Inspired by the 1934 novella Duo by the French writer Colette, Spong’s film Beach Study (2012)explores ideas of disappearance and the ephemeral, both physically and psychologically. In the film, a female body conducts abstract dance movements on a beach, responding to the environment that surrounds her. This particular beach was one the artist loved as a child, but today it is hardly accessible because it is in the hands of a private landowner.
Sriwhana Spong, who lives and works in Auckland, New Zealand, is interested in notions of transition, memory, and translation. Her works investigate the relationships between public and private, the intuitive and the cerebral, the body and its surroundings; often her artworks look at the meaningful dialogues and communications that different art forms “in conversation” can generate. She has a background in dance and choreography, and by manipulating sequences of gestures with the traditions and techniques of filmmaking, Spong investigates how dance movements can register particular events in our collective memories. For Spong, the medium of film is an anthropological tool of inquiry in the search for history, narratives, and constructions of time and space.