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News

Casting Fu Manchu Now Showing at CAN Festival 2021

Kyoko Takenaka

Casting Fu Manchu is currently showing as part of the CAN Festival 2021 [15th Feb - 30th Apr 2021]. Following the premiere screening these were some of the comments about the film,

"... a brilliant and thought-provoking concept ..."

"... poignant and beautiful ..."

"... a lockdown classic ..."

"... the passion, the intelligence and multi-varied performances added to a wonderful tonally relevant video-piece ..."

"... an intelligent well crafted piece of work which is like a skilled surgeon cutting out the cancerous tumour of the Yellow Peril ..."

Read an interview with Eelyn Lee talking about Casting Fu Manchu in Theatre Fullstop.

Resilience and Radical Care - An Online Talk

changemakersshoot2 188 WEB

CAMP have invited Eelyn Lee to present an online talk on Thurs 10th Dec 6.30 - 8.00pm GMT as part of their guest artist's programme. Eelyn will talk about Resilience and Radical Care in relation to her experiences of co-founding Social Art Network and her subsequent involvement in other artist’s networks. She will touch upon network building as practice, solidarity, agency and mutual support. She will also talk about how care plays out in her collaborative practice, touching upon deep listening, filmmaking and space holding.

Free for CAMP members, £3 for non members. Book here.

CAMP (Contemporary Art Membership Plymouth) – is a member-led network for the creative and visual arts community in Devon and Cornwall, including artists, producers, curators and arts writers.

Image:  A production still from Futurist Women film shoot, 2018. Photo Credit: Matthew Kaltenborn

 

Freedom - A Parallel State Event

7November Bristol PS CROP

Eelyn Lee has co-curated the next Parallel State event around the theme of Freedom. The event will be broadcast from a virtual Bristol, a few days after the US elections.  Speakers include Dr Shawn Sobers, Zakiya McKenzie, Roseanna Dias and Tim Knowles.  The event will also feature new work commissioned by the Parallel State from artist Joyce Treasure and musician Lavz, together with poetry from Jon Dovey and music from Roney FM.

Eelyn has asked the four speakers to respond to the following provocation,

- Referred to as the Land of the Free since the lyrics to the Star Spangled Banner were penned in 1814, America is supposed to represent liberty and opportunity. What does freedom feel like in Bristol and how does it speak to the structural failures of the UK and other failed states? With these thoughts in mind, what could freedom mean in the Parallel State? -

The Parallel State is a breakaway state - a space to collectively imagine alternative solutions to life on earth. Free from the constraints of being in constant opposition to the failed states in which we live, it is a space to build knowledge, to organise and prepare new visions for better ways of living. This is the first of a series of online themed events that will lay the foundations for a Parallel State Summit.

FREE tickets can be booked here.

'Multiplicities in Flux' in Manchester

CFCCA homepage

Eelyn Lee's film, Britishness (2019) will be featured in a new exhibition at the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art [CFCCA] in Manchester [15th Oct 2020 - 31st Jan 2021]. Multiplicities in Flux  brings together works by Grace Lau and Eelyn Lee in a dialogue around identity, belonging, nationality and community in Britain.

The curator of the exhibition, Marianna Tsionki writes,

" Lee’s film Britishness (2019) complicates the often indefinable notion of ‘Britishness’. Comprising spoken word poetry, interviews, and group discussions, the work follows young writers from Sheffield as they affirm, reject, and revise their visions of national identity and grapple with the consequences of Britain’s colonial history and their own personal experiences. The film posits ‘Britishness’ as a concept that is constantly in flux, moulded by ever-changing social, economic, political and historical narratives and carrying different significance for each individual. Through this lens, Lee invites viewers to question and re-evaluate their own definition of what it means to be British. "

There will be an online screening of Britishness as part of the accompanying Public Programme [date tbc].

Eelyn has also been selected to be part of an Artist's Working Group - seven artists of east/SE Asian heritages who will play active roles in the CFCCA's Revisioning process. Eelyn would like to acknowledge and thank artist JJ Chan for articulating their concerns about the under representation  of Asian people/PoC within the staff team at CFCCA and for triggering this journey of structural change.  

Eelyn Lee Awarded New Film Commission

Boris Karloff web

Delighted to announce that Eelyn Lee has been awarded a commission from Chinese Art Now [CAN] to realise her new film project, Casting Fu Manchu.  Eelyn's project is one of six new CAN Digital Commissions that will premiere later this year in the lead up to the CAN Festival in February 2021.

Casting Fu Manchu is an exploration of Yellow Peril in light of COVID-19. In 1912, when Sax Rohmer invented his character Dr. Fu Manchu - the evil Chinese doctor set on world domination - Yellow Peril was rife. Often painted as a faceless existential threat to the ‘western world’, East Asians were seen as a force that needed to be suppressed. With successive white actors applying Yellow Face to play the fictional villain, including Boris Karloff and Christopher Lee, Eelyn’s film will subvert these racist tropes through re-imagining Fu Manchu in 2021.

