Films & Projects

My works range from short films, documentaries to installations and theatrical works. Most of them are collaborations. And most of my friends are great collaborators.

Sugiharti Halim
(short film, 2008, 10 mins)

Click hereto watch the film online on Viddsee.

Sugiharti, is a Chinese Indonesian woman who would love to sell her name for 30 dollars. In fact she would give it away for free, if she could. Call this a black-humour film, but for her, it’s seriously confusing to bear an Indonesian name when she could never be accepted as the ‘real Indonesian’.

◦ Clermont-Ferrand Film Festival 2009 In Competition, Clermont-Ferrand, France
◦ Rotterdam International Film Festival (European Premiere), 2009, Rotterdam, Netherland
◦ Konfiden Short Film Festival (In Competition), November 2008, Jakarta, Indonesia (Best Film Award, Audience’s Favourite Film Award)
◦ AURORA, Manipulated Moving Image, November 2008, Norwich, United Kingdom
◦ Busan International Film Festival (International Premiere), 2008, Busan, South Korea

TeSate Video Installations

These two site-specific-video-installations are located at TeSate, by far the hippest Indonesian restaurant in Jakarta. The first one, “Troposphere”, a three channel projection, is projected on the floor of the all-white-zen-like coridor (enthusiastically designed by Soichi Mizutani). The second one, “Slanted Land” is a two-channel video to on an etched-glass inside the restaurant.

The Anniversaries
(short film, 2006, 12 min)

A portrait of a monotonous relationship of a husband and wife, highlighted through scattered moments of their yearly wedding anniversaries, set in an elevator. (Produced by JiFFest and Salto Films)

Selected Screenings:
◦ Asian Women Film Festival, 2009, Berlin, Germany
◦ Europe on Screen, European Film Festival, October 2008, Jakarta, Indonesia
◦ US-Asean Film Screening, September 2008, Washington DC, USA
◦ Urban Nomad Festival, 2008, Taipei, Taiwan
◦ Asian Hot Shot Film Festival, 2008, Berlin, Germany
◦ Busan International Film Festival (International Premiere), 2007, Busan, South Korea
◦ Jogja-NETPAC Asian Film Festival (Lights of Asia – Competition), Yogyakarta, Indonesia, 2007

Still Life (video performance)
co-directed by Hosanna Heinrich
(2006, 7 min)

Set like a Dutch painting, four women of different nationalities fighting (literally) over their dignities. In a real life, this piece would be called Still Stupidity.

◦ S-Express Indonesia 2007-2008 (Jakarta International Film Festival 2007, Bangkok Film Festival 2008, 8th Asian Film Symposium Singapore)
◦ Jogja-NETPAC Asian Film Festival (Lights of Asia – Competition), Yogyakarta, Indonesia, 2007
◦ Konfiden Short Film Festival, In Competition, Jakarta, Indonesia, 2006

Meet Mister Greet
(a video-accordion performance)
VideoBabes & Pascal Contet (45 min)

These two men wake up, have breakfast, and look for the same job together. Yet, they seem to never meet. When we meet, greet to each other, do we only do it to ourselves? This multimedia-theatre gives us a fresh look of strangeness and alienation.

◦ Le Grand Soufflet, Rennes, France, 13 October 2008
◦ Selasar Sunaryo Art Space & Galeri Cemara, October 2006

(a multimedia performance/theatre)
directed by Ong Keng Sen, TheatreWorks

In this massive and unforgettable show, I was appointed to work with Keng Sen as his visual-artist-collaborator. The show depicts the migration of Asian people in the world, involving artists and musicians from Vietnam, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, US, and China. Having been working in a documentary film about gambang kromong (the Chinese-Jakartan music), I brought and (visually) represented this beautiful music to the show. You could only imagine what it meant for me and the gambang kromong troupe to perform there.


