Painting with Light 2020 Goes Digital! | National Gallery Singapore

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Running from 2 to 25 October 2020, the fully online and free Painting with Light film festival by National Gallery Singapore will feature a series of stories which reframe the notion of home amidst challenging circumstances.

Photo Credit: National Gallery Singapore

Returning for its third edition, the Gallery’s festival of international films on art will offer Singapore-based viewers unlimited access to a thoughtfully curated line-up of new and award-winning Southeast Asian stories, comprising 20 short films and full-length features, including seven local premieres.

Through the power of film, the festival beckons audiences to reflect on the definitions of home, family, community, state and region and the ties that bind them, and how on a personal level, we can foster a more thoughtful and inclusive society for all who call Singapore home — particularly in the light of the global pandemic, and in the face of ever-changing global and local environments. 

Besides enjoying the selection of films, the audience can also look forward to a series of dialogues with participating filmmakers who will discuss their films and artistic practices.

Festival Highlights

  • Mekong 2030

Photo Credit: National Gallery Singapore

The Singapore premiere of Mekong 2030, an anthology of five Southeast Asian short films. Driven by their concern for the future of the Mekong River, five directors from five countries reflect on this common life-source and imagine the stories of the river in the year 2030.

  • The Mental Traveller

Photo Credit: National Gallery Singapore

The Singapore premiere of The Mental Traveller by Taiki Sakpisit, a film that meditates on the passing of time, habitual thought patterns and sensorial realities of five men who call a psychiatric ward home.

  • Tenebrae

Photo Credit: National Gallery Singapore

Tenebrae by Nicole Midori Woodford, which follows Iris, the protagonist, and her mother’s last moments with their old home as residents vacate the Pearl Bank Apartments in Singapore before it is demolished

  • Diary of Cattle

Photo Credit: National Gallery Singapore

Diary of Cattle by David Darmadi and Lidia Afrilita, winner of the Tribeca Film Institute’s IF/Then Shorts Pitch Competition at Docs By The Sea in 2018 and the Blencong Award for The Best Asian Short from the Light of Asia Program at The 14th Jogja-NETPAC Asian Film Festival (2019), which follows hundreds of cows that are herded to a landfill and make it their home, allowing audiences to reflect on the absurd state that unsound consumer practices have left the environment in today.

  • Mom’s Holiday/Babu Kan Ke Miri

Photo Credit: National Gallery Singapore

The Singapore premiere of Mom’s Holiday/Babu Kan Ke Miri by Harlif Haji Mohamad and Nurain Abdullah, which shows a charming vignette of the tensions between a woman’s longings and her obligations to the home over the course of a day.

  • High Way

Photo Credit: National Gallery Singapore

High Way by Chia Chee Sum, which received the Jury Prize at the Busan International Short Film Festival International Competition and the Best Achievement in Post-Production Award at the SeaShorts Film Festival, tells the story of a young man travelling back and forth between his parents’ public housing flats, acting as a messenger for his parents who live apart and do not speak to each other.

  • Castle In The Air

Photo Credit: National Gallery Singapore

Castle In The Air by Wantanee Siripattananuntakul, which sees its Singapore premiere with this edition of Painting with Light, explores the notion of housing as a social construct that both creates and makes one aware of the gaps between socioeconomic classes.

  • Judgement

Photo Credit: National Gallery Singapore

Judgement by Raymund Ribay Gutierrez, which was in competition for the Palme d’Or for Best Short Film at Cannes Film Festival in 2018. The film tells the story of a woman who decides to report her live-in partner for domestic abuse, and reflects Gutierrez’s desire to tell the truth about how rampant such cases are in Philippine society.

  • Woo Woo (Or Those Silence That Kills You and Me)

Photo Credit: National Gallery Singapore

The Singapore premiere of Woo Woo (Or Those Silence That Kills You and Me), by Ismail Basbeth, about 19-year-old Ali who lives on his own and has grown familiar with isolation.

Painting with Light is available for viewing here.

This article is prepared by

Leona Quek
Blessed with 3 handsome and loving boys in her life. Two of them call her Mommy, the other calls her Wifey. Every night, she wishes for an early bedtime, but misses her babies as soon as they sleep.

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