Off Walls Off Pedestals

What I Am Doing Now (Chosen Objects & Objects Found)

Posted in Wayang U-Wei by tsabri on February 5, 2010

I listed five film objects that U-Wei chose and gave me to create the works for Wayang U-Wei.

  1. Three cinema seats with some broken parts.
  2. An old editing machine with broken parts.
  3. A broken some kind of projector or camera.
  4. Five cans of ‘Buai Laju-Laju’ filmstrips.
  5. A ‘Kaki Bakar’ poster glued onto a board that has already twisted.
  6. Two rolls of U-Wei previous films’ posters.

I worked on the film objects: shifting things, unscrewing screws and nuts, cleaning, sketching, photographing.

I developed some visual ideas – referring to things that I’d seen and experienced making in the past, as well as speculating on the works to be – whilst working around with the film objects delivered to me.

The film objects have turned into:

Object One: Kerusi Panggung (Theatre Seats)

The three cinema seats with some broken parts:

  • I removed one of the three seats as it was broken, netted the remaining two with wires and gave them a wooden platform.
  • The two seats have been allowing many people (here we can say a couple as there are only two seats) sitting on them.
  • The people or the couple who used to sit on the now netted seats have seen many stories (the films screened) or even made stories of their own in the dark of a cinema.
  • As theatre seats, the two now netted seats have played a significant part in a cinema theatre somewhere unknown to me, by giving comfort for every sittings with their soft cushions.

Che Mat Working on the Kerusi Panggung.

Object Two: Monumen Untuk Mesin Penentu (Monument For The Deciding Machine)

An old editing machine with broken parts:

  • I believe this machine has played an important and significant role in many decisions made by the filmmakers (or editors).
  • It is old. An iron cast and was imported from England.
  • The rolling handle and gears are still working well.
  • I dismantled the machine (which has two separate parts that were placed about two feet apart) from its base.
  • I placed the parts side by side but on a different leveled wooden blocks.
  • I dedicated the ‘now machine’ to the ‘old editing machine with broken parts’.

Dismantled Parts of the Old Editing Machine

Object Three: Cermin Mimpi yang Telah Rosak (A Damaged Mirror of Dreams)

A broken some kind of projector or camera:

  • The broken object was imported from Germany.
  • There are still some mirrors attached to it.
  • There is also some kind of a lens.
  • I believe the object once had a stand or place on some kind of a tripod perhaps.
  • I chose to place or rather tied the broken object onto my studio’s ladder.
  • Now the broken some kind of projector or camera has its own new stand.

Object Four: Serunai Mentakab (The Mentakab Pipe)

Five cans of ‘Buai Laju-Laju’ filmstrips:

  • I chose to use just the filmstrips, not the cans.
  • U-Wei used to tell stories of him bathing in and playing around Sungai Pahang as a boy. I believe he is not to forget his roots.
  • As a boy growing up in kampong, I used to make pipes from coconut leaves to blow. These pipes give fascinating trumpeting sounds.
  • I would like to imagine U-Wei, who grew up in Mentakab, blowing his pipe made of filmstrips before he went diving into Sungai Pahang.
  • The pipe is long that what U-Wei blew in his Sungai Pahang days can still be heard today.

Serunai Mentakab in Construction

Object Five: Poster

A ‘Kaki Bakar’ poster glued onto a board that has already twisted, and two rolls of U-Wei previous films’ posters:

  • I combined the two to become only one object of reference, poster.
  • I rolled and cut the posters to becomes rolled and cut posters.
  • I netted the rolled and cut posters that were placed on the already twisted board with wires.
  • U-Wei’s film posters has become a visual statement that I titled as ‘Poster.’

I am now finishing-up the works with assistance from Che Mat and Pak Rauf.

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