Category Archives: Tatiana Pentes

Scenes From A Shanghai Hotel: cabaret neon

Image from SCENES FROM A SHANGHAI HOTEL
An experimental film by Geoffrey Weary. Production Company: Strange Cities Productions
Director/Producer: Geoffrey Weary
Produced in association with Screen Australia (AFC)
Cast: Tatiana Pentes, Rose Tang

SCENES FROM A SHANGHAI HOTEL
An experimental film by Geoffrey Weary

TIME WAS…….
Geoffrey Weary 


SCA Galleries
Sydney College of the Arts
University of Sydney, AUSTRALIA


PORTRAITS 

Production Company: Strange Cities Productions
Director/Producer: Geoffrey Weary
Produced in association with Screen Australia (AFC)

Cast: Tatiana Pentes, Leakhena Sy, Rose Tang

PORTRAITS is an experimental digital work that explores three contrasting experiences of war and conflict in the middle and late 20th century. A woman living in Shanghai is expelled from China after the Communist Revolution in 1949. The ghosts of the Cold War appear and disappear in the crumbling ruins of the Berlin Wall in 1990. A young woman suffers a crisis of identity around the circumstances of her birth at the end of the war in Cambodia in 1978


SCENES FROM A SHANGHAI HOTEL

An experimental film by Geoffrey Weary

A Russian woman living in Shanghai is expelled from China after the Communist Revolution in 1949. Her story begins in a hotel room in Shanghai and ends on a suburban street in Sydney, Australia. Performative, fictional, and documentary elements are blended into a work that is suggestive and open to multiple readings. Extensive use of film leader and scratchy film surfaces add to the sense that what we are seeing resembles something that is illusive, dream-like, just beyond grasp…..or is it just a newsreel playing in someone’s head? Cast: Rose Tang and Tatiana Pentes


CAPTIVE

An experimental film by Geoffrey Weary

CAPTIVE explores the themes of repression, confinement and escape. These themes are expressed through the incorporation of grainy VHS footage shot in Berlin at the time of the collapse of the Berlin Wall, hand-held camera sequences shot in a maze-like forest and slices of footage composited out of archival Cold War films. As the real historical Wall crumbles under the blows of street hawkers and souvenir hunters, ghostly specters from the past appear then dissolve back into the scratchy surface of a long forgotten newsreel.

Captive by Geoffrey Weary from Strange Cities Productions on Vimeo.


My Mother Told Me

An experimental film by Geoffrey Weary

A young woman tells the story of her family’s destruction during the war in Cambodia, 1975-1978. Later as a refugee living with her mother in Sydney, Australia she suffers an identity crisis that is linked to the unexplained circumstances of her birth and the mystery of the father that she has never known. Cast: Leakhena Sy

My Mother Told Me by Geoffrey Weary from Strange Cities Productions on Vimeo.
My Mother Told Me

Australia’s audiovisual heritage online Australian Screen http://aso.gov.au/titles/shorts/my-mother-told-me/

OBJECT Magazine: Australian Design Centre: articles by Tatiana Pentes

OBJECT Magazine: published by the Australian Design Centre
http://www.object.com.au/object-magazine/current-issue/

Tatiana TatianaPentes_Project_Object_ OBJECT_ CfCC_Vol2_1997
Tatiana Pentes, Project: Object a jewellery/object installation, OBJECT Magazine, Issue 2 1997

Tatiana Pentes, Project: Object a jewellery/object installation, OBJECT Magazine, Issue 2 1997

 

Tatiana Pentes, Goddess, (contemporary ceramics), OBJECT Magazine, Issue 2 1995
Tatiana Pentes, The Body in Pain, (jewellery/textiles/performance),OBJECT Magazine, Issue 1 1995

Tatiana Pentes, The Body in Pain, (jewellery/textiles/performance),OBJECT Magazine, Issue 1 1995

 

 

Tatiana Pentes, s Tension and Allure, Program: Mentorship Object Studios, OBJECT Magazine, Issue 4, 1999
Tatiana Pentes, Tension and Allure, Program: Mentorship Object Studios, OBJECT Magazine, Issue 4, 1999

Tatiana Pentes, Tension and Allure, Program: Mentorship Object Studios, OBJECT Magazine, Issue 4, 1999

 

 

Tatiana Pentes, Goddess, (contemporary ceramics), OBJECT Magazine, Issue 2 1995
Tatiana Pentes, Goddess, (contemporary ceramics), OBJECT Magazine, Issue 2 1995

Tatiana Pentes, Goddess, (contemporary ceramics), OBJECT Magazine, Issue 2 1995

 

 

Tatiana Pentes, Designing the Future, (EcoDesign), OBJECT Magazine, Issue 2, 1994
Tatiana Pentes, Designing the Future, (EcoDesign), OBJECT Magazine, Issue 2, 1994

Tatiana Pentes, Designing the Future, (EcoDesign), OBJECT Magazine, Issue 2, 1994

 

 

Tatiana Pentes, The Devil Gets All the Tunes Wrong, OBJECT Magazine, Issue 1, 1994
Tatiana Pentes, The Devil Gets All the Tunes Wrong, OBJECT Magazine, Issue 1, 1994