“.. With a spike in attacks towards east and S.E. Asian people, and Donald Trump calling COVID-19 the ‘Chinese Virus’, Casting Fu Manchu will speak to that racism. It’s a racism that’s entrenched - just ask any Chinese actor working in the ‘west’ how many roles they don’t get offered. So, I’m looking forward to working with actors of east and S.E. Asian heritage - young, old, male, female or non-binary - to reinvent the character of Fu Manchu..” - Eelyn Lee

Press Release here.

Image Credit: Boris Karloff in The Mask of Fu Manchu, 1932

Premiere of Where Two Rivers Meet

Kayo Chingonyi in Where Two Rivers Meet by Eelyn Lee WEB

Eelyn Lee's latest film, Where Two Rivers Meet will premiere on Feb 25th at 8pm GMT as part of the online event, Digesting History. The film is a creative documentary about Collections in Verse, a poetry project that took place in libraries across Sheffield just before the pandemic. Cleverly weaving the story of the project together with the story a city responding to crisis, the film explores mutual aid, things that connect us across time and place and posits the idea of the library as a commons. Where Two Rivers Meet is narrated by Johny Pitts [Afropean] and features new poetry by Joe Kriss, Rachel Bower and Kayo Chingonyi - inspired by the Anglo Saxon Kingdoms exhibition at the British Library and communities in Sheffield.

Commissioned by Poet in the City in partnership with Sheffield Libraries and the British Library.

Further details and FREE tickets here.

Premiere of Casting Fu Manchu

Casting Fu Manchu Composite

Eelyn's latest film, Casting Fu Manchu will premiere on 1st December at 7pm GMT.  Commissioned from an open call by Chinese Arts Now [CAN], the film explores 'yellow peril' in light of COVID related racism towards 'Chinese' looking people. Working with Casting Director Nicci Topping, Eelyn invited actors of east and southeast Asian heritage to send her audition tapes of themselves in role as Dr Fu Manchu - 'yellow peril incarnate'*. Over 50 actors responded to the call with their subverted takes on the evil Chinese doctor, who on screen, has only ever been played by white men. Extracts from the audition tapes form the basis of the film.

The premiere will take place online. followed by a live Q&A with Eelyn Lee. Book FREE tickets via the CAN website.

* The Insidious Dr. Fu Manchu, Sax Rohmer, 1912

Film, Sound & Memory - A Creative Writing Workshop

06Creature of the Estuary by Eelyn Lee WEB

Write and Shine has invited Eelyn Lee to facilitate an early morning creative writing workshop inspired by film.  Eelyn has devised a session that will explore the narrative of sound and takes inspiration from the close relationship between film and memory. Join her online between 7.30 - 9.00am GMT on Tues 3rd Nov.

Book via the Write and Shine website.

Solidarity - A Parallel State Event

Screenshot 2020 08 17 at 12.23.23

Parallel State Speakers

Eelyn Lee has curated the next online Parallel State event around the theme of Solidarity. Speakers include Désirée Reynolds [Sheffield], Chardine Taylor-Stone [London], Jade Montserrat [North Yorkshire] and Tiffany Diane Tso from the Asian American Feminist Collective [New York]. Eelyn has asked all four speakers to respond to the following provocation,

There’s a lot of talk about solidarity right now. What does it mean in this present context? Is it a genuine call to collectivism, mutual support or performative gesturing? What does solidarity mean to you and how could it apply to the Parallel State? 

The Parallel State is a notional breakaway state - a space to collectively imagine alternative solutions to life on earth. Free from the constraints of being in constant opposition to the failed states in which we live, it is a space to build knowledge, to organise and prepare new visions for better ways of living. This is the first of a series of online themed events that will lay the foundations for a Parallel State Summit in July 2021.

Speaker biographies and FREE tickets available here

--- UPDATE: LISTEN TO THE PRESENTATIONS ON SOUNDCLOUD ---

Talking Identity & Purpose at Creative Mornings, Sheffield

5 Heroes web image

Eelyn will be talking about her practice in relation to the themes of identity and purpose at this month's Creative Mornings Sheffield. Usually these breakfast events take place at different venues around the city but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this month it will happen online via Zoom. To attend the event at 8.30am on 24th April you will need to register and a link will be sent to you on the night before the talk. 

News

IMAGE Casting Fu Manchu Now Showing at CAN Festival 2021

Monday, 15 February 2021
Casting Fu Manchu is currently showing as part of the CAN Festival 2021 [15th Feb - 30th Apr 2021]. Following the premiere screening these were some of the comments about the film, "... a brilliant and... Read More...

IMAGE Premiere of Where Two Rivers Meet

Thursday, 04 February 2021
Eelyn Lee's latest film, Where Two Rivers Meet will premiere on Feb 25th at 8pm GMT as part of the online event, Digesting History. The film is a creative documentary about Collections in Verse, a poetry project that took place in libraries across Sheffield just before the pandemic. Cleverly weaving the story of the project together with the story... Read More...

IMAGE Resilience and Radical Care - An Online Talk

Tuesday, 01 December 2020
CAMP have invited Eelyn Lee to present an online talk on Thurs 10th Dec 6.30 - 8.00pm GMT as part of their guest artist's programme. Eelyn will talk about Resilience and Radical Care in relation to her experiences of co-founding Social Art Network and her subsequent involvement in other artist’s networks. She will touch upon network building as... Read More...