Sherman Ong

Sherman Ong - Mata Hari Sherman Ong from Malaysia is a filmmaker and photographer straddling the genres of fiction and documentary. His practice has always centred on the human condition and our relationships with others within the larger milieu. Sherman Ong is a founding member of 13 Little Pictures and serves as the artistic manager for the Singapore International Photography Festival. He presented his feature film Hashi (2008) at the Singapore International Film Festival and was commissioned to create a new work, Flooding in the Time of Drought (2009), for the Singapore Biennale.

On Air: Sherman Ong - Mata Hari

The ikono On Air Festival is showing Sherman Ong's film Mata Hari: On 15 October 1917, Mata Hari was executed by the French under charges of espionage for Germany. Mata Hari is "eye of the day" in Malay. As her body was not claimed, she became part of the cadaveric objects at the Anatomy Museum in Paris. In 2000, her head was found missing from the museum. A shaman tracked down her felicitous sojourn in Spain and directed us to a shape-shifter in Malaysia, who could help to locate her head. Her only hint: Look for the Little Sun (serial no. H-21). Sound design: Takuya Katsu Music: Azmyl Yunor


Sherman Ong has premiered works in Art Biennales, major Film Festivals and Museums around the world, including the Venice, Singapore and Jakarta Biennales, Mori Art Museum Tokyo, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Martin-Gropius-Bau Berlin, Musee du Quai Branly Paris, Centre Pompidou Paris, Institute of Contemporary Arts London, Noorderlicht Photo Festival, Rotterdam International Film Festival, VideoBrasil International Electronic Art Festival, Singapore Art Museum, Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Queensland Art Gallery, South Australia Contemporary Art Centre and Vilnius Contemporary Art Centre, Lithuania. In 2009, Sherman was invited to participate in the Singapore Pavilion, Venice Biennale which garnered a Special Mention. Sherman is a founding member of 13 Little Pictures and serves as the Artistic Manager for the Singapore International Photography Festival and as an educator at schools and universities. He is the winner of the 2010 ICON de Martell Cordon Bleu Photography Award and nominated for the APB-Singapore Art Museum Signature Art Prize for 2011. His works are in the collections of the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Singapore Art Museum and the Seoul Art Centre Korea.


- Homepage of Sherman Ong: - Sherman Ong's blog - 13 Little Pictures

Other films by Sherman Ong

Trailer: I want to remember | 莫失莫忘 26 mins | HD | 2011 Malay and Chinese with Eng subtitles A man in an interrogation room remembers his time with his lover when the two countries were one. When the countries separated in 1965, his lover ended their relationship to follow her family. He remembers his carefree past with laughter and tenderness, disappointments and sadness, but never with regret. Trailer: Memories of a Burning Tree 86 mins | Colour | Stereo | Swahili with English subtitles | 2010 Countries of production: Tanzania, Netherlands, Singapore, Malaysia Smith comes to Dar es Salaam to tie up some loose ends. He meets Link, a tourist guide, who agrees to help him. Along the way they are offered help by Abdul, a grave digger, and Toatoa, a metal scavenger, who themselves are searching for answers to their own journeys. Their search eventually leads them to realise that this is a never-ending journey of dreams and disappointments. With an ensemble cast of non-professional actors and an improvised script, this film is an homage to the road movie genre, where ultimately the road ends when you want it to end. Trailer: Exodus - Wanita Yang Berla (2003)ri Language: Indonesian / Subtitles : English Duration : 29 min 53 sec Two women and a man in cinematic dance, Subtle emotions and hidden desires, Revealing truth and deadly beauty. Exodus deals with the unspoken nuances of human emotions. An encounter between a lower-class ethnic Chinese shampoo girl and a Javanese court dancer sparks an awakening that manifests the dialectics of obsession and the transient nature of human affection. Set against the backdrop of the dominant Javanese culture, this story deals with the aspirations and identity of 2 two women, each gambling for a better life in a post-Suharto era. ( ) Awards: 10th Hong Kong Independent Film and Video Awards 2005 (Special Jury Prize) 6th International Panorama of Independent Filmmakers Greece 2004 (Best Experimental Film) Malaysian Video Awards 2004 (Special Jury Prize) Q Film Festival Jakarta, Indonesia 2003 (Runner's Up Audience Award) Trailer: Flooding in the Time of Drought (2009) Artwork title: Banjir Kemarau | Flooding in the Time of Drought (Commissioned for Singapore Biennale 2008) What if suddenly the water supply runs dry in Singapore? This fusion of documentary and fiction narrative depicts the lives of foreign migrants as an impending water crisis begins to seep into their lives. With water, or the lack of it, becoming the central motif, this two-part feature film takes us on a journey across 8 interweaved stories and 10 languages, as the protagonists grapple with this hopefully temporary discomfort, amidst their dalliance with human foibles and their fantasies of everlasting loves and broken romances. This aberration is a memento mori as the narratives grazed across the vague impressions of the racial tensions lingering past the 1997 riots in Indonesia, World War II, ritual beliefs, and ethnic discrimination in Southeast Asia which has been ingrained over generations and transported along with the migrant communities. Nonetheless, amidst the sporadic ventures into death and violence, sexual relations and sexualities, these are the lines of division that bind us to each other, in one way or another, as people survive through their crises. -> Homepage for the movie "Decades from now, these movies are going to serve as some of the most authentic cinematic documents of how we actually lived in Singapore in the early 21st century. I'm impressed." - Ny Yi-Sheng (Poet, Playwright, Singapore Literature Prize 2008)

Curators' Special

Part of the curatorial selection of Olafur Eliasson