Lost Secrets of the Royal Daïchi Saïto (Montreal) and Cindy Mochizuki (Vancouver)

November 9 - December 11, 2011

Curated by Ben Donoghue and Heather Keung


Four newly commissioned works presented by Blackwood Gallery, Liaison of Independent Filmmakers Toronto (LIFT), Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival and A Space Gallery.

At A Space Gallery: Louise Noguchi (Toronto) and soJin Chun (Toronto).

Photos by Toni Hafkenscheid.
Special Events

Opening Reception:
Wednesday November 9, 5 - 9pm
A FREE shuttle bus departs from OCADU (100 McCaul St.) at 6:30pm, returns for 9pm.

Artist Talk
Saturday November 12, 3pm
*Followed by the Opening Reception 5 - 7pm
A Space Gallery
401 Richmond Street West
Suite 110, Toronto

FREE Contemporary Art Bus Tour
Sunday, November 27, 12 to 5pm
Following tours at the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery (7 Hart House Circle) and University of Toronto Art Centre (15 King's College Circle), bus departs for the Blackwood Gallery and Doris McCarthy Gallery. FREE. To reserve a seat, contact the JMB at 416.978.8398 or sandy.saad@utoronto.ca by Friday, November 25.



2 Nights of Film Screenings and a Live Performance

Nervous Magic Lantern
Friday November 18
8 – 10pm
Instructional Centre, Room 245, UTM

Seeking the Monkey King
Saturday November 19
7 – 9pm
University College, Room 140, St. George Campus

Exhibition Statement

The Lost Secrets of the Royal project is a commissioning initiative of the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT) and the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival working with four new installations by Cindy Mochizuki, Daïchi Saïto, soJin Chun and Louise Noguchi. The discussions leading to this project originate with Colin Geddes’ donation of an archive of incomplete and decaying 35mm Hong Kong films salvaged from the basement of what is now Toronto’s Royal Cinema. The only stipulation for Geddes’ donation of this trove of orphaned reels was that they became the source for remaking, transforming and plundering into new works.

The collection includes period dramas, comedies, martial arts, and pink films. All the prints in the collection are incomplete and in various stages of decay and discolouration. Artists were invited to produce new works that could challenge the source material and break with overtly didactic collage-based composition. Emerging from this are four projects by contemporary Asian-Canadian artists that challenge cinematic narrative, locational identity, movement, and technologies.

- Ben Donoghue & Heather Keung

Artists' Biographies & Projects
Daïchi Saïto (Montreal): NEVER A FOOT TOO FAR, EVEN

Canada 2011
2 x 16mm Projection Loops

Appropriating a brief fragment from a 35mm print of a 1970s kung fu film, Never A Foot Too Far, Even creates an action movie without action. Presented as a double projection with two 16mm film projectors and loopers, the chemically and optically manipulated images are overlaid to form a single composition. Focusing on an obscure figure caught between perpetual motion and stasis, the painterly images fluctuate in a complex shifting of colour and texture, phasing in and out through a polymetric structure. The installation also features a new audio composition by Malcolm Goldstein.

Montreal-based Japanese filmmaker Daïchi Saïto has exhibited in numerous venues worldwide. His work explores the relation between the corporeal phenomena of vision and the material nature of the medium, fusing a formal investigation of frame and juxtaposition with sensual and poetic expressions.

Cindy Mochizuki (Vancouver): OKAI OTHER SPIRITS

Canada 2011
HD Video, Glass Case, Fog Machine, Telephone

Paranormal phenomena are common in Asian films, literature, and popular culture. In Japanese folklore, for instance, yokai are a class of supernatural creatures that often shape-shift and play tricks on humans. This interactive, animated, and sound-based installation repeats a key moment in the 35mm film, Happy Ghost 3, when the lead ghost calls “home” through various phone booths throughout the city. The animated projection is an accumulation of hand-traced frames of the original film through rotoscoping. The film explores the interiority of the archive and, like an X-ray print, uses light as a means to make visible what we cannot normally see. This work uses the presence of audience members to trigger the projections and sounds; without their actions, the film lies unseen and unheard, leaving only the stark presence of the scenic and museological props.

With sound design by Antoine Bédard, programming and electronics by Bobbi Kozinuk, and construction design by Minoru Yamamoto.

Cindy Mochizuki is an interdisciplinary artist with a practice that moves across several forms, including drawing, animation, multimedia, and performance. Her body of work explores cultural memory and experimental narratives that play with the space of the documentary and the imagined. She lives and works in Vancouver, BC. Artist website

Installation Views

Photo credit: Toni Hafkenscheid

Opening Reception

In partnership with the Faculty of Animation, Arts and Design, Sheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning and the Department of Visual Studies, University of Toronto Mississauga and generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts.