Director: Elsa Wong, Zon Chan
Bio:Director Biography – Elsa Wong, Zon ChanElsa Wong is a filmmaker, photographer and set designer. She explores themes of fairy tale and performance, creating surrealistic environments and characters within her work. Taking inspiration from the cinematic, she is interested in creating visuals that expand beyond the realistic landscape, enhanced through colors and editing. Her work spans across music videos, short films, art shows and fashion editorials. Her film Juliet’s Dinner was selected and screened last year at Asian Film Archive’s Singapore Shorts 2022.
Zon is a Singapore-based multifaceted filmmaker with a love for fashion, music and art. His talent is fueled by curiosity and passion for exploring new territories. He loves to immerse himself in people’s personal stories and observe their world from fresh perspectives. Filmmaking has become an instrument for him to participate in a symbiotic conversation with various audiences. His blend of creative treatment and cinematographic vision exhibits unorthodox and inventive audiovisual experiences that connect in a unique way.
Softshell and Feeders is a story by Elsa Wong and an exploration into the intricate connections between our memories and sensory experiences. Wong is interested in the way memories attach themselves to specific scenarios or sensory experiences that are varied between individuals based on their unique life experiences. Why are we drawn to react in certain ways to aspects of different environments? It reminds us of a familiar abstract feeling. This feeling is honored in an imaginative visual story of two characters, the Softshell and its Feeder(s). A hollow shell fed with memories from its Feeder(s)- a character playing the five senses. The exchange between the two characters are reminiscent of the ideas of computing. In this case the computation of attaching imagery to sensation and the logging or storing of information in the limbic system of our brain.
The collaboration between the two directors, Elsa Wong and Zon Chan, began with their shared interest in abstraction and mixed media processes that correspond with the film title. The process consisted of ‘feeding’ signals from a source into a circuit bending board, which allowed for manual distortion or alteration of visuals that were being projected onto a CRT TV. Simultaneously, both external and internal recordings were conducted using a digital camera. The diverse range of visual materials collected were used for experimentation during the post-production phase of the project and achieved textural sensations as seen in the film. Additionally, the film’s focus on movement is intended to convey sensations through gestural responses. The film’s collaboration with Butoh dancer, XUE, played a key role in developing the story. Her movements were purely responsive to prompts given during filming and it provided a glimpse into the intricacies of XUE’s own memory and how our bodies respond to the stimuli around us. Furthermore, the choice of sound, ‘Genesis’ by Mervin Wong complimented the visuals with its tone of immediacy and quiet chaos. Overall, the film’s organic collaborations created a beautiful interplay between the senses, memories, and movements.