So What Is Experimental Cinema, huh?

Producing a DIY festival of experimental cinema is certainly not easy to gain support and understanding in this modern South East Asian metropolitan city of Kuala Lumpur where the KLites are bombarded daily with the latest fashion, trends, high technology and sensational mainstream media and entertainment. The term Experimental Cinema sounds ‘foreign’ to most KLites and Malaysians. They are asking, “What is it? What does it has to do with me? What are you guys doing, really?”

So, this is our little project on the KLEX website: compiling words and phrases from individuals of “what experimental cinema is” to them, from Malaysia and across the world. We all know that a single definition does not do a justice to this vast realm of cinematic art. And the spirit of DIY, experimental arts is to respect the humble individual’s voices. Our objective is not to hypothesize an authoritative statement, but to listen to the different voices from around the world, from different individuals with various backgrounds, sharing the funs and courage they have learnt and experienced with experimental cinema.

Hope you’ll enjoy this little project of KLEX! And we’ll be very delighted if it inspires you somehow, to join the fun!



Experimental film like mixed martial arts!

Pow Lai Xiang, Filmmaking & Photography, 23, Malaysia.

Experimental Cinema has the means to aesthetically, narratively and formally, expand its medium.

Sandra Araújo, Visual Artist, 37, Portugal.

Artmaking as a way of life is to unite the collected questions in our inner mind.

Seong-whan Park, Professor at Kyungsung University, Busan, Korea, 39, Korea.


people said di-dar-di-dar

hello, have a nice freak

cats are going to longer and longer

some flying people look forward a show

it’s all about a cat

instead of a love story between a freak and a killer

well, it’s going to softer and softer

killers will kill people

and people won’t kill a cat that plays an outsider

there’re some brilliant outsiders

looking for the brilliant jerk kissing a killer

it’s going to softer and softer

now it’s a cat show

and it’s all about how to kill a killer


time is longer and longer

softer and softer

Young Junk Jack 楊竣傑, Student, 26, Taiwan.

Manifesto: The word “experimental” can note the following;

1.  Hypothesizing, questioning easy assumptions & finding new problems.

2.  Testing options & figuring out.

3.  Exploring out, venturing out, playing & toying around, searching.

4.  Trying out new ways, new methods, new procedures, new technique, new materials, new equipment, and new solutions.

5.  Not following existing methods.

6.  Opening up to new experiences, new awareness, and fresh insights.

7.  Be different, embracing ambiguity, accepting subjectivities.

8.  Taking a path not taken before.

9.  Be creative and enthusiastic.

10. Innovate.

Hasnul Jamal Saidon,Lecturer, 47, Malaysia.

A great film theorist once asked, “Do we know what
this image is an image of?” Then she added, “And if we’re serious about cinema we’d say no, we don’t know.” Experimental cinema is whatever context is necessary for a good, sincere, long, and
democratic conversation following from this question.

May Adadol Ingawanij, Aged cinephile, Thai and British.

It seems that today the boundaries between what are film making,
experimental film and video art are increasingly diffuse. That’s why
in many film festivals some works are not accepted because the
judges consider these as a video art, while judges of video art
festivals do not accept videos that have a specific storyline because
they consider these as a short film. This way of viewing motion
pictures has to change. Of course, the critics need to explain the categories of the audiovisual works, but the criteria they use it’s very subjective.

Mauricio Sanhueza, Visual Artist, 34, Peru.

It is a space dedicated to free work up, without thinking where, when,
or how this film goes, just direct intuition and honest through images
that should carry out this essence of human random.

Carlos Llavata, Freelance artist and Craftsmanship, 48, Spain.

It’s funny little films.

Alexei Dmitriev, 26, Filmmaker, Russia.

Uncompromising exploration in the world of ideas…

Yiotis Vrantzas, Artist/Filmmaker, 39, Greece.

Experimental Cinema uses time and form to explore and propose
ways of being existing outside of commerce and competition.

