1st PLACE

Mark CHUA & LAM Li Shuen

About The Artist

Mark Chua and Lam Li Shuen (b. 1992 and 1996, respectively) are Singaporean filmmakers and artists whose work explores the possibilities of resistance in the presentation and production of narrativity. Their work has been screened at various international film festivals; their second experimental feature, Revolution Launderette, was presented at the Singapore International Film Festival (2019) and Asian Film Festival Barcelona (2020), among others, and won the Spirit Award at the Eastern Oregon Film Festival (2020). Their work extends to mixed-media performances in sound and the moving image, and they have performed in Singapore, Australia, Japan and Iceland.

Mark CHUA & LAM Li Shuen

"The work, as a picture of the flattening out of life during this time, explores the notion that what felt missing during the lockdown were the freedoms of individual choice."

The Cup. Video

The Cup. Video

About The Artwork

The Cup

Single-channel black and white video with sound

The Cup is a surreal tale of a man with a brewing machine for a head. Discontent with the bland taste of his own brew, he sets about to improve its flavour. The work is a meditation on the flattening out of life during the pandemic, and was created entirely during the circuit breaker period in Singapore in 2020, born of the conditions of confinement. As the artists observe, “The restrictions in daily life during the pandemic seem to have resulted in an observably diminished joy of life for many. The work, as a picture of the flattening out of life during this time, explores the notion that what felt missing during the lockdown were the freedoms of individual choice.” A sense of shared alienation, during trying times, is also expressed in linguistic diversity. In the work, the man and his shadow converse in language and dialects common to Southeast Asia: Teochew, a Minnanese dialect popular among the diasporic Chinese communities of the region, and Cebuano, which is spoken in the Visayas islands of Philippines. Despite the linguistic difference, under strange circumstances they meet each other in conversation, sharing a kindred familiarity.

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