Frieze Film & Talks: ITEM IDEM and Yang Fudong

14 Feb 2020
11:00am - 2:00pm
Frieze Los Angeles, Paramount Theatre
5555 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90038
United States

ITEM IDEM, Cold Single, 2019. 5:39 min 

Cold Single (2019) is a new experimental short film by artist ITEM IDEM (Cyril Duval) in collaboration with Taiwanese director MEL HSIEH & featuring a musical score by American producer DUTCH E GERM (Tim DeWit). Based in Asia (Japan, China, Taiwan) for many years, the French multimedia artist ITEM IDEM has constantly been dwelling on local resources of folklore, religions, and industrial aesthetics to create a multidimensional body of work: Through his projects like ITEM IDEM, or SHANZHAI BIENNIAL, his practice spans conceptual media, films, sculptures and incorporates the aesthetic of product design and the codes of visual communication.

Yang FudongYejiang/The Nightman Cometh, 2011. 19:35min 

Yang Fudong, Yejiang/The Nightman Cometh (still), 2011. Courtesy of Yang Fudong Studio and ShanghART Gallery

The Nightman Cometh implies two meanings: one is “The night falls”, which means the night is coming; the other one is “the general fights to the end”. Before the dawn, whether the general chooses to continue fighting or disappears and gives up. Roles set in the film are symbolic and performed in the way of dislocated time and space. One symbolises the ancient heroic fighter of the War spirit.

The man and woman dressed in modern attires ghostly shuttle in the images along with an ancient princess. During the process of filming, the artist subconsciously confronts the cruel reality and constitutes the structure of the intricate narrative.

Yang FudongBackyard – Hey! Sun is rising, 2001. 13:37min 

Yang Fudong, Backyard - Hey! Sun is rising (still), 2001. Courtesy of Yang Fudong Studio and ShanghART Gallery


The film depicts a young man, or rather four young men, as they try to retain the sentimental feeling that is about to escape them when the sun comes up in the morning. In the expectations that they would never meet, they dressed up in the old military uniform and bathed in the morning sun. Their yawning drifts away with the wind; a wooden sword is the only attainable thing in their arms.

The puppet-like laziness is shattered by the dancing sword, and they communicate in the anger of love and hate, but no real pain is ever felt. They attempt to capture the fiber of Peking Opera within the melody, but are accidentally brought above the city sky of their memories. Flowers are waiting to bloom under with the gentle touch of imagination.

The impulses of all desires change rapidly in the morning before the sun comes out. If tender feelings can be trusted, then our existence is no longer important. All the fragments are like discontinuous dreamscape, yet sometimes they seem real. We all know everything merely happens in the moment of dawn... Listen, someone is shouting: hey, the sun is rising!

These films are part of Frieze Film & Talks, curated by Venus Lau. Read more



Screening: ITEM IDEM and Yang Fudong