Caroline Koebel, Film & Video Artist, 45, USA.

For me, Experimental Cinema is representing an experiment itself, and each time again & again, looking for new forms of representation, exploring the limits and expanding the boundaries of imagination, innovative use of technology and new formats in involving the audience actively in the field of moving images.

Wilfried Agricola de Cologne, Curator for art & moving images, Festival director, Germany.

Experimental cinema utilizes sound and the moving image but
counters mainstream conventions or uses those conventions in ways
that turn them in on themselves.  Though a genre of sorts,
experimental cinema seeks to elude definition as its makers find
new ways to play, explore, and take risks.

Darrin Martin, Artist/Professor, 43, USA.

“My daily work, create a new memory.”

Maki Satake, Filmmaker, 31, Japan.

” Experimental cinema is art of moving image
that shows an artist’s innovative and experimental
ways to express his/her ideas and concepts, which often
require the active participation from the viewers. “

Tomonari Nishikawa, Artist, 41, Japan.

“Experimental cinema” manifesto:
“An alternative learning environment.”

Katsuyuki Hattori, Artist, 38, Japan.

“A rebellious inquiry against given (cinema) experience”

KUO Hsin-Hui, Artist, 27, Taiwan.

“At times it shows one thing and it means nothing.
Yet, you feel something.”

Niralji Ravishanker, Writer, 22, Malaysia.

“Must Experimental Cinema always/necessarily be visual,
 movements, audio, spatial, abstract, conceptual,
expressive, personal, narrative, fictional, documentary, political,
provocative, engaging, revolting, meditative, aesthetical, artistic,
alternative, mainstream, filmic, cinematic, or otherwise?”

Yap Sau Bin, Artist, 37, Malaysia.

“Be experimental, see what would happen”

Kamal sabran, Artist/Researcher/ 35, Malaysia.

Experimental cinema at its best is personal, independent work,
driven by individual perceptions and visions, and stretching the
limits of form and content”

Michael Brynntrup, Artist, 52, Germany.

“Experimental filmmaking is the excitement of possibilities: the experiment in it, however, is not the true objective, it is rather the means to disconfirm your ideas and to radically alter your perspective.”

– Dina Yanni, researcher/filmmaker, Austria

Manifesto: experimental film is a room of creation media with full of freedom and without any restriction.

Lim Chee Yong, Filmmaking, 26, Malaysia.

Some people says “experiments should only happen inside laboratories in controlled environments.” I believe crossing the border is the essence of experiment and that’s why we are bringing these experimental stimuli to you today.

Hyun Il Cho, Artist/Composer/Professor, 36, Korea.

For me Experimental Cinema is knowing the rules of classical cinema but having the liberty of being able to erase, manipulate or ignore them so that unlike classical cinema the result is not for entertaining purposes but to evoke thought provoking existential questions in the viewer’s mind.

Cornelia Eichhorn, Video/ installation artist, 32, Germany.

Using visual is not a must, it’s just a will. Making unexpected creation through visual, is now a pursuit.


Cheah Kah Sing, Unemployed, 26, Malaysia.

Manifesto: 试验电影就像一杯加入了盐,辣酱或醋的咖啡,味道不一定好,但你可以试试!

Experimental film is like a cup of added salt, sauce or vinegar coffee, the taste is not necessarily good, but you can try!

TS Kwan @ aks, Cartoonist/Graphic Designer/Painter, 44, Malaysia.

I don’t make films with the specific intent of making experimental cinema, but just make them from the desire to make music and images which give me intense pleasant sensations. Genres may have come about more from the demands of audiences than of filmmakers. It would be a problem if there were too many or too few genres, and the current way of categorizing films may have come about naturally. Which is to say, something with many elements besides those of a narrative、documentary、animation, or other genre of films can generally be called an experimental cinema.

Masahiro Tsutani, Video Editing, 45, Japan.

