautiful installations at the PlayDome) will help make children better equipped to view contemporary art. They understand that art requires a commitment and risk-taking from the part of the viewer. Hopefully, they will grow up to become responsive to alternative forms of art.

This artwork also connects the current generation of SIngapore children with the previous generation, or the Singapore of 2 generations ago, in the 60′s; between “Children at Play”, “Fishing on the Kelong”, “On the Farm”, “Fishing in Woodlands” and “on the Beach”.


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