New Asian Currents [SINGAPORE]

Chlorine Addiction

- SINGAPORE / 2000 / English / Color, B&W / Video / 44 min

Director, Script, Photography, Editing, Sound, Narrator, Producer: Tan Kai Syng
Music: Philip Tan
Source: Tan Kai Syng

A humorous audio-visual essay in ten chapters by a multi-artist who is addicted to swimming one kilometer per day. A tongue-in-cheek voice-over narration read at furious speed and a flood of colorful images whiz by. Experiencing this film is like getting drenched in a sudden thunderstorm called Singapore city and not unlike the thrill of knowing that swimming pool chlorine can seriously damage your health.

[Director’s Statement] Chlorine Addiction is the collective title of 10 experimental alternative nonfiction films. Each can be viewed as selfcontained, independent shorts; experienced continuously, this could alternatively be taken as an essay with 10 chapters. A larger system of meanings could also be extrapolated, hence, hopefully, making the sum greater than the fragments!

The theme of Being 1.57m Short But Swimming Laps Everyday With (Breast) Strokes ties up a disparate bank of visual and aural data. This work-in-regress questions aloud Several Serious Issues in a self-reflexive manner.

Floating & tossing-about are inquiries into (This) Life, Death, What Next?; Meaning; In-Existence; Time; Geography; Language; Art For Art’s Sake & Argument’s Sake; Mono Sodium Glutamate & Toxic Flavor Enhancers; The Spore Kindness Movement; The Ggggreat Singapore Sale (Which one?); Restlessness; Armchair Criticism; Insatiability; Digital Technology; Low Resolution; Campyness & Iron-Knee; Creating Scenarios For Self-Destruction; Obsessions, Longings & Non-Belonging; Non-Illusionism; Repetition, Saturation & Excess; Complacency & Inconsistency; Evaporation; Being A Civil Servant Who Rules the Lecture Theatres With Iron Fists, Art as Mind-fucking, Wanking & Wonkiness; Out Of Focus, Myopia Or Merely Singaporeanly Blur; the Refusal To Tie Up Loose Ends, Why Swim But Why Not? Why Make Art But Why Not? Any criticism / insults / serenades, do not hesitate to grab at kaisyng@yahoo.com


- Tan Kai Syng

Named the Most Promising Young Artist in 1993 by the UOB Painting of The Year Award and armed with the prestigious Shell-National Arts Council scholarship, went to study Fine Art at the Slade School (University College London) and the School of Art Institute of Chicago. Graduated from Slade with a B.A. in Fine Art (First Class Honours, top student). Teaches in an institution of higher learning for a living but really would die for her art. Her works have been widely screened and her texts published. A short film of hers won a Certificate of Merit in the experimental video category at the 42nd San Francisco International Film Festival’s Golden Gate Awards in 1999. But really seeks Meaning in Life by swimming 1km everyday and playing with stray cats.

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