Richard Fung

2002, 08:45 minutes, colour, English with closed captions


Islands is an experimental video that deconstructs a film by John Huston to comment on the Caribbean's relationship to the cinematic image. A story of unrequited love by a shipwrecked American marine (Robert Mitchum) for an Irish nun (Deborah Kerr), Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison is set in 1944 in the Pacific, but is shot in 1956 in Tobago using Trinidadian Chinese extras to portray Japanese soldiers. The artist's uncle Clive is one such extra.

Islands is the first piece is a long form composite video and web project called National Sex. As a whole the work maps out the relationship between nationalism and (homo)sexuality in Trinidad and Tobago and Canada.

Director's Statement: Richard Fung
Growing up in Trinidad whenever I saw images of the Caribbean in film or television, they were usually shot in California and featured African American actors with phony accents. As the first piece in the National Sex series, Islands poses questions of visibility, desire and authenticity: is it possible to actually see the Caribbean while our vision is so shaded by tourism and other mediating lenses?

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Critical Writing

Home Front: Abbas Akhavan and the art of place
by Hadani Ditmaris. Canadian Art, Spring 2012, v. 29, no. 1.
Home Fronts
by Hadani Ditmars. Canadian Art, Spring 2012, v. 29, no. 1.
Practical Dreamers: Conversations with Movie Artists
by Mike Hoolboom. Coach House Books, 2008.
Praxis, Praxis, Praxis: Richard Fung's active illuminated histories
by Brian McCormick. Gay City News, Jan. 18, 2007.
Art Star: Video Art Biennial
Art Star, 2003. Ottawa: Saw Gallert, 2003.
Richard Fung: Video Art Biennial
by Gabrielle Hazekiah. BOMB, Winter 2003, no. 86.