Tatiana Pentes, The Devil Gets All the Tunes Wrong, OBJECT Magazine, Issue 1, 1994

PORTRAITS: films by Geoffrey Weary

TIME WAS.... by Geoffrey Weary - part of PORTRAITS a three part film series...
TIME WAS…. by Geoffrey Weary – part of PORTRAITS a three part film series…

TIME WAS…….
Geoffrey Weary (digital prints)

Sydney College of the Arts
Opening Tuesday, 4 – 29 September

SCA Galleries Sydney College of the Arts
Crn Cecily & Darling St, Rozelle
Sydney, AUSTRALIA

PORTRAITS 2005 – 2014

Production Company: Strange Cities Productions
Director/Producer: Geoffrey Weary
email: Geoff.Weary@sydney.edu.au

Cast:Tatiana Pentes, Leakhena Sy, Rose Tang

PORTRAITS is an experimental digital work that explores three contrasting experiences of war and conflict in the middle and late 20th century. A woman living in Shanghai is expelled from China after the Communist Revolution in 1949. The ghosts of the Cold War appear and disappear in the crumbling ruins of the Berlin Wall in 1990. A young woman suffers a crisis of identity around the circumstances of her birth at the end of the war in Cambodia in 1978


SCENES FROM A SHANGHAI HOTEL (2007)

An experimental film by Geoffrey Weary

A Russian woman living in Shanghai is expelled from China after the Communist Revolution in 1948. Her story begins in a hotel room in Shanghai and ends on a suburban street in Sydney, Australia. Performative, fictional, and documentary elements are blended into a work that is suggestive and open to multiple readings. Extensive use of film leader and scratchy film surfaces add to the sense that what we are seeing resembles something that is illusive, dream-like, just beyond grasp…..or is it just a newsreel playing in someone’s head?


CAPTIVE

An experimental film by Geoffrey Weary

CAPTIVE explores the themes of repression, confinement and escape. These themes are expressed through the incorporation of grainy VHS footage shot in Berlin at the time of the collapse of the Berlin Wall, hand-held camera sequences shot in a maze-like forest and slices of footage composited out of archival Cold War films. As the real historical Wall crumbles under the blows of street hawkers and souvenir hunters, ghostly specters from the past appear then dissolve back into the scratchy surface of a long forgotten newsreel.

Captive by Geoffrey Weary from Strange Cities Productions on Vimeo.


My Mother Told Me (2007)

An experimental film by Geoffrey Weary

A young woman tells the story of her family’s destruction during the war in Cambodia, 1975-1978. Later as a refugee living with her mother in Sydney, Australia she suffers an identity crisis that is linked to the unexplained circumstances of her birth and the mystery of the father that she has never known.

My Mother Told Me by Geoffrey Weary from Strange Cities Productions on Vimeo.
My Mother Told Me 2007

Australia’s audiovisual heritage online Australian Screen http://aso.gov.au/titles/shorts/my-mother-told-me/

CHINA HEART: iPhone App: dLux media arts

China Heart: Images: Tatiana Pentes & Geoffrey Weary
China Heart: Images: Tatiana Pentes & Geoffrey Weary

China Heart is a partnership with dLux Media Arts , the Powerhouse Museum, Gallery 4A, The Project Factory writer/director/producer Annette Shun Wah & sound design Kingston Sound – China Heart merges video storytelling, game play and historical re-enactments with real-life art installation and performance. Participants unravel a mystery, solving video and real life clues while following a walking tour through significant locations in Sydney’s Chinatown guided by the application’s GPS technology. China Heart is multi-platform and can be experienced via Androids, iPhones, some Nokias and web. China Heart is both a love story and a mystery — but it also uses an innovative interface to rediscover the experiences and history of Chinese Australian families, and particularly women, in the process of finding a home in Sydney. China Heart ran through Chinese New Year festival and was an Installation at the Powerhouse Museum, in addition the site of the old Trocadero in Albion Lane, and the Chinese Gardens, Sydney. Funded through Screen Australia and the New South Wales Film & Television Office. CHINA HEART dLux media arts Media Release

CHINA HEART iPhone APP: website: locative drama & on the site of the old Trocadero in Albion Lane, Sydney.Tatiana Pentes & Geoffrey Weary images.
CHINA HEART iPhone APP: website: locative drama & installation on the site of the old Trocadero in Albion Lane, Sydney. Tatiana Pentes &Geoffrey Weary images.

 

Tatiana Pentes’ participation includes brand logo design, graphic interface design, look & feel of iPhone app, visual research, and editing & digital effects for the moving image & sound sequences.

The objects from China: poster design by Tatiana Pentes
The objects from China: poster design by Tatiana Pentes


A love story, a puzzle and a challenge

Lian is a young woman whose plans to marry are stalled when she receives a mysterious engagement present with a strange message. Will she ever be able to marry her beloved David?

Players help Lian solve the puzzle of her family’s past and her cultural history guided by dramatic clues, oral histories and historic re-enactments downloaded on their own mobile phones so her wedding can take place as planned

Download iPhone app from iTunes store online.

China Heart graphics interface: design Tatiana Pentes
China Heart graphics interface: design Tatiana Pentes

Read China Heart Producer: Josie Emery’s blog: exploring her experience working as a producer on the project on the project
Read the interview with Tara Morelos: dLux media arts Director/ Annette Shun Wah & Jennifer Wilson on “China heart: Moblie Locative Storytelling” on the Powerhouse Museum’s site.

