Focal Point Gallery is pleased to announce the debut screening of a new film by artist Rosanna Lee, made with the involvement of the Chinese community in South East Essex and filmed on location at The Pearl Dragon, Southend-on-Sea. Parallel will launch on 5 March and continue until 12 June 2022. Presented alongside a new solo exhibition by Chinese artist Cui Jie, the film will be screened daily on Big Screen Southend from 11am to 5pm each day.
Parallel is a short film that explores how we use language – verbal and non-verbal – to define ourselves and strive for a sense of belonging with those around us. The film follows a family as they partake in a weekly ritual of going to their local Chinese restaurant for dim sum. With a focus on the relationship between a young, British Chinese woman and her Chinese maa maa (grandmother), the film observes the struggles and feelings of uncertainty that can arise from feeling distanced from one’s origins but highlights the way moments of humour can also arise from such misalignments. By drawing us into the subtle physical movements and gestures that are shared and exchanged throughout the event, the film illustrates how we express our real emotions through the choreography of everyday life and portrays the experience of those inhabiting that ambiguous position of belonging to multiple cultures, countries, heritages – while perhaps not feeling fully aligned to any – all at once.
Parallel was made with the support and involvement of members of the Chinese community in South East Essex and filmed on location at The Pearl Dragon, a Chinese restaurant located on Southern seafront owned and run by Steven Yeung, Jimmy Yeung, John Yeung, Linda Law and Tony Law who is the President of the South East Essex Chinese Association.
The release of the commission will also be accompanied by an essay by curator Ruth Lie.
About the artist:
Rosanna Lee is an artist and researcher from Essex, UK. Lee’s practice is concerned with the body as a site of understanding the world, exploring the relationship between body, object and space. Her work takes the form of sculptural installation, performance, film or text and is often site-responsive, investigating how bodies and objects come to belong to a particular site.
Lee is interested in the construction of a moment in which rational forms of knowledge meet intuitive and instinctual thought. She explores the way we hold personal and social histories within our bodies and how these histories inform the choreography of our everyday lives and the physical responses we have to our environments.
Lee studied Sculpture and Environmental Art at Glasgow School of Art and was awarded the Chairman’s medal for Fine Art and the Dissertation Award for Fine Art. Her work was selected for Royal Scottish Academy: New Contemporaries and New Scottish Artists at DRAF, London. She has exhibited work in London, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Melbourne and Lisbon. In 2018 Rosanna participated in the Shanghai Curators Lab and won second place in the ArtAsiaPacific New Writers Contest and has subsequently written reviews published in their bimonthly magazine. In 2021, Lee was a resident at PADA Studios, Lisbon where she exhibited a new site-specific installation and she is continuing to develop a performance piece that began through collaborations with artists and dancers during her time in Lisbon.