Yavuz Gallery is pleased to present Choy Ka Fai‘s Unbearable Darkness Game Demo in the Film Sector of ART SG 2023. Titled FABRICATED REALITIES: Video Art and Film from Southeast Asia and beyond, the sector is curated by Gridthiya Gaweewong (Jim Thompson Art Center, Bangkok) and presented in collaboration with Art Science Museum, Singapore.
FABRICATED REALITIES encompasses a compilation of recent video art and films made by artists from the Asia-Pacific region. These three programs address the complexity of contemporaneity, questioning the coexistence of humans, a variety of non-human species and the advanced technology that challenges the perception of our history. As the manifestation of artists’ reality, the works were rendered unconsciously from artists’ anxiety, hopes and fears, particularly during the COVID-19 period and their concern about our planetary situation and Earth’s future. They touched upon the good, the bad and the ugly of the history of the human relationship with non-human, nature and technology. Artists traverse back and forth between the past and future, through technology, archival materials and storytelling. Many films dealt with the migration history of humans and non-humans, unfolding the entangled relationship of pre-nations/states in this region. Some address the complex connection between humans’ relationship with nature & cultures and the changing landscapes from Mongolia to the South China Sea, while others are concerned about the fabricated reality constructed by Artificial Intelligence, games and Virtual Reality. They prompt us to reconsider the critical questions on how we can trust the images, and how we can distinguish the fiction and reality that was fabricated and constructed by both technology and human beings. It is about the reality of the now, how we live and go through these uncertain times together, after COVID-19, and how to cope with an unprecedented global moment such as this.
Choy Ka Fai
Unbearable Darkness Game Demo, 2021
11:43 mins, HD 1920 x 1080
Choy’s Unbearable Darkness Game Demo is an experimental third-person,4 non-action, docu-adventure game inspired by the afterlives of Butoh dance master Tatsumi Hijikata. It is a recollection of thoughts, movements and expedition into the world of Butoh.
How does the digital, the virtual, the immaterial or non-human expressions collapse and expand the notion of wandering. Unbearable Darkness Game Demo wanders into a capsule of paranormal dance experience, of speculative documentary and rendered dreams.
Unbearable Darkness was first created in 2018 as a theatrical dance performance. The performance was created with a 3 year research process into the historical of Japanese Butoh dance and cultural conditions of Japanese shamanism. The project itself engages with emerging technologies like motion capture, 3D visualisation and game design to create the multimedia performance of dance on a stage.
Driven by his interest in exploring the conditions of the human body, multi disciplinary artist Choy Ka Fai focuses his research on choreographic practices in Asia. Unbearable Darkness presents his investigation into Butoh, which arose in Japan at the end of the 1950s, encompassing a diverse range of techniques from dance, theatre, and movement. Choy traces the legacy of one of the key founders, Tatsumi Hijikata (1928–1986) who sought a new form of physical expression he referred to as ankoku butō (“dance of darkness”), delving into imageries of the grotesque and sickness of the human form.
Unbearable Darkness proposes a choreographic proposition- How does a Ghost Choreograph? What are the technological possibilities to dance with Hijikata again? The work features a selection research documentaries from the artist’s expedition to Tohoku Japan. In his pursuit, Choy went to the extent of interviewing the spirit of Hijikata through an itako (Japanese shaman).
Video Film Acknowledgements
Unbearable Darkness is a production of Choy Ka Fai, co-produced by tanzhaus nrw as part of MOCCA – Motion Capturing Creative Area, a project of Hochschule Düsseldorf, LAVAlabs, Velamed GmbH and tanzhaus nrw, supported by EFRE, as well as Kyoto Experiment.
Sponsored by Kunststiftung NRW by NATIONALE PERFORMANCE NETZ Koproduktionsförderung Tanz, sponsored by Beauftragten der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien and The Saison Foundation. The research was supported by TPAM – Performing Arts Meeting in Yokohama, The Saison Foundation, The Japan Foundation Asia Center and Hijikata Tatsumi Archive at Keio University Art Center.
This exhibition version of the game demo is created with the supported of #TakeCareResidenzen initiative of Fonds Darstellende Kunste
ART SG FILM is held at ArtScience Museum
L4, 6 Bayfront Ave Singapore, 018974
Screening Schedule: 12 – 15 January 2023, 5pm – 8pm.