Read a review of China Heart in The Daily Telegraph, 29 January 2011
Listen to the podcast of Annette Shun Wah’s interview on China Heart with Life Matters, ABC Radio National, 1 February 2011
Review of China Heart app Australian Financial Review 28-30 Jan 2011 (pdf)

Lian having a spectral moment: photo Geoffrey Weary
Lian having a spectral moment: photo Geoffrey Weary

China Heart: Chinese Note: iPhone app design Tatiana Pentes
China Heart: Chinese Note: iPhone app design Tatiana Pentes

China Heart Promo from Tara Morelos on Vimeo.

Credits List China Heart Productions

Cast
Monica Russell
Gabrielle Chan
David Lang
Tony Chu
Brigid O’Sullivan

Camera & Sound
Fish Productions
Ka Wai Ho

Stills Photographer
Geoffrey Weary

Art Direction & Design
Tatiana Pentez

Editors
Ka Wai Ho
Tatiana Pentez

Post-production Sound & Music
Kingston Sound

Composer
Paul Healy

Sound Design
Sasha Zastavnikovic

Trailer & Promo Director
Carolyn Taylor

Writer, Director, Producer
Annette Shun Wah

Producer
Josephine Emery

Director dLux media arts
Tara Morelos

Oral History interviews recorded at Stellar Sound.

 

China Heart: a location based historical drama for iPhone & online
China Heart: a location based historical drama for iPhone & online

China Heart Logo Design: Tatiana Pentes
China Heart Logo Design: Tatiana Pentes

BLOWIN’ AT THE ROCCO: Saturday Night: A Jazz feature

BLOWIN’ AT THE ROCCO: Saturday Night

Blowin At The Rocco: Photography: Tatiana Pentes & Geoffrey Weary
Blowin At The Rocco: Photography: Tatiana Pentes & Geoffrey Weary

An Australian Jazz Interactive Treatment for Broadband funded by Screen Australia (AFC/ Screen Australia)

New Media Writer/Director TATIANA PENTES
Photography/ Cinematography GEOFFREY WEARY
Original Jazz Music SERGEI ERMOLAEFF
Dramaturg Prof BRUCE JOHNSON

1. STORY OUTLINE

Expermimental Online Documentary

BLOWIN’ AT THE ROCCO: Saturday Night is an experimental interactive work that seeks to exploit and enhance the creative potentials of digitally produced music, sound, image and text relationships in an interactive online Broadband environment. In this context, the delivery of interactive work online provides an innovative approach to the conventional narrative & documentary forms. In BLOWIN’ AT THE ROCCO: Saturday Night, the participant/player will experience new possibilities produced through the slippage across a series of interactive screen surfaces, engaging the participant/player in a spatial relationship with the program. The participant/player discovers the origins of Sydney Jazz milieu through the eyes of Serge Ermoll Jr. (Jazz Pianist/ Private Investigator) during, smoky sophisticated bohemian, Sydney circa 1968. In addition the user is revealed eight tracks of original Australian jazz, recorded live at the El Rocco Jazz Cellar, 1968.

2.1 COPYRIGHT INFORMATION
Serge Ermoll Jr (Sergei Ermollaeff) owns the copyright on all original compositions and recordings of his music. The production Budget would incorporate research fees and broadcast fees for the use of all other archival image, sound, text materials.

3. THEMES OF THE PROJECT: Pathway Elements
BLOWIN’ AT THE ROCCO: Saturday Night is composed of eight storylines, a series of interactive immersive screen environments, characterising the narrative structure of the program. The pathways are named by eight musical movements recorded by Serge Ermoll Jr (Sergei Ermollaeff). The recurrence of musical allusion and composition (a) in the form of musical iconography and (b) in the rendering of musical score in sonic fragments – will resolve in each storyline as the realisation of these eight jazz tracks. From the surface of the computer screen each story unfolds inside a series of frames, inspired by (Black American) Blue Note modern jazz album covers and early Russian constructivist assemblages. The jazz tracks name each storyline expressively, evoking the emotive state of the compositions and shaping the narrative structure of the pathways.

OVERVIEW Story (Musical) Tracks
Opening Titles
Each story pathway is triggered by an visual icon in the music cellar. The Detective foregrounds each pathway with an image/text sound transition

Pathway (1) Movement # 1 – VALSE Kings Cross & Bohemian Sydney

Pathway icon: montage of Alamein fountain & a trumpet
Visual trigger: : movement across a cappuccino coffee cup

This story conjures the memories of the musicians, music entrepreneurs, and patrons. The pathway is inspired by written texts by Bruce Johnson, John Clare, Kenneth Slessor, statements by jazz musicians remembering the milieu, and news stories reporting on the phenomena of the jazz cellar.

Pathway (2)   Movement # 2 – FREE KATA Crest of freedom

Pathway icon: montage of Free Kata group
Visual trigger: movement across a Karate figure                                                                  

This story explores the FREE KATA jazz ensemble of the 1970s, evolving from the seeds of El Rocco jazz culture. This pathway is composed of photographic portraits of the musicians, album artwork, record labels, music publicity material, text from news article coverage of the ensemble, and locates the music in the context of images of urban Sydney in this period and references the larger jazz picture.

