Kiang Malingue is pleased to present at Nanjing Art Fair International 2023 a suite of short films by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, and The cloud of unknowing by Ho Tzu Nyen.
Better known for his much celebrated feature films, Apichatpong Weerasethakul has also been creating since the 1990s an ongoing series of short films that function as video diaries. Intimate and playful, the short films deal with distinct subjects such as a friendly stray dog that used to visit the artist on a daily basis (Black Dog, 2022); rocks collected in a cave that are now used as paperweights and focal points for meditation (Three Rocks, 2022); a ghost band only plays at night and in dreams (Sleep Song, 2022); the morning ritual of walking, gently vibrating with the surrounding lives that are awakened (Walking, 2022); and a relief of Sarit Thanarat, former Thai prime minister in the early 1960s whom Apichatpong has depicted in many of his artworks (Sarit, 2018). These short films were also on view earlier this year at Kiang Malingue in A Bunch of Shorts Portrayed in Red, a more than 7 hours marathon of short films by Apichatpong. Independent from one another, the short films demonstrate the diversity of Apichatpong’s interests, forging links between major artistic and cinematic projects.
The cloud of unknowing (2011) by Ho Tzu Nyen was commissioned for the Singapore Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition, exploring the symbolic and aesthetic representation of the cloud across cultures, history and geography. Collected by the Guggenheim Collection and Kadist, the work is set in a deserted public housing block in Singapore and incorporates eight compartmentalised vignettes, each centred on a character who is met by an intrusive ethereal cloud permeating their immediate surroundings. The vignettes allude to historically significant works by Western European and Eastern artists, such as Caravaggio, Francisco de Zurbarán, Antonio da Correggio, Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini, René Magritte, Mi Fu, and Wen Zhengming. This incorporation and blending of both Eastern and Western artistic, cultural, historical, musical, and philosophical references is prevalent in Ho’s practice. By employing cloud imagery as a metaphor for transience and spirituality and fusing together image and sound to conjure up diverse sensations, The cloud of unknowing creates dream-like realities for the spectators.
Nanjing Art Fair International 2023 Ho Tzu Nyen, Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Installation view, Ho Tzu Nyen, 'The cloud of unknowing', 2011
Single channel HD video, stereo sound
Image courtesy the Nanjing Art Fair International 2023