Kris Project I: The Never Ending Tale of Maria, Tin Mine, Spices and the Harimau
D: Au Sow-Yee, Malaysia 2016, 15 min
A joyous song by the iconic singer Grace Chang (Ge Lan) – “The World as One Family” – serves as a prelude to The Kris Project I. Continuing on with the threads in the Mengkerang Project and using imaginary film studio as it’s base, the artist continues to imagine, explore, examine, and explore the issues of “cultural subjectivity” of Malaysia and its neighboring countries. In so doing, it brings out the subtle connections between 1950s and 1960s Asian/Malaysian film industries (such as MP&GI, Cathay and the Shaw Brothers) and the history of the Cold War. Using “film” as a method, it juxtaposes film images from various time and places, attempting to escape from linear historical narratives and arrive at the margins of historical memories by means of estranging narratives about the other. The Kris Project I deconstructs the narratives of Indian epic Ramayana along with many other folklores. It creates a “pseudo-film” by separating sound and image, displacing time and space, as well as adding found documents and images collected by the director (Ravi) – thereby allowing viewers to build an awareness of images on their own and to seek out personal readings of history.