Pathway (3) Movement # 3 – JUNGLE JUICE International Influences on Australian Jazz 1968

Pathway icon: montage of Uluru & Wattle matches
Visual trigger: movement across a portrait of a soldier

This storyline contextualises Australian Jazz & the era in archival moments that iconicise the sixties and world events shaping the Australian spirit: (i) the anti-Vietnam war protests (ii) the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr, (iii) Robert Kennedy’s campaign against Lyndon Johnson and the Vietnam war. The imagery evokes the generational complexity & tension that produced the fresh and vital early Australian jazz. This pathway is composed of original photographs, digital reconstructions, news articles, archival photographs, digitized moving image and sound.

Pathway (4) Movement # 4 – CLOUDS Australia 1968 – Iconic cultural imagery

Pathway icon: montage of hands on a keyboard (piano)
Visual trigger: a framed portrait of a blonde tourist in the red centre

This story evokes Sydney circa 1968, and juxtaposes the Eastern seaboard city with imagery of the Australian red center, (white tourists) a family visit to Uluru in a light plane, in the context of political movements (the anti-Vietnam war protests – students) and populist imagery – Shrimpton wears the legendary mini-skirt. This pathway is composed of original photographs, digital reconstructions, news articles, archival photographs, digitized moving image and sound.

 Pathway (5)  Movement # 5 – PASSION DANCE Serge Jr. & Stamatia meet on the Patris Ship

Pathway icon: montage of young Serge & wife Matina)
Visual trigger – black & white portrait of an emigre couple on the deck of a Greek ship

This story is personal and exposes in a series of black & white photographs and interviews two immigrant Australians broadening their horizons and making the journey back to Europe.

Pathway (6) Movement # 6 – RASPUTIN Diasporic Music Memories

Pathway icon: black & white montage of parents
Visual trigger –movement across a portrait of Rasputin

This story charts the movement of Serge Ermoll’s forbearer’s diaspora from Russia in revolution through to Harbin, Manchuria and then international capital of the East – Shanghai, China where his father worked as a jazz bandleader. Serge and his Russian parents then immigrate to Australia with assistance from the International Refugee Organisation. Serge Jr reflects on the influence of his China born father on his contemporary jazz endeavors in Australia. This pathway is composed of dramatized interviews/statements & original photographs.

Pathway (7) Movement # 7 – FALLEN FLOWERS
Private detective – Sydney underworld

Pathway icon: montage of a dancing girl over Kings Cross
Visual trigger –movement across a portrait of a dancing girl

This story envisions Kings Cross and Sydney, 1968. The participant/player enters into the space of clubs and strip joints, café culture at night. The participant/player is provoked to uncover a criminal situation, revealed through the character of the detective (Serge Ermoll Jr/ jazz pianist) in a series of reconstructed & simulated photographic & filmic sequences that expose Sydney’s underworld.

Pathway (8) Movement # 8 – SERGERY

Pathway icon: young Serge with band on piano
Visual trigger –movement across a keyboard

Blowin’ At the Rocco 1968 – Serge Ermoll Jr Quintet
Visual trigger; movement across the keys of the piano

This story is a temporal montage of Serge Ermoll Jr music career from his emergence as a musician to 1968. The pathway is composed of news material – newsprint articles, magazine reviews

Resolution Sequence

 

SHANGHAI: Eastern Hollwood ?

SHANGHAI: Eastern Hollywood ?
Digital Research

Screen Shot 2014-03-03 at 11.50.51 AM
ChineseBOX
Serge Ermoll & His Music Masters, the Majestic Hotel
prior to its demolition Shanghai, CHINA, c. 1930 (image above)

This work is the transformation of a chapter my doctor of creative arts, UTS, BLACK BOX http:www.strangecities.net for peer review in a forthcoming eJournal interactive paper – the ensemble of image, sound, and textual research emerges from the ChineseBOX passage in BLACK BOX, exploring my hybrid cultural origins through discovery of the Russian jazz music culture from pre-revolutionary Shanghai and the Japanese occupation in China.

A re-examination of the documents left to me by my grandfather Sergei reveals a rich insight into the cultural milieu of the Russians in Shanghai, in particular the jazz world. Sergei wrote down every significant act that performed in the nightclubs, cabarets, and ballrooms of quasi-colonial Shanghai before his death.

ca03d-xeniacig02
This is a portrait of my grandmother Xenia Vladimirovna Ermolaeff. Xenia was a Russian emigre in Shanghai (a singer and dancer). The portrait was taken by her husband my grandfather a Russian jazz orchestra leader Sergei (Serge) Ermolaeff circ. 1940. Serge Ermoll & His Music Masters were managed by Vaudeville Entertainments, Shanghai and enjoyed residencies at establishments in Shanghai such as The Cathay Hotel, The Paramount, Ladlows Casanova, Wagon Lits, Astor House, and the Red Rouge. He played with Whitey Smith.

