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Singapore International Film Festival 2018

The Last Artisan

Opening Date
05 Dec 2018
Rating
To Be Advised
Runtime
88 mins
Language
Mandarin / English / Dialect - subtitles to be advised
Genre
Documentary
Director
Craig McTurk
Cast
Teo Veoh Seng, Chen Jin Long, Zhang Hua Bing
Synopsis
Dismembered limbs. Topless mermaids. Crabs with human heads. These Chinese folklore-themed statues, in all their surreal, grotesque glory, are seared into the minds of visitors to Singapore’s Haw Par Villa. But no one knows them as well as Teo Veoh Seng. Decades ago, he started out as an apprentice at the park, which opened in the 1930s; now, at 83, Teo has finally decided to retire. Though his successors prepare for his departure, what will be lost when the master craftsman steps down?

Interspersing interviews with animation, this documentary weaves personal and national histories into a portrait of an unlikely Singapore hero. It sheds light on an artisan whose quiet dedication has preserved a uniquely charming slice of a city hounded by rapid urban developments.

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