Saturday 22nd May 2021 to
Sunday 13th June 2021
Part of The Telling Image. Ten films from eight film makers, curated by Gareth Evans for Estuary 2021
Eelyn E Lee: Casting Fu Manchu
Despite being in the public eye for over 90 years, Dr Fu Manchu, the popular Chinese villain has only ever been played on screen by white men. In her film, Lee subverts the practice of ‘yellow face’ by inviting actors of east and southeast Asian heritage to audition for the role of Fu Manchu. Over 50 actors, male, female and non-binary, sent her self shot audition tapes with their re-appropriated versions of the character, a selection of which form the basis of the film.
In 1912, when Sax Rohmer dreamt up his fictional Dr Fu Manchu, the evil Chinese doctor set on world domination, Yellow Peril was rife. Often painted as a faceless existential threat to the western world, east Asians were seen as a force that needed to be suppressed. Over 100 years later, COVID-related racist attacks towards east and southeast Asians has demonstrated that Yellow Peril is still alive today.
Commissioned by Chinese Arts Now
Daniel York Loh, Elisabeth Gunawan, Eric Mok, Sabrina Pui Yee Chin, Luna Dai, Lilian Tsang, Joyce Veheary, Jacqui Ong, Kyoko Takenaka, Siu-see Hung, Hi Ching