Posted by Levi Hanes
I had one of those lovely moments yesterday when viewing the creation of art, or a piece of work, and encouragement, wonder, confusion washes over me. Sung Kim and Nina Yuen’s films teeter on being trite, self-absorbant, cloying twee, faux-high art, but they pull it together so well. At times simply the editing was the obvious tool that saved a piece, but most often it was the whole damn thing that worked as a seamless, sincere exploration of not just the ideas of art, film, or whatever, but as a person creating. The footage, though very engaged by both artists, seemed secondary to the act of doing. Home explorations, little games to fill time like touching all the dots on a scarf punctuated by the stop animation of the film, the sound of which is carried over while the scene changes to a similar game of touching doilies on the wall to games played between people or questionnaires to bystanders are subjects.
And who has doilies on their wall for decoration, or make paper dolls of their boyfriends then makes a film incorporating it and actually makes these images relevant and interesting? The Yoko Ono game/screen-board approach [say “Grapefruit”] to the films is enhanced by a real command of their medium of crappy video/digital, lo-fi microphones and limited lighting.
There are stories, somewhat, but no straight-forward approach to any of the films, and the plots seem added after the filming not as afterthoughts, but as engaging the materials found in the film footage. What is presented is the meditation on things, on time, on activities, surprisingly open creators working with each other, documenting scenes and objects less to create a film than from fear of losing these things, to give them a sense of being and belonging, an urgency. The films linger in haunting vignettes in my thoughts. I really don’t know what to do with this experience. There is a panic-y need to do something before it is lost, and the only option seems to create something.