Experiencing Interruptions?

Dance Of A Humble Atheist

An existential journey of semi-abstract imagery inspired by the filmmaker's personal ruminations on death, spiritual faith, nature and the cosmos. From the funeral of a dying being, a wondrous cornucopia after life, to a phosphoric revolt of consciousness. This film is created entirely via frame-by-frame animation, using digital scans of over six hundred individually sculpted ceramic reliefs.

This is a silent film.

  • Toh Hun Ping
    Covets Of An Outsider, Cartographer Mapping Scarscapes, Unconcealment of the Aftermaths, Athlete
  • Tricia Lim
    Production Advisor (Ceramics)
  • Toh Hun Ping
  • Toh Hun Ping
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Experimental, Short
  • Genres:
    Experimental, Experimental Animation
  • Runtime:
    17 minutes 50 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 10, 2019
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White and Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • EXiS (Experimental Film and Video Festival in Seoul)
    Korea, Republic of
    July 24, 2019
    Korean Premiere
    International Competition
  • Image Forum Festival
    September 18, 2019
    Japanese Premiere
  • Bogotá Experimental Film Festival
    August 13, 2019
    South American Premiere
    Official Selection
  • DOBRA - Festival Int'l de Cinema Experimental
    Rio de Janeiro
    September 26, 2019
    Official Selection
  • Revolutions Per Minute Festival
    United States
    January 31, 2020
    North American Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Singapore Art Week
    January 19, 2019
    Singapore Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Singapore Shorts '19
    August 11, 2019
    Official Selection
  • Festival Accès Asie (KLEX à MTL)
    May 10, 2019
    Canadian Premiere
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Toh Hun Ping

Toh Hun Ping (b. 1978, Singapore) is a video artist, experimental filmmaker and film researcher. His video works explore and express themes of mental instability, alternate realities, resistance and existence. He employs experimental moving image-making methods from film-scratching, bleaching photographs, merging materials (mud, meat, nails) with video stills, to stop-motion animation with ceramic reliefs. The works have been presented in exhibitions and film festivals in Hong Kong, Singapore, Paris, Seoul, Taipei, Albuquerque, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok. 

As a film researcher, he is investigating the history of film production in early-mid 20th century Singapore and has served as researcher-writer and video editor for projects organised by The National Museum of Singapore and Asian Film Archive (State of Motion). He also started the Singapore Film Locations Archive, a private video collection of films made in and about Singapore, and runs a website about the intrigues of old Singapore film locations (sgfilmlocations.com).

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Director Statement

The film 'Dance Of A Humble Atheist' expounds on personal questions about death, faith, the possibility of the afterlife, the natural world and the problems surrounding what is consciousness. The choice of the material and medium – ceramics and film – underlines the tension between permanence and ephemerality; between the persistence of the larger natural world or the universe, and the mortality of individual beings; between the enduring presence of fired ceramics (they decompose geologically slowly) and its utilisation as the “form” of an ephemeral moving image (of which the media, eg. celluloid film, light and digital formats, are often associated with notions of decay and impermanence). The work is also a meditation on time – that frames in the film (each lasting for fractions of a second) are laboriously sculpted, fired and digitally scanned over time; the virtual moving image is rooted by a long and layered process of preparation and mark-making by hand.