Culture | Arts | Heritage

National Gallery Singapore

Commissioned by National Gallery Singapore to produce twenty-one short documentaries on topics of Singapore & South East Asian Art History.

Collaborated with artists, curators, collectors and art historians and filmed in Germany, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and Singapore.

Monumental Love Stories

Five Audio-Visual Memoirs featuring National Monuments. Commissioned by Preservation of Monumental Board Singapore as part of PMB’s Traveling Exhibition Programme.

The videos aim to discover the stories that wedding couples have with monuments. Four short films were shot in different locations around Singapore.

These videos gave visitors the opportunity to watch couples on screen as they relate stories of their monumental love, while a fifth film provides an industry-insider’s take on the history and development of wedding photography in Singapore.

Once Upon A Dance

A dance film commissioned by Singapore Arts Festival. The story revisits the roots of an old dance ritual and revealing its myth, two dancers interpret the ritual in nature.

A structure created by poles representing a tree of life is the focal point. Water, ribbons, leaves, sand, stones form their movements. Dancers transform into an existence within and seeking the experience of being alive in the moment while moving through the path with nature.

Worked with dance choreographer Clare Elliott on the various dance sequences.

Screened at Singapore Arts Festival and Singapore Night Festival, 2012.

National Museum of Singapore

Three short documentaries commissioned by National Museum Of Singapore for a Special Exhibition about Design and Consumption in the Aftermath of WWII.

Titled as ‘Desire for A Better Life’, ‘Desire For Freedom’ and ‘Desire for Identity’ Weapons of Mass Desire videos provide a fresh perspective into war and its legacy by looking at post-WWII design and consumption.

Army Museum Exhibit

Commissioned to produce twenty-nine short videos for the Army Museum of Singapore. The videos tell personal stories of soldiers and the history of the army in Singapore.

A mixture of archival audio and video footages were used to shape the exciting videos.

National Museum of Singapore

Produced eleven permanent Fashion Gallery Videos. These short documentaries featured at the Fashion Gallery examined extensively the history of fashion, women and youth culture in Singapore.

These videos were part of the permanent exhibition from 2007 till 2015.

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Eat To Live: Wartime Recipes

6 episodes commissioned by the National Museum of Singapore. There has been much documentation about the major events of the fall of Singapore and Japanese Occupation. But less is known about the food and the minutiae of everyday life during that period.

Eat to Live: Wartime Recipes is a 6-part documentary inspired by the book titled ‘Wartime Kitchen (2009) by Wong Hong Suen’. The aching sensation of hunger was such a common experience during the Japanese Occupation of Singapore that it continues to persistently linger in the memories of the generation who lived through the occupation.

Episodes feature moving first-hand accounts of people who lived through the war and their diary entries. Supported by archival footage, interviews and photographs, these stories of resilience create a tapestry of everyday life during the three years when Singapore was Syonan-To.

Finally, to reveal the ingenuity and creativity of the wartime cook, food writer Christopher Tan recreates several dishes from the period.

Listen To Our Walls

A well-received six-part documentary on Singapore’s Architectural Heritage for MediaCorp Channel 5.

The series documents iconic buildings in Singapore designed by renowned architects and takes viewers on a journey of past, present and future architectural stories.

The series was significantly supported by The Singapore Institute of Architects and the President of the Singapore Institute Of Architects (2007 – 2009) Mr. Tai Lee Siang was the consultant for the documentary series.

Exotic Escapades

Exotic Escapades is an 8-part travel documentary produced for Art Central.

Cities featured in each episodes included Sabah, Lombok, Chong Qing, Delhi, Varanasi, Darjeeling and Agra. The