A four-video love-affair

Alisha Ways

I pulled open the thick, black curtain to the small, rectangular West Gallery, to the scene of a girl swaying her arms liltingly to a song that was projected on the south wall. Siwaraya Nanakorn, video digital art graduate student, sat in the corner scribbling in her notebook what I later found out were the fix-it notes of a self-proclaimed perfectionist.

Nanakorn’s “4 Videos About Love” are four short films delving into the ideals and illusions of love.

“A lot of my work is related to (love)-it’s always an underlying theme. And they’re derived from very personal experiences,” said Nanakorn.

Nanakorn is working on acquiring her Master of Arts degree in Video Digital Art here at CSUN, and the exhibition of her work is part of her requirements. The films were on exhibit in the West Gallery at the Art ‘ Design Center Feb. 27 through March 2.

Nanakorn studied graphic design as an undergraduate in Thailand. When she first attended graduate school at another university, her interest in video and film as art grew.

“I thought it was redundant to get another degree in graphic design, so I did something new. Switched fields,” she said.

Nanakorn’s graphic design skils are prevalent in many aspects of her films on love. Words flow dizzyingly across the screen, battling for attention against the stream of moving images they are set against. Clips alternate quickly, almost serving as stills, overlapping film images with numbers and text. In one scene about a young female photographer pining for the attention of a musician, the girl’s elated face fills the frame. She smiles endlessly as the background appears to spin around in a blur of motion behind her, but she is really the one spinning.

There is a jittery feeling, an unstoppable kinetic energy in Nanakorn’s filmmaking. The jumpy, buoyant movements of the camera, and the way the scenes tend to abruptly change direction and make the world appear to spiral around, are reflexive of the way love can make a person feel, even when the object of one’s desires are a distant fantasy.

The stories are told visually with music serving prominently as a constant backdrop.

“The music I use in my work is what influences my work at the time,” she said.

After she receives her M.A. Narakorn would like to direct music videos. “I really love music and I really love film, and directing music videos is where these two things meet,” she said.

We are taken into an illusory landscape with tweaked colors and blurred images in Nanakorn’s films. The viewer is forced to digest these pieces through the senses, with their strong emphasis on color and movement and their lack of traditional linear, narrative storytelling.

In the last film, we are enveloped by what looks like a body heat scan. Nanakorn explained that they were blurred images filmed off a television screen.

“Television plays a very heavy role in telling us what love and romance should ideally be, but it’s false. It’s not real,” she said.

Nanakorn’s attitude toward the process of filmmaking and how she felt when finishing a project like this sounded like falling in, out and back in love again.

“I’m very picky … that’s true of a lot of artist. They always see something other people don’t see. The hardest thing is to finish, let go, say ‘That’s done. It’s finished” she said. “What I like best is being surprised at how I plan to do one thing, then it turns into something else.”