2014, Video, 4:3
By SOPHIA NATASHA WEI JUNHAO, MOE SDCD/ Arts Education Branch, Art Education Officer
In collaboration with former student MABEL SIM JIA HUI
The artists are Natasha, former art teacher, who grew in relationship with Mabel by being privy to her family situation; and Mabel Sim, former PJC student, MOE teaching scholar and current ADM student, inspired to teach.
We tether at the precipice of loss and being lost daily – with the impending death of a grandmother, physical and emotional loss of a mother, hence, loss of identity and familiarity – a
nd we converge in being lost in our love for art. This film juxtaposes the subtle existence of four people: Natasha, Mabel, her grandmother and her mother, in continuous narrative streams of consciousness shuttling between Mabel’s home and the art room. Natasha’s tying up of hair againstMabel’s hair tied up by grandmother; sewing of clothes at home against the sound of sewing machine in the art room; squeezing of paint tubes against squeezing of toothpaste at home. The film ends with the visual of trying to patch the hole in a shirt, symbolising both loss and being lost.
Lesson Ideas for Loss/t (2014) by Sophia Natasha Wei Junhao and Mabel Sim Jiahui
This lesson is suitable for students in : JC/CI
Artwork title: Loss/t
Name of Artist: Sophia Natasha Wei Junhao, Mabel Sim Jiahui
Possible Guiding Questions
1. Which aspects of the environments can you identify in the video?
2. Why do you think these environments are important to the people in the film?
3. What are the environments that are familiar and/or meaningful to you?
4. Have you ever taken a closer look at one of your environments? For example: Home.
5. How does it look like?
6. How does it smell like?
7. What are some things you remember about this environment?
8. What are some activities that have taken place in this environment?
9. Who are the people in this environment?
10. Is there particularly anyone that you feel very close to in this environment?
11. Have you seen a film that is similar to this before? What film is that?
Questions can be carried out in group discussion ways.
Allow students to respond to the film freely.
Allow students to present their discussion points freely – post-it notes, placards, butcher sheets, mindmaps and powerpoint presentations.
Suggested Teaching resources:
o Synopsis of the film (to be given to the students after the discussion.)
o Anthony Chen’s film –Ah Ma or Ilo Ilo
o Ma by Blotch Studios
o Royston Tan’s Shorts
o Use “Let’s Talk About Art” by STAR.
Possible Elegant Tasks
Introduction to Videography
Thematic approach to Videography using the film (Loss/t) as a stimulus
Task Theme: Attachment
In the context of this film,
the aesthetic direction is to find a narrative to connect the people, activities and environments together.
Take photographs of this environment, people, activities and objects that exist in this environment. (5 of each category at least).
Experiment with arranging these photographs.
2. By Relation
3. By Priority
4. By Colours and Textures
Why have you chosen to arrange them this way?
Which method do you think is your final decision to create the storyboard?
Why and how so?
Task Theme: Connection
o Find 2 environments
o Find 2 subject matter
o Find 2 activities (at least) that one does in each of the environments.
We draw connections in our everyday lives.
Sometimes, these associations are meaningful. Sometimes, they can be impossible and bizarre.
Practice brainstorming by putting situations and/or scenarios together.
For a good example, look at Salvador Dali’s Un Chien Andalou.
Are you able to make connections between these environments, subject matter and activities?
List down the connections in a mind map.
Could any of the 2 activities be similar in any way? For example: Writing on a piece of paper.
Could any of the 2 activities be modified so that there are similar traits?
This film connects scenes by using similar actions that take place in 2 different settings.
Using the video editing software (final cut pro or imovie), are you able to join 2 activities so that they become a seamless transition in the video?
Do a few of such transitions.
Task Theme: Loss
In the context of this film,
Mabel fears the death of her grandmother.
Her mother fears the loss of her daughter. (Mabel)
The grandmother fears the loss of her granddaughter. (Mabel)
Natasha, the teacher, fears the loss of her identity and finds affirmation that identity in student (Mabel).
Society in Perspective -> Singapore’s Greying Population
What if you have to lose any of these one day?
What will happen?
What could have caused it to happen?
What is one thing you fear to lose the most and why?
o Both Sides, Now – An immersive arts experience.
o Pervasive Questions: How do you live well, leave well?