Private Project

Now, Then

single channel video, 5.1 surround sound, 2023
In Mandarin, Hokkien and Singlish with English Subtitles
16 minutes

A documentary-fiction film installation showing a contemporary take on the Wuxia* genre and Chinese spirit mediums in Singapore. The film shows a female protagonist on a journey to seek revenge, for her deceased loved one.

Using a mix of my own documentation and found footage from cinema, the film re-contextualises the past and creates a place of presence. The narrative blurs the lines between truth and fiction, creating an uncertain world in which justice may never be served.

*Wuxia, 武侠 : is a Chinese film genre. The word is composed of Xia, meaning “chivalry” or “hero” and Wu, meaning ‘martial arts’. It often contains sword fighting battles, historical/religious themes and sometimes supernatural occurrences. The Xia concept is a way of life that emphasizes the importance of personal honour and integrity, especially when fighting for what you believe in.

*Jiang Hu, 江湖: is a fictional realm often depicted in Wuxia films. It translates to “river lake.”

Images of characters being dissolved into and devoured by the world of Jiang Hu acts as a metaphor that reflects on complex interpersonal relationships in Chinese society. People in Jiang Hu are in constant motion. They experience intense emotions, often raw and visceral, whether amongst themselves, with friends, or between loved ones. They navigate a grey area of society and life, and resort to illicit or extreme means to defend their justice, morals, or values.

As a result, the inclusion of Jiang Hu in the film has opened new possibilities for the development of compelling and complex characters, and for the storytelling of emotions.

  • Shi Yun Teo
  • Shi Yun Teo
  • Shi Yun Teo
  • Zhuyang Liu
    Key Cast
  • Steven Chung
    Key Cast
  • Shi Yun Teo
    Key Cast
  • Joshua Lee
    Key Cast
    "Spirit Medium in possess of Monkey God"
  • Simon Liu
    Key Cast
    "Spirit Medium in possess of Monkey God"
  • Nick Thng
    Key Cast
    "Spirit Medium (from interview)"
  • Zhuyang Liu
  • Shi Yun Teo
  • Project Title (Original Language):
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Experimental, Short, Student
  • Genres:
    Adventure, Drama, Documentary, Fiction, Experimental, Found Footage, Religion, Wuxia
  • Runtime:
    16 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    May 11, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    5,000 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
    Chinese - Min Nan, English, Mandarin Chinese
  • Shooting Format:
    Super 8, iPhone camera
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White and Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Slade School of Fine Arts
  • Slade Degree Show 2023
    United Kingdom
    May 18, 2023
Director - Shi Yun Teo