In 1996-97 I had support to develop a digital media work, with funding from the Australian Film Commission (AFC), and travelled to Shanghai & Tokyo to conduct research and write a script. In search of Xenia’s Shanghai we walked the city, writing and shooting photographs/film with Geoffrey Weary. We stayed in the Cathay Hotel, Room 314, I was searching for traces of the old decadent jazz culture. We photographed the interior of the hotel, ceilings and architectural nuances. I walked on the sound stage, Level 7, where Serge had played, and many photographs were taken, the golden dragons & pheonix design haunting the interiors. Looking out of the exquisitely ornamented window panes onto the Bund and across to the Pudong district and the oriental Pearl Tower, I imagined James Ballard’s bloody descriptions of the Battle of Shanghai or Battle of Songhu the Japanese war ships in the harbour. A decade later these audiovisual fragments were shaped into a film SCENES FROM A SHANGHAI HOTEL (2007). The interactive work would ultimately be STRANGE CITIES, [Reviewed Asiaweek [http://www-cgi.cnn.com/ASIANOW/asiaweek/magazine/99/0910/shanghai.html] based on the tune composed by Alexander Vertinsky, Ira Bloch and my grandfather Serge Ermoll. Independent radio broadcaster Eurydice Aroney produced the work and Roi Huberman created the interactive sound design. This song and the lyrics, which spoke of the longing for motherland St Petersberg (Russia), encapsulated my search for origins. Later, another film score composed by the Vertinsky/Ermoll would be the signature tune in the Merchant Ivory Hollywood classic The White Countess (2005). The strange music Serge played, a mix of Russian cabaret, Chinese pop, and American jazz, I would later understand to be the treasured hybrid genre of trans-pacific contemporary music, the renaissance of which is making many a million! (1)

In my grandmother Xenia and the portraits she would show me, I saw a cosmopolitan Eastern woman of urban sophistication, paradoxically at odds with the Australian life we were surrounded by in the Sydney suburbs. Her black coiffured hair and gold jewellery provided endless fascination, she looked so different from the ladies at the local RSL. I wanted to be like her.

“The favoured past of shanghai is that of the ‘modern girl’ in a qipao, the feminine city of exquisite Russian refugees, decadent European expatriates, Chinese gangsters and marlene dietrich in Shanghai Express (dir. Joseph von Sternberg, 1932). These are clichéd character sketches of the city, but they resonate powerfully with the international imagination. Dietrich, in the person of Shanghai Lil, continues to produce affect in cinema-goers worldwide as a persona for shanghai…. if cinema has done nothing else for shanghai, it has convinced the world and the city itself that they are, simply and utterly, superior to any others. Shanghai woman is the epitome of modern China, and the image of 1930s is the enduring foundation of the magnetism of shanghai’s identity. ” (2)

(1) Donald, Stephanie and Gammack, John G. Tourism and the Branded City: Film and Identity on the Pacific Rim, London: Ashgate, 2007. http://www.iis.uts.edu.au/research/Shanghai_Ch6_Extract.pdf

(2) Whitey Smith and .L. McDermott, I Didn’t Make a Million, Manila, 1956.

Image source. Photograph of Xenia Vladimirovna Ermolaeff n a Shanghai hotel by Serge Ermoll (Ermoll’s photos) circa 1940 (Shanghai).

“Shanghai Nostalgia” as a Cultural Industry by Pan Tianshu

Shanghai Nostalgia: Historical Memory, Community-Building, and Place-making in a late Socialist City

Pan, Tianshu. “Historical Memory, Community-Building and Place-Making in
Neighborhood Shanghai.” in Restructuring the Chinese City: Changing Society, Economy, and Space, ed. Laurence J. C. Ma and Fulong Wu, 122–37. London: Routledge 2005.

“For the first time in post-Mao Shanghai, the local people found their colonial past was no longer baggage to carry but a rich resource to be fully utilized. “Shanghai nostalgia” thus “became entangled with a (dys)utopian fervor to embrace global capital and its ideology, the appearances and normalcy of the Shanghai modern entered intellectual and commercial circulation at the standard version of historical memory” (Zhang 2000: 354). Shanghai quickly became a “re-colonized” site for various kinds of joint ventures in film production. Old buildings in the Municipal Concession and small villas in the west end were renovated in order to attract more Spielbergs and boost the tourist industry. Those sinified cafes and European restaurants that somehow managed to survive communism changed their names back to their original western names. The famous Red Mansion Coffee House, for example, was once again Chez Louis. So did the theaters, movie houses, department stores, and dance halls. The Old Man Jazz Band, who had a brief appearance in Spielberg’s movie, started to perform all year around in the Peace Hotel (Sasson House, previously owned by a famous Jewish billionaire). Colonial Shanghai rekindled collective memory and in the process of remembering, itself was re-invented. With its success in the colonial past in setting trends, finding opportunities, and witnessing miracles, Shanghai provided a somewhat “infectiously decadent, but alluring background and setting” (Dai 1997: 158) especially for those working in the film industry.”

Zhang, Xudong. 2000. “Shanghai Nostalgia: Postrevolutionary Allegories in Wang
Anyi’s Literary Production in the 1990s”, in Positions: East Asia Cultures Critique, pp. 348-387. Duke University Press.

Asja Mercoolova::Russian Ballerina Shanghai

db9a0-asjagirl
This is a portrait of Asja Mercoolova as a girl, my grandmother Xenia’s goddaughter. Xenia wanted me to be a dancer like Asja. She wanted me to be on the stage. She would ask me to sing and perform songs for her in the old fashioned lounge-room with the radio on in the background. They sent me to dance classes – modern, jazz, tap and later I studies Flamenco. I still wear Flamenco shoes every day to work (!) I grew up listening to my grandfather Sergei’s jazz. He would practise in his music room on the trumpet, at the piano and at his vibes. One day in the future I would be packing away his musical scores, piled high on top of his piano, and he would be gone and buried. River Lights club in Sans Souci is a vivid memory, staying up too late, and watching him play. He wore exquisite tailored suits and painted on his eye-brows, cabaret style. The music was a melange of Russian folk ballads, American jazz, and Chinese pop. The compositions were for a famous crooner he remembered, Alexander Vertinsky, writer of the legendary tune “Immortal Road”, that world sings today as “Those Were The Days My Friend!”.

Xenia Ermolaeff::Shanghai

9b50e-xeniafeathers
Before my grandmother (Xenia Ermolaeff) died, she gave me a set of hand painted studio portraits she had produced while living in Shanghai (1923-1951). Wrapped in tissue, when she was feeling sentimental, she would produce these from the musty old wardrobe that was filled with beautiful dresses and shoes. When she went out to the club for lunch, I would try these on and pretend I was her, standing in front of the large oval mirror. In the noirish light through the blinds in her bedroom, wearing her oversized patent-leather shoes, I painted on her lipstick. These portraits conjure the decadent life of a a beautiful young Russian woman living in Shanghai at its zenith. The mystery in those eyes reveals suffering a life of extremes. In Sydney, in the Holden, we would sit waiting for Serge, as she sipped sherry from a silver hip flask, telling me about her feelings. As a young girl in Russia, she was the daughter of a wealthy Tsarist naval officer, but was reduced to stateless person seeking refuge in Harbin, Manchuria after the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia (1917). Later she married my grandfather Sergei, a wealthy Russian big band leader in Shanghai (husband No#2). The Shanghai sojourn was a wild ride, until she was made refugee once more with the Chinese Revolution. Her life ended in the Sydney suburbs with a three acre block and hills hoist – and a moonshine plum orchard. I was a great joy in her later life – the daughter she longed for. When she pointed to photographs of her god- daughter Asja the ballerina, she told me that she had married a Broadway musical director, and would I be a dancer like her?

Vertinsky::Serge Ermoll & His Orchestra::Shanghai

 ba289-balalaika

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SHANGHAI NOSTALGIA:: Motorola’s MOTO

5bf5f-li_xianglan

Film star & songstress Li Xianglan a hybrid matrix of Japanese and Chinese modern girl.
Born Yamaguchi Yoshiko to Japanese parents in Manchuria,
Remembered for 1940s film Shanghai Nights, the tune The Evening Primrose
Image source http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Li_Xianglan
MECCA cosmetics corporation
has recently launched its “Shanghai Lil” make-up range, a homage to the high fashion
(haute couture) & make-up used in Von Sternberg’s Shanghai Express (1932)
Image source http://www.meccacosmetica.com.au/

0d10c-shanghaiexpress-1
Hui Fei (Anna May Wong) and Marlene Dietrich (Shanghai Lily) in

Jospeh Von Sternberg’s SHANGHAI EXPRESS (1932)
Image source http://www.imdb.com/media/rm711432192/tt0023458
Image source MOTO Nostalgia campaign 2004
http://www.danwei.org/advertising_and_marketing/motorola_shanghai_nostalgia.php
The Parisian wave (coiffure) and the fur coat over the shoulder evoke the Shanghai gesture, a powerful imaging (and re-imagining) of the Shanghai advertising lady, her urban face charmed the packaging of a plethora of mass products from face powders to cigarettes. She is the face of Motorola’s 2004 mobile phone campaign. Reminiscent of a 1930s Shanghai calendar girl, an evocation of the legendary film star Ruan Lingyu (阮玲玉), or perhaps Hollywood’s The Lady From Shanghai (dir. Orson Welles), or Anna May Wong in Josef Von Sternberg’s Shanghai Express (1932) http://www.theauteurs.com/films/432, or Street Angel (馬路天使) (1937) http://www.archive.org/details/street_angel starring Shanghai songstress Zhou Xuan (the “golden voice”) and pre-revolutionary film star. Perhaps Motorola’s Shanghai lady resembles the famous Li Xianglan (李香蘭) a hybrid matrix of Japanese and Chinese modern (modeng) girl (!) She was born Yamaguchi Yoshiko (山口 淑子) to Japanese parents in Manchuria, and became a famous Chinese and Japanese film star. She is remembered for 1940s film Shanghai Nights (上海の夜), made by Manchuria Film Productions and singer of the immortal tune The Evening Primrose (夜來香). Nostalgia for decadent old Shanghai and its hybrid brand of quasi-colonial East meets West is articulated in the the plethora of contemporary Hollywood , Hong Kong and Chinese films devoted to the Shanghai Gesture. Academy Award winning director Ang Lee’s latest offering Lust Caution (2007), a case in point, Merchant Ivory’s The White Countess (2005) http://www.sonypictures.com/classics/whitecountess/, to touch the tip of the iceberg. On this note, the multi-national MECCA cosmetics corporation http://www.meccacosmetica.com.au/ has recently launched its “Shanghai Lil” make-up range, a homage to the high fashion (haute couture) and make-up used in Von Sternberg’s Shanghai Express.

According to DANWEI: Chinese media, advertising and urban life blog http://www.danwei.org/advertising_and_marketing/motorola_shanghai_nostalgia.php [Accessed 28 March 2008]

c3046-moto_cosmo0630s
“This is a new Motorola advertisement appearing on billboards and in glossy magazines. The copy means ‘MOTO nostalgia’ or ‘MOTO era’, highlighting the Shanghai 1930s feel of the image.” [Posted by Contributor, July 2, 2004 1:09 PM]

The evocation of the Shanghai lady in this MOTO campaign contains echoes of a contemporary Ballardian neo-landscape, the Bladerunner megalopolis that is Shanghai. This kitsch, pastiched, noirish sophistication is a parody without the humour and articulates Jameson’s postmodern and consummerist project of futuristic nostalgia (Jameson, 1985, p116).

Frederic Jameson, “Postmodernism and Consumerist Society”, in (Ed) Hal Foster, Postmodern Culture, Pluto Press, Great Britain, 1985.

I recently stumbled upon this article in a blog – a confirmation of the currency and commodification of the old Shanghai lady as an aesthetic still capable of marketing a dream about a city that has entered into the postmodern vernacular in “Selling Cosmetics by vending machine ?”, Hong Kong Hustle: Hong Kong nightlife, streetculture, and cool http://www.hongkonghustle.com/shopping/389/cosmetics-vending-machine/#more-389
Selling cosmetics by vending machine?

April 19th, 2008

cosmetic_vending_machine_HK

“In Japan you can find all sorts of things for sale in vending machines. Since I’ve lived in Hong Kong however, I’ve never seen an explosion of this sort of retailing in the city. So it came as a surprise to encounter a lonely looking vending machine while walking through Silvercord shopping center last week.

“The vending machine had a traditional 1920’s era graphic of two girls covering the outside.

“The image looked like a cigarette ad from old Shanghai, the type that tourists purchase on “antique” posters featuring beauties from the time period. On closer inspection, the image actually represented the logo of a brand of cosmetics, Two Girls.

“This sort of vintage look doesn’t really match a vending machine. Vending machines typically denote a sort of modern, mechanized and impersonal shopping experience. You don’t normally associate this type of experience with female shoppers. Further, a product like cosmetics would usually require the purchaser to read the labels and check the ingredients, which isn’t possible from inside a machine. Typical products that are sold in this way are ultra well known products. Perhaps the cosmetics are well known, however if I were a shopper unfamiliar with the brand, not being able to read the label and study the product would be a major impediment to sale.

“The location of the machine was also somewhat off. It was buried near the side of an escalator in an alternative entrance to the shopping center.

“Yet another factor to consider, does the product match the target consumer of the youth-oriented Silvercord mall?

“So in essence, the product, the brand image, the target consumer, the location of the machine and the technology all need to be considered when selling a product by vending machine. In this case, the factors appear to be a bad match.”
http://www.hongkonghustle.com/shopping/389/cosmetics-vending-machine/#more-389

LAUNCHED: HOME iPad artwork by Geoffrey Weary

Still from HOME iPad artwork by Geoffrey Weary
Still from HOME iPad artwork by Geoffrey Weary

HOME iPad interactive artwork Written, Produced & Directed by Geoffrey Weary ©2013, Interface Design & Development: icemedia, Sound Design & Music: Michael Bates with thanks to Mark Gardiner, Online & Social Media: Tatiana Pentes

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Description
Explore the world of HOME through the eyes of Frank, Jason and FAE. Frank’s memories overwhelm him as the shop he has lived and worked in for the past 50 years crumbles around him. Jason lives with his grandfather, He photographs Frank, and what is left of the shop. Meanwhile he dreams of escape. To where he isn’t sure. Fae often comes to visit her uncle Frank. They share an obsession with the city, street maps and the places that Fae loves to wander through.Frank remembers June, Vera and Fae’s mother Clare.

Explore HOME iPad artwork website.

CAST
Frank:: Jim Palmer
Jason:: Eric Warburton
Fae:: Patricia Werleman
Japanese Performer:: Kazuo

PRODUCTION
Photography, Cinematography & Timeline Montage:: Geoffrey Weary
Interface Design and Development:: icemedia
Sound Design & Music:: Michael Bates with thanks to Mark Gardiner
Online and Social Media:: Tatiana Pentes

Written, Produced and Directed by Geoffrey Weary©2013

Still from HOME iPad artwork by Geoffrey Weary c.2013
Still from HOME iPad artwork by Geoffrey Weary c.2013

INTERACTION
HOME is navigated across the Frank, Jason and Fae timelines with a touch to screen movement from right to left. Backward movement is optional at any time.

A double touch on any frame will bring the timeline selected to full screen. Touch again will return to three timeline screen display.

When navigating HOME we recommend the use of iPad headphones.

HOME was produced as part of a University of Sydney ICT initiative Faculty-specific Research & Education Program (2012). The program helped sponsor this proof of concept. Extensive consulting & procurement services were provided by the team as a part of this initiative.

Strange Cities: An interactive digital work

Strange Cities: An interactive digital work

Strange Cities CD-Rom: Prima Volta from Strange Cities Productions on Vimeo.


SYNOPSIS

An interactive digital work/ Musical CD-Rom by 
Tatiana Pentes (Writer/Director) & Geoffrey Weary (Co-Development/ Cinematography & Photography), Eurydice Aroney (Producer), Roi Huberman (Sound Design), Glenn Remington (Interface Design). Produced in association with Screen Australia (AFC). Online exhibition Australia-Japan New Media Gallery, Australian Embassy, JAPAN  http://newmedia.australia.or.jp/artist/info.php?name=tatiana

AWARDS

Strange Cities CD-ROM has been exhibited inter/nationally & winner of Best Arts/Cultural Title/Site, AIMIA Awards, 2000, and Most Innovative/Creative Multimedia Title, ATOM Awards, 2000, Australia. Acquired by the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) Multimedia Collection, Australian Film & Television School Library, University of Hawaii, University of Sydney, UTS, the National Library Australia and many inter/national archives.

Strange Cities was selected for Dart 99 dLux Media Arts in partnership with Sydney Film Festival, the 1999 Experimenta Media national travelling Exhibition, The Red Room, & promoted  New Talent Pavilion, MILIA Games, Cannes, France in February 1999

Interface still Strange Cities: A musical CD-Rom (2000)
Interface still Strange Cities: A musical CD-Rom (2000)

Strange Cities is an experimental interactive multimedia work authored for CD-Rom release and exhibition. Through the disclosure of evidence, Sasha dreams, discovers and remembers the exotic identity of her grandparents Xenia and Sergei Ermolaeff (a composer and orchestra leader) in fragments and traces of their music and struggle to survive the Russian and Chinese Communist Revolutions. The dulcet tones of the legendary voice of ABC Radio – Tony Baldwin as Newsreader deepen the nostalgia of this interactive drama/history.

The inspiration for the work is a tune of the same name – a musical illustration, an imaginary vision of old Shanghai, Chinese metropolis and international settlement which conjures mythic, filmic, musical and personal images of the city port.

Interface still Strange Cities: A musical CD-Rom (2000)
Interface still Strange Cities: A musical CD-Rom (2000)

Strange Cities CD-Rom: Mordente from Strange Cities Productions on Vimeo.

Coined capital of the international underworld, the city of Shanghai became a seductively strange locale symbolized in the Western imagination. In reality however the city was most often the final port of call for political refugees. The visual imagery for the project was shot in St Petersberg, Shanghai, Tokyo, and Sydney and involves found photographs, film footage, simulated radio archives, and original musical compositions.

Interface still Strange Cities: A musical CD-Rom (2000)
Interface still Strange Cities: A musical CD-Rom (2000)

Strange Cities experiments with performance, sound, image and text and their dramatic representation in the interactive environment. Providing a challenging approach to traditional modes of story-telling and music in the interface design, the user is provoked to discover the Strange Cities tune in the graphic portrayal of its musical script, sonic perception of its vocal lyric, and orchestration through user interactivity.

Strange Cities CD-Rom: Lacrimoso from Strange Cities Productions on Vimeo.

In the exploration of Strange Cities the user will experience a questioning of the relationship between fictional, biographical, historical and musical narrative possibilities produced through the slippage between and across a series of interactive screens. Participation with the interface provides for the user an experience which challenges traditional modes of narrative in audiovisual presentation, the perception of musical structure, storytelling and in historical, biographical and fictional texts in the multimedia environment.

Interface still Strange Cities: A musical CD-Rom (2000)
Interface still Strange Cities: A musical CD-Rom (2000)

Strange Cities was selected for the 1999 Experimenta Media Art CD-Rom Exhibition and has been promoted at the New Talent Pavilion, MILIA Games, Cannes, France in February 1999.

NEW MEDIA AWARDS FESTIVALS
Best Arts/Cultural Title/ Site, Australian Interactive Multimedia Industry Association (AIMIA) Awards November 2000, AUSTRALIA
Most Innovative/Creative Multimedia Production, Australian Teachers of Media, (ATOM) Awards May 2000, AUSTRALIA
This project has been produced in association with Screen Australia (Australian Film Commission)

Strange Cities has been curated as part of the Australia-Japan New Media Gallery, Australian Embassy Japan http://newmedia.australia.or.jp/artist/info.php?name=tatiana

Cast
Xenia – Xenia Wayne; Sergei – Peter Tartarinoff; Newsreader – Tony Baldwin; Sasha (Voice) – Katya Rozenblit; Young Sasha (Visuals) – Isabella Manfredi; Rose Tsing (Visuals) – Rose Tang; Tango Dancers – Katya Rozenblit & Evan Darnley-Pentes.

StrangeCities: Xenia Vladimirovna
Strange Cities: Xenia by Tatiana Pentes

Ultimately this project led to the production of a film produced in association with
Screen Australia (AFC), Scenes From A Shanghai Hotel (2008)

Scenes From A Shanghai Hotel by Geoffrey Weary from Strange Cities Productions on Vimeo.