Artist, author, and educator Daïchi Saïto has been deeply engaged with bridging metaphysical ideas with sensory experience since his days as a student of philosophy and literature in the United States and of Hindi and Sanskrit while he was living in India. Through his filmmaking practice—invariably on analogue film—Saïto, who has a love for language, captures the fleeting quality of image and sound, much like how spaces between words form a fundamental syntax in poetry or how the breath is inextricably linked to a heartbeat. His award-winning works Trees of Syntax, Leaves of Axis and Engram of Returning reflect this exacting and yet organic practice of absence and presence, where darkness and silence are just as important as their opposites. In his latest exploration of the natural phenomena earthearthearth, Saïto’s riveting and layered rendition of the Andes mountains invites the audience into a trance-like state—in which the heart, eyes, and ears enter a colourful, abstract painting that comes alive.
The films will be projected from the artist’s own 35mm prints.
The free screening on 10 June will be followed by a post-screening talk with the artist. The talk will be moderated by M+ Curator of Moving Image Chanel Kong.
Dawn breaks where land is flesh
And bones’ echoes;
You’ve lived through extinctions–
Stars, skies, sand and seas;
Future is catching us up at last,
And all the dead are ahead of us.
—Daïchi Saïto, for earthearthearth (2021)
Daïchi Saïto is an artist, author, educator, and filmmaker based in Montreal. In 2004, he co-founded Double Negative, a group comprising artists dedicated to experimental filmmaking and cinema. His poetic works have been exhibited at major film festivals, museums, and galleries around the world. He has also taught and curated programs on experimental film and video. Amongst several awards and prizes Saïto has received, his Trees of Syntax, Leaves of Axis (2009) was recently named one of the 150 Essential Works in Canadian Cinema History by the Toronto International Film Festival.