Zihan Loo

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Zihan Loo (罗子涵)
Born (1983-11-11) 11 November 1983 (age 33)
Alma mater School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Occupation Actor, film director and dancer
Years active 2007–present
Website www.loozihan.com

Zihan Loo (simplified Chinese: 罗子涵; traditional Chinese: 羅子涵; pinyin: Luō Zi Hán; born 11 November 1983) is a gay Singaporean actor, film director, artist and dancer. He was a part-time teacher at School of the Arts, Singapore.

He has been open about both his own homosexuality and depicting gay themes in his films, despite the subject being particularly taboo in Southeast Asian society. His first film, Solos, was withdrawn from its début screening at the 20th Singapore International Film Festival due to its explicit depiction of homosexual sex.[1][2] Instead it premièred at the 12th Pusan International Film Festival in the city of Pusan in South Korea and became the first Singaporean film to be selected for the American Film Institute Festival in Los Angeles, going on to win the Nuovo Sguardi Award in the 23rd Turin Gay and Lesbian Festival, in the city of Turin in Italy. It was awarded by the jury to the film which "reflects the evolution of queer cinema".[1][2] In his 2007 film, Pleasure Factory, Zihan himself appears in a scene featuring his own full-frontal nudity.[3]

In February 2012, as part of the M1 Singapore Fringe Festival, Loo staged a one-night only performance of Cane, which re-enacted a performance art piece by Singaporean artist Josef Ng that resulted in a 10-year no-funding rule for performance art. In December 2012, Loo organised his first solo exhibition Archiving Cane at The Substation, which consisted of an installation of 12 artefacts to do with Cane and Loo's artistic practice, along with a durational performance.[4]

From October to December 2013, Loo put on Artists' General Assembly – The Langenbach Archive, a durational performance-cum-installation as part of Ghost: The Body At The Turn Of The Century group exhibition, a parallel event of the Singapore Biennale. The installation archived a selection of approximately 150 of Dr. Ray Langenbach's materials surrounding the Artists' General Assembly and its peripheral events.[5]

Loo will open the M1 Singapore Fringe Festival 2015 with With/Out, a performance installation based on The Necessary Stage’s Completely With/Out Character (1999), a monologue by the late Paddy Chew, the first person in Singapore to come out as being HIV-positive.[6] Loo told The Straits Times: "As a queer person, I have always been inspired by Paddy's strength and fortitude. I often wonder, if I was put in his position, whether I would have the courage to step out like he did." With/Out will also feature the first public screening of taped performances from three evenings of Completely With/Out Character, which Chew performed a few months before his death.[7]

Filmography and theatrical works[edit]

  • "Chancre" (2011 short film) - director
  • "Aemaer" (2010 short film) - director
  • Threshold (2009 film) - writer and director
  • Past Carin’ (2009 play) — multimedia design
  • Frozen Angels (2009 play) — multimedia design
  • Gemuk Girls (2008 play) — multimedia design
  • Pleasure Factory (2007 film) — actor
  • Solos (2007 film) — writer, director and actor
  • Autopsy (2007 documentary short) — writer, director and actor
  • Embryo (2006 short film) — writer, director
  • Untitled (2006 short film) — writer, director and actor

See also[edit]

Other Chinese LGBT film directors[edit]


  1. ^ a b About Zihan Archived 4 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine., on his official website
  2. ^ a b Silencing Singapore Archived 1 February 2011 at the Wayback Machine., The Advocate, 4 June 2009
  3. ^ Germaine Lim (22 October 2009). "Nude but not lewd". Asia One News. Retrieved 25 March 2016. 
  4. ^ Chia, Adeline (15 November 2012). "Controversial performance art piece by Loo Zihan to go on exhibition". Singapore Press Holdings. The Straits Times. Retrieved 15 September 2014. 
  5. ^ Ho, Louis. "GHOST: THE BODY AT THE TURN OF THE CENTURY". ArtAsiaPacific. Retrieved 15 September 2014. 
  6. ^ Martin, Mayo (21 October 2014). "Next year’s S’pore Fringe Fest embraces Loss". MediaCorp. TODAY. Retrieved 21 October 2014. 
  7. ^ Ting, Lisabel (21 October 2014). "New director to keep Fringe fresh". Singapore Press Holdings. The Straits Times. Retrieved 21 October 2014. 

External links[edit]