◦ Edinburgh International Festival, Scotland, August 2009
◦ Esplanade Concert Hall, Singapore, September 2006

Anak Naga Beranak Naga
(Dragons Beget Dragons,
a documentary film, 2006, 60 min)

Not many people know that Gambang Kromong—once popularised by Lilis Suryani in the 60’s and then by duo Benyamin Sueb – Ida Royani in the 70’s—is an acculturative form of music adapted from various ethnicities in Indonesia. The seeds of the art form date back to the 18th century. The Gambang Kromong melody, of Chinese musical notations, was introduced by the Chinese Indonesian, or Tionghoa Peranakan. Through crossfertilisation with Javanese, Sundanese, and Deli cultures, a harmonious music form emerged which is now known as a specific traditional art form from Jakarta.

Together with its dynamic and engaging narration on the long history of cultural and musical assimilation, this film also describes today’s Chinese-Indonesians as the keepers of a Gambang Kromong musical legacy. Since the 15th century, their families lived in Sunda Kelapa (old Batavia / Jakarta) and had been slowly marginalized socially, economically, and geographically towards the suburban areas. Although most of them hold fast to the ancient Chinese custom, these people remain close, even inseparable, with the locals, thus breaking the stereotype of introverted-rich-Chinese-Indonesian.

Based on the complexity of the Gambang Kromong music itself, this film remarks upon the humanitarian, poetic, musical, and even comical side of a sequestered culture.

Selected Screenings:
◦ Freedom Film Festival 2008, Kuala Lumpur, Kuching, Johor Baru, Penang, Malaysia, 2008
◦ Singapore International Film Festival, Singapore, 2008
◦ Film launching and road show throughout 9 cities in Java-Bali, Indonesia, 2006
◦ Jakarta International Film Festival / Screen-Docs Traveling 2006, 15 cities in Indonesia, 2006
◦ Goteburg Open Lab Performance Art Festival, Goteburg, Sweden, 2006

Silenced (video performance,
2004, 6:20 min)

A girl with a book gives the camera a difficult look. What could be the problem?

A lesson in modesty. Or is it perhaps vanity? Or a demonstration of how you can make an intriguing film with minimal means? Maybe a bit of each. A static, uncut shot of a girl with a book. Apparently spied on, but it is the film maker herself, so she must be aware of the filming. Reduced to silence, but why and by whom? There is some music, but apart from that it’s bare. Yes, that’s all you need to intrigue. (G. Zuilhoff, Rotterdam Film Festival)

Selected Screenings/Exhibition:
◦ Bangkok Experimental Film Festival, Bangkok, Thailand, 2005
◦ Yokohama Triennial, Yokohama, Japan, 2005
◦ “Insomnia” curated by Ong Keng Sen, at Institute of Contemporary Art, London, England, 2005
◦ Rotterdam International Film Festival, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, 2005

It’s Almost There
(short film, 2001, 24 min)

This is a story about a seven day journey of a young woman revisiting her homeland, Indonesia. The way she sees her country and society is a reflection of her present state of being. At the beginning of the movie, she presents the question, “Do you know what the form of the world is?” This question ties the whole journey together.

Selected Screenings:
◦ International Women Film Festival, Seoul, Korea, 2010
◦ Nominated for Best Short Film ‘Festival Film Indonesia’, Jakarta, Indonesia, 2004
◦ 4th Asian Film Symposium, Substation, Singapore, 2004
◦ Indonesia Under Construction, Witte de With, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, 2004
◦ Chicago Asian American Film Festival, Chicago, USA, 2004
◦ Rencontres Internationales Paris Berlin, France–Germany, 2003–2004
◦ Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, Los Angeles, USA, 2002

City of Desire
(short film, 2000, 4 min)

An interpretation of Italo Calvino’s Zobeide: a tale of a city where the inhabitants constantly build their places upon their dreams… which never comes true. Calvino names it ‘an ugly city’, I call it ‘a reality’.

Selected Screenings:
◦ “Living Room: Home is Where the Heart is”, Auckland, New Zealand, April 2009
◦ Rencontres Internationales Madrid, Spain, 2007
◦ Rencontres Internationales Paris Berlin “About Indonesia”, France–Germany, 2006
◦ Emirates Film Competition, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, 2004
◦ 9th Malaysian Video Awards Festival, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 2004