The Polygon Gallery and Centre A present A Lingering Shadow, a programme of short films that consider how memory becomes encoded in movement. The featured contemporary artists locate archives of history, collective memory, and narrative within the body in motion. Performances both choreographed and incidental react to moments of upheaval; change and turmoil manifest in individual, idiosyncratic gestures. In these works, the site of action cannot be traced to any one particular place; it is, at once, the space where the action occurs, the events that have unfolded there, and the bodies that inhabit it now.
Please note: The films begin streaming on this page on August 30 at 9am.
Anchi Lin [Ciwas] 林安琪
Perhaps she comes from/to____Alang, 2020
Perhaps she comes from/to____Alang is a fusion of three narratives: oral stories from the tribe of Temahahoi where only women live; a story heard from Elders in qalang Cinsbu (Atayal Cinsbu community) in Hsinchu Taiwan about brass pots from colonisers that made many indigenous people infertile; and a virtual space inhabited by the artist as a personal cultural landscape. Currently living in Taiwan, Anchi Lin (Ciwas Tahos) is of Taiwanese Hō-ló and Indigenous Atayal heritage. In this work she re-examines her identity, gender, and displacement from land lost to connect to ancestral land and to have a qalang landmark, a ‘sense of place’.
Alvin Luong (梁超洪)
The Young Comrade, 2019
HD digital film
The Young Comrade is a pseudo-documentary that deliriously interprets a play written by Bertolt Brecht in 1930 as a historical account of the 20th-century revolution in China. The video searches for Brecht’s fictional characters in contemporary China. The artist performs four altered acts of the play with personal reflections about returning to an ethnic homeland that question how undetected foreigners alter the internal affairs of another country for political action. Alvin Luong’s artworks are inspired by stories of human migration, land, and dialogues from the diasporic working-class communities in Toronto where he lives.
A Rest, 2016
In Jon Sasaki’s A Rest, images of depression-era dance marathon contestants are in dialogue with a choreographed dance performance. Both feats of endurance, without a partner to lean on, the solo dancer strains with fatigue and finally collapses. The film relates to this Toronto artists’ concern with staging inefficiencies and absurd or impossible tasks through performance, video, objects and installation.
Performed by James Phillips, originally commissioned as part of Singular Bodies programme, Toronto Dance Theatre, April 2016.
16mm transfer to video
BW, Colour, Sound
Udval Altangerel orbits her home through a camera obscura making reference to the first Mongolian cosmonaut and Mongolia’s history as a satellite state. Living between Ulaanbaatar.and Los Angeles, her work investigates the themes of personal and national histories, language, and (home)land.
Sue Sada Was Here, 2018
Vancouver artist Cindy Mochizuki explores the manifestation of story and its relationship to site-specificity, invisible histories, archives, and memory work. Sue Sada Was Here is an experimental dance film that turns written texts (statements, essays, manuscripts and poetry) by Muriel Kitagawa (1912–1974) into scores of physical movement, which are then enacted in the historic Roedde House by ten performers who embody Sue Sada, one of Kitagawa’s pen names. Kitagawa, a Nisei (second generation Japanese Canadian) writer, wrote and published in an era similar to the Roedde family’s publishing activities, her manuscripts addressing the pre- and post-war periods in Vancouver, particularly the injustices of the Canadian government’s policies towards Japanese and Japanese Canadians.
Cinematography and editing: Milena Salazar
Music: Joelysa Pankanea
Choreography: Lisa Gelley Martin
Performers: Julia Aoki, Linda Hoffman, Naomi Horii, Saya de Couto-Hoffman, Cassandra Kobayashi, Lisa Gelley Martin, Erika Mitsuhashi, Tara Robertson, Lily Tamoto and Shana Wolfe
Lighting: James Proudfoot
Production assistants: Kazuho Yamamoto and Cherry Wen Wen Lu
Site assistants: Patrick Noda and Jacob Willcott
Stylists: Francis Cruz, Joanne Kim, Angela Ohana and Claudia Samaniego
Makeup: Marco Soriano
Props master: Malika Montague
The Propeller Group
The Guerrillas of Cu Chi, 2012
2-channel synchronised video
Colour, BW, Sound
The Guerrillas of Cu Chi features documentary footage of tourists firing bullets with guns used in the Vietmam War at the Cu Chi Shooting Range outside Ho Chi Minh City, combined with a propaganda film made in 1963 entitled “Cu Chi Guerrillas”. The camera placed behind bullet-proof glass glides back and forth scanning the shooting booths.
The Propeller Group, founded in 2006, works in a multitude of forms: a brand, an art collective, a media company, and more. Their multimedia works use the languages of advertising and propaganda to upend our understanding of power, politics and public perception.
© The Propeller Group 2021. courtesy the artists and James Cohan, New York
Dreaming Birds Know No Borders, 2021
Jin-me Yoon is a Korean-born Vancouver artist whose lens-based work since the early 1990s, has focused on unpacking cultural assumptions while investigating site-related local and global histories. In this film, degraded 1990s VHS footage about an ornithologist left behind in North Korea with the soundtrack played backwards is woven into a video shot on the Maplewood Mudflats in North Vancouver that features a Korean man whose slow movements evoke the traditional Korean Crane dance. In connecting two sites – mudflats on the unceded lands and waters of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation and an estuary at the 38th parallel that divides the Korean Peninsula, the Demilitarized Zone – the film suggests that boundaries are temporary, provisional and permeable.
The artist acknowledges the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts.
Video production acknowledgments: Ian Barbour (videography, editing, sound); Chris Son (performer); with special thanks to Byeong Sung Lee, Dongwoo Kim, Young-hwa Won, Seungho Kim (DMZ Ecology Institute); the Wild Bird Trust of BC for generously permitting filming on the mudflats.
Duration: 85 minutes
A Lingering Shadow is co-presented by The Polygon and Centre A: Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art and is curated by Henry Heng Lu, Helga Pakasaar and Justin Ramsey, with generous support from the Canada Council for the Arts.
Image: Judval Altangerel, Orbita, video still, 2020,