Artists’ Moving Image: Alien Body, Human Dreams

Barbican Centre

27 April



Alien Body, Human Dreams is a series of cinematic investigations that centre the body as a potent site of hybridity, rejecting false divisions of man/woman, human/animal/alien, and self/other to construct their own embodied and multifaceted ways of being. Artists in this programme purposefully employ queering as a technique to misread, re-appropriate, and puncture the systems of power projected onto the body. In these works by queer Southeast and East Asian filmmakers, we meet a speculative reality where human body parts are sold in food trucks and witness a dance-fight between a lion dancer and a contemporary dancer. Bodyhacking, ritualising, and ceremonialising is used to knead cosmologies, folding knowledges in upon themselves.

Total Running Time: 93min

to boyhood, i never knew him

Archive footage from 2006 to 2010 of a young girl growing up between the age of four and eight. Words from a transgender man float to the surface as fleeting memories go on. Only fragments of what is remembered exists. 

Trâm Anh Nguyễn | Canada | 2022 | 3min

Longing for the Sun to Set Upwards

An ode to the multiplicity, mutability, and expansion of what constitutes a body and a self, through imaging and technological mediations. 

Jao San Pedro | Philippines | 2022 | 3min


beast follows a dreamscape nightmare about the fragile complexities grappled within diasporic Asian cultures and identities. Embodied and expressed through a martial arts inspired dance-fight between a traditional lion dancer and modern queer dancer, this film symbolically highlights diasporic identity displacement and coming to terms with one’s own cultural grief. 

Aileen Ye | Netherlands | 2022 | 6min

Disease of Manifestation

This work is an argument initiated by Wendy Brown’s article Resisting Left Melancholy. There is the thingness of the thoughts that can be seen as the lost object. Extending this idea, the thingness of thoughts that comes from one’s personal or collective memories could become a pathological fixation. 

Tzu An Wu | Taiwan | 2011 | 9min

Yummy Body Truck

In the biotechno-queer fantasy short film, a fluidic chimera creates and sells edible human body parts mixed with various organisms, promising a sensual experience that fuses the DNA of the consumers and blurs the lines between desire and disgust 

Noam Youngrak Son | Netherlands | 2021 | 7min


Soojin Chang’s BXBY is a year-long performance that merges forms of documentary and ritual practice, following Chang as a hybrid, shape-shifting being attempting reproduction. Sampling scientific methods such as IVF, biohacking, and voluntary self-touch, BXBY addresses the legacy of colonial science to open up other possibilities found in queer, interspecies kinship. 

Soojin Chang | UK | 2022 | 37min

Garden Amidst the Flame

The film explores the psychology of many fictional characters; young girls of the Minahasa tribe in North Sulawesi, a new behemoth of the Coelacanth monster and Rooster beast. All of these characters interact with each other to reject the hypermasculine presentation of Minahasan ritual culture and everyday life. 

Natasha Tontey | Indonesia | 2022 | 28min

Additional Information

Programmed by April Lin 林森.

This screening will be followed by an in-person Q&A with Soojin Chang, filmmaker of BXBY, Aileen Ye, filmmaker of beast, and artist-curator, April Lin 林森.