Taipa Village Cultural Association exclusively presents the second exhibition of the year – “Trapped x Escape – An Eternal Theme: Narrative Stills by Tracy Choi & Simmy Cheong”. Created by award-winning movie director Tracy Choi and cinematographer Simmy Cheong, the exhibition showcases a short film which is compiled by a unique set of narrative still images, uncovering the essence of a story in a different form.
The exhibition unveils the tacit understanding between Tracy and Simmy, who have been working together for more than ten years and sometimes this makes their ideas too consistent. Through this short film production, they hope to return to the original point to tell a simple story with still images, so as to experiment together, return to the origin and regain their original intentions.
We have worked together for more than ten years, and sometimes we don’t need to say anything because of the tacit understanding. But sometimes because there is too much tacit understanding, the ideas are too consistent, and there are some invisible frames that restrict us. This exhibition hopes to return to the original point and tell a simple story with still pictures. Although form should not be greater than essence, form is sometimes an essence. How will the same story change in different forms? How is the flow of images, can different types tell a complete story?
Experiment together, return to the origin, and regain our original intentions.
Tracy Choi is a director and filmmaker from Macau, whose movies featuring feminist issues have garnered her international awards and recognition. Her film “Sisterhood” was the only film representing Macau at the inaugural edition of the International Film Festival and Awards held in December 2016, winning the “Eye of the Audience” award.
Choi speaks English, Cantonese and Mandarin. Born on 5 December 1988, Choi grew up in Macau. She has a degree in Film Production from the University of Shih Hsin in Taipei, Taiwan. Upon graduating in 2010, she returned to her hometown to work as a TV host at Televisão de Macau (TDM), but directing films was always her dream.
Simmy Cheong is a local cinematographer and steadicam operator. She had participated in the award-winning movies “Sisterhood” and “Our 17” in 2017.
After graduated from National Taiwan University of Arts Bachelor of Motion Picture department, she continued her film production study in the 3rd Golden Horse Film Academy. Her short film “Night Cafe” was screened in the 48th Golden Horse Film Festival.
As a freelancer, she engages in a variety of film making and cinematography projects. In 2016, she obtained a certificate of steadicam operation.
Tracy Choi and Simmy Cheong generously accepted our invitation to exhibit their collaborative work in the film industry. Interestingly, they took this opportunity to question their own creative process as a way to step back, rewind and appreciate a conscious break from their own busy working schedules. They ponder what has been left unsaid and explore other filmic possibilities that their hectic professional lives do not allow.
The outcome of this hiatus has been the presentation of an open-ended new work in which the story telling is intentionally left up to the judgement of the viewers. They have devised two highly experimental bodies of work that could be the storyboards of future films. One of them is a wall composition made of narrative stills, where each image is inscribed with an enigmatic thought that emanates observations from an unknown narrator. The combination of both still frame and inscription is so overwhelming that one could even imagine the softness of the narrator’s voice as if it were a movie…
The second body of work is an elongated lightbox fixed on another wall of the gallery space, where the viewer can manipulate film stills to experience what it’s like to edit a trailer for their own movie. Each still frame is charged with such a powerful poetic sense – futuristic or historic – that it doesn’t need words to convey its emotions, looming anxiously over the next action.
The title chosen for this exhibition attempts to address a universal sentiment, which is to escape one’s own self, to confront one’s own fears, entrapment with the past or longing for someone yet unknown. All this rhetoric is suggestive of the way in which human emotions are channeled and there is no better way to express it than on the silver screen.