Living For Art

By Sookoon Ang

Singapore, France, Germany, United Kingdom, USA, Japan, The Netherlands | In English, Mandarin and French with English subtitles | 2019 | 63 min 18 sec | M18 (Nudity)

 

Living for Art is a poignant survey of the day-to-day economic realities faced by many contemporary artists. It is drawn from conversations with practitioners in cities all over the world, including New York, Amsterdam, London, Berlin, Paris, Yokohama and Singapore. Director Sookoon Ang was led by an interest in the human experience of transience and its attendant uncertainties, as well as the anxiety of having to rely on an irregular income despite achieving relative levels of success.

The film features candid discussions with artists like Wang Du, Amanda Heng, Brody Condon and Meiro Koizumi. They explore issues that affect their practices such as the value of art in today’s society, the politics of the art market, collecting and exhibition practices, the Romantic notion of the impoverished artist, and state sponsorship. The viewer is given an intimate insight into their common struggle with self-worth, but more critically, the profound sense of vocation that compels these artists to continue creating.

Living for Art premiered at the International Festival of Films on Art (2019) in Montreal, and has since been screened at film festivals such as Helsinki Education Film Festival International (2020), FilmArte Festival (2020) in Berlin, The Women’s Film Festival (2020) in Philadelphia, and Fine Arts Film Festival (2020) at Venice, California. The Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art in Manchester also exhibited the film in 2021, and there is an upcoming screening at the ON ART Film Festival in Warsaw.

Sookoon Ang (b. 1977, Singapore) is an artist who lives and works in Singapore and Paris. Her sculpture, installation and video works have been exhibited internationally at Palais de Tokyo, Art Basel Hong Kong, International Film Festival Rotterdam, the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, and Fribourg International Film Festival. She holds a degree in sculpture from the School of Visual Arts, New York and has participated in residencies at venues such as the Rijksakademie and ISCP (International Studio & Curatorial Program). Living for Art is Ang’s first feature film.

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