‘manifesto’ of ‘Experimental Cinema’:

For me the word ‘Hollywood’ symbolize the business system
that took over our imagination with easy stories and ask
money for it. Experimental cinema is not made to be sold,
or to be easy understood. Therefore is experimental cinema thetrue symbol of the freedom of our imagination. And sometimes yes, the true confrontation with our lack of

Jimmy Hendrickx, Director Experimental Films, 32, Belgium.

“Experimental cinema is the art of arousing emotions in a non-narrative, innovative, personal and unexpected audiovisual work where any other rule must be

Jean-Michel Rolland, Video Artist, 39, France.

Experimental cinema questions the standards of today’s
mainstream cinema. And by doing this, questions the way in
which we see and portray the world we live in. It can do this
by neglecting all the rules and create out of an almost ‘naive’ freedom, but it can also do this by abusing the
‘known’ rules to create a new way of seeing things.

Robert Goyvaerts, Video-artist, theater-maker and installation artist, 23, Belgium.

Experimental Cinema…, for me it’s a means to tell stories
beyond words, beyond images.

Agnès Quillet, Artist, 28, France.

Manifesto: “Experimental cinema doesn’t exist. It must be
invented. The viewer included. Take that as a positive
point of departure.”

Peter Freund, Artist, 51, USA.

The first knowledge I have about experimental
film was Stan Brakhage, Maya Darren and Man Ray.
When I made my first experimental video didn’t really
think of which form I should fit in. For me, what
experimental film wants to share is to make you think,
not to make you receive. We should be active, not passive
audience. Experimental cinema is always a magic door
that brings us back to a question:
“Why do we use film making to express ourselves?”
That is always a question in my mind.

Alison Khor, Video Artist, Singer songwriter, 24, Malaysia.

Experimental cinema is broad and can also be what
you said… trends, high technology and sensational
mainstream media and entertainment. My approach
is chance… the chance of trying new techniques, the
chance of found footage and sound, the chance of not
being held to mainstream norms.

Allan Brown, Filmmaker/Film editor/Sound guy, 48, Canada.

Many of my works deal with the attempt of taking control
(or maintaining) control over one’s life and living
conditions and when this control collapses or fails. I keep
returning to the state of a breakdown on a personal and
social level.

Mattias Härenstam, Artist, 41, Sweden.

“Experimental film or experimental cinema is a type of cinema.
Experimental film is an artistic practice relieving both of visual arts
and cinema.”

Kotaro Tanaka, Filmmaker, 31, Japan.

“Cinema experimental is a medium of maturing ideas that are
not necessarily ready. Is the process of creation is the secret artistic
system and not the result.”

Tales Frey, Artist, Portugal.

“Translating the experience of our own lives to the skewed perception
of time and memory of an image gives us an opportunity to reconsider
our sense of being within the world.”

Soyeon Jung Artist, Korea/USA.

“This year, I adopted 3 stray cats. I often wonder how they see the world.
Could it be experimental cinema?”

Sharon Chin, Art Maker+Patriot, 31, Malaysia.

“What is experimental cinema?’ is a complex historical question
with no easy answers. Regarding my own work it is easier:
“Indoctrinated documentary: Performative ficto-critical moving-image,
framed…I mean theory and daily life.”

Ray Langenbach, Artist etc, 63, Malaysia/USA.

“Experimental cinema is a creative action against too much
accelerated Capitalism society, not as consumer, but as an artistic way!”

Kentaro TAKI, Artist/Lecturer, 38, Japan.

“Experimental cinema is curiosity and possibility.”

Yong Yandsen, Musician, 35, Malaysia.

Maybe “Experimental Cinema” names not a certain type of cinematic
work, but a posture we can take, a posture of re-focusing our visual,
sonic, chronological, philosophic, and emotional priorities.

Paco, General Human, Malaysia.

“Being experimental is to have the courage to explore and
to take risk; to takeon the journey and find it out instead of simply
accepting given answers and methods; to think, feel and express
as an adventurous, independent and humble learner of life.”

Kok Siew Wai, Artist, 34, Malaysia.