THE ONE WHO KEEPS IT IN THE FAMILY: GLADYS NG
Family, and the ties that bind, hold 28-year-old Gladys Ng close to her craft. Like the lauded coming-of-age film Boyhood by American director Richard Linklater (in which his daughter Lorelei plays a key role), Ng’s works tend to feature her own family members as the protagonists.
My Father After Dinner (2015), a 15-minute short, starred – you guessed it – her father, and went on to win the Best Singapore Short Film at the 2015 Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF). The following year, SGIFF commissioned her to make The Pursuit of a Happy Human Life (written during a six-week residency in Bangkok), which became the opening act of the 2016 edition.
“I use film as a tool to understand the world around me. My works deal with the seemingly unimportant. They tend to explore interpersonal relationships between people, and often traverse the spoken and unspoken between them,” she says. Who inspires her “Hirokazu Koreeda, Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit (her mentor) and Kelly Reichardt have shaped my sensibilities as a filmmaker. My favourite local directors are Liao Jiekai ( Red Dragonflies) and Kirsten Tan ( Pop Aye).” On what she hopes to bring to the local scene “Happiness. Perhaps a certain lightness and gentleness of quality that could be lost in today’s saturated contemporary culture.” Upcoming projects “A 30-minute short entitled Mother Wishes For Many Things, How Many For Herself?. It is part of a group exhibition, In The Garden, with five other artists that will run at Objectifs till July 9.”