Sunday, April 08, 2012

Singapore Memory Project Short Films

In case, like myself, that you're not aware, there's a national initiative started in 2011 called the Singapore Memory Project (SMP), where its aim as listed on their website is to collect and preserve a national collection of content from various mediums - print, audio, video - in digital form, and to make them available for discovery and research. As part of the SMP initiative, both Tan Pin Pin and Wee Li Lin have been commissioned to produce short films to be showcased on the SMP portal, and they have been launched and there for viewing since 30 March 2012.

Singapore Country - Wee Li Lin

The one and only bona fide Singapore country musician, Matthew Tan is the subject of Wee Li Lin's music documentary done interview style in the walk down memory lane of Matthew's life, from the early days where he formed Matthew Tan and the Mandarins, to his leaving for Nashville, Tennessee in the 70s, and then back again to Singapore, now with Singapore Cowboy being created.

With plenty of archive photographs to chart his life and times both in Singapore and overseas, and clips of vintage performances, Adrian Pang becomes the interviewer as he chats with Matthew reminiscing the path that one man took to live and pursue his dream. And yes, you do get to listen to Matthew perform his famous song within this 15 minute film, and guess what? Singapore Cowboy is also Wee Li Lin's next feature film project, currently in pre-production stage.

Yangtze Scribber - Tan Pin Pin

OK, confession time. Despite watching the number of films and going to just about every cinema in Singapore, I haven't really stepped into the infamous Yangtze Cinema, which I think I should soon given its fine selection of arthouse (heh) cinema screenings that changes ever so often. Tan Pin Pin's documentary Yangtze Scribber takes on the memory of Debbie Ding, who provides the narration to her peculiar hobby of documenting survey markings and graffiti in Singapore, and this special one featured happens to be located in the stairwell of the building where the Yangtze Cinema is located.

Probably Singapore's only graffiti symbologist, the sheer number of photographs on her findings, as seen through her flickr account, is quite astounding. Playing like a mystery, maybe someone out there who's watched this short film, and can shed a light and a clue to the origins behind the the strange sketches of a man and a woman together with a series of numbers. Surely there's a story behind that as well!

Remember - Tan Pin Pin

Tan Pin Pin uses the Visual Thesaurus to create something like a word association, or a 3D mind map of sorts in this animated piece that digs into the depths of what it means to Remember utilizing an online tool to visually capture meanings.

Don't watch this windowed at the Singapore Memory site, but expand it full screen so that you can read the individual words, and to take on a surreal trip that resembles a textual journey deep into the recesses of the mind, and the close link that memory has with its opposite, whether be it natural forgetfulness, or the deliberate choice in choosing not to recollect.

You can click on the links below to watch the short films:

Yangtze Scribbler (6 min):

Remember (6 min):

Singapore Country (15 min):

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