Kung Fu Karaoke

Karen Kew and Ed Sinclair

1995, 23:00 minutes, colour


The structure of the work loosely follows the plot line of the musical Miss Saigon as well as emulating a video game. It is these two aspects that inform the visual language of the piece. The tension is between the heightened drama of the musical and the flattened surfaces of a video game screen. The site of exploration is Toronto, specifically Chinatown. It is here that the central character is catapulted through various scenarios, from the street to the bar and into the bedroom. Chinatown is merely a set, a site of consumption for the touristic eye. It alludes to the generic chinatowns of Hollywood film. It is in this fictitious place that "Apocalypse Now" meets asian porn and Nintendo meets Miss Saigon. So all the historical and cultural references are co-opted from the entertainment business whether it be a multi million dollar musical extravaganza or a multi million dollar movie. The work is an attempt to negotiate a way through this maze of images in order to begin defining a cultural identity and a relationship to the city/country I have chose to call home.

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