Monographs 2023

  • October 26, 2023 | Thursday
  • Oldham Theatre
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To learn more about Monographs 2023, download the e-publication here


Monographs is a series of video and text essays on Asian cinema commissioned by the Asian Film Archive (AFA). Conceived during the outbreak of COVID-19 when physical screenings were disrupted, Monographs offers a critical platform for writers and thinkers to discourse upon the moving image beyond the walls of the cinema. The second edition of Monographs consists of 13 commissioned worksseven video essays and six written essays—produced in consultation with filmmaker/editor Daniel Hui and researcher/curator Matthew Barrington.

Responding to changing geological and socio-political landscapes, Monographs 2023: sinking, shifting, stirring interrogates how the environment, climate, and human and non-human relationships might be re-imagined. Evoking cycles of geological transformation, the anthology explores how cinematic representations of the environment move through cycles of dissolution, transformation and rebirth.

From meditations on a glacial Himalayan town to speculative eco-fictions, the essays uncover how a wide stratum of interpersonal, historical and cultural meanings are grafted onto the multitudinous landscapes of Asia. Through the filmic medium including but not limited to contemporary vlogs, video art, travelogues, silent cinema and state sponsored productions, Monographs 2023 explores the tensions between form and formlessness, sound and silence, as landscapes are continually sinking, shifting, stirring.

– Natalie Khoo, Programmes and Outreach Executive

Project Consultants

Daniel Hui is a filmmaker and writer. A graduate of the film program in California Institute of the Arts, he is one of the founding members of 13 Little Pictures, a critically acclaimed independent film collective in Singapore. He wrote and directed Eclipses (2011), (Pixel Bunker Award for International New Talent, Doclisboa IFF 2013), Snakeskin (2014), (Special Jury Award TFFDoc, Torino FF 2014; Award of Excellence, Yamagata IDFF 2015; Special Jury Mention, RIDM 2015), and Demons (2018) (In Competition, Kim Jiseok Award, Busan IFF 2018; Berlinale Forum 2019).




Matthew Barrington is a researcher and curator based in London. He has recently completed his doctoral thesis, which focuses on Slow Cinema, at Birkbeck College, London. He is the Manager of the Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image and a programmer for the Essay Film Festival and the London Korean Film Festival. In addition to these positions, he is a curator of cinema at the Barbican Centre.





Film Programme (Ticketed)

The Cloud-Capped Star (1960, Ritwik Ghatak)

Flooding in the Time of Drought – Flood (2010, Sherman Ong)

Korean Short Film Programme

  1. Invisible Sleeping Woman, Capsized Boat and Butterfly (2016, Young Mee Roh)
  2. The Red Filter is Withdrawn (2020, Minjung Kim)
  3. Island (2015, Ellie Kyungran Heo)

The film programme runs from 3-18 November 2023 at Oldham Theatre. There will be only one screening. Tickets are out now. To purchase tickets, click on the above links or scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the tabs. 

Video Essays 

Apat (2023, Nazira Karimi)

In the Forest One Thing Can Look Like Another (2023, Priyanka Chhabra)

In the Landscape of Sanatoriums (2023, Radhamohini Prasad)

Letter to T: in nuclearity we are connected (2023, Zimu Zhang)

mmm (2023, Chiemi Shimada)

Precious. Rare. For Sale (2023, Lêna Bùi)

Swimming, Dancing (2023, Ian Wang)

The video essays can be viewed as part of an exhibition at the Oldham Theatre foyer from 26 October – 10 December 2023. More information on the individual essays can be found by clicking on the tabs below. 

Written Essays

The Call of the Wild: Nature Metaphors in the Hindi Film Song Sequence by Udita Bhargava

The Grainy Frontier: Revisiting the Images of Sandscape in Teshigahara Hiroshi’s The Woman in the Dunes by Łukasz Mańkowski

Missing objects, or feeling for companions in unfree terrain by Ryan Lim

Nomadic Cinema: On Proximity and Remoteness of Films on the Road and in the Bedroom by Wiwat Lertwiwatwongsa

Silence is an island (or breathing caves, wounded mountains and a drifting dog) by Sun Park

So Heavy I Fell Through the Earth by Luca E Lum

All written essays can be found at Despatches or linked to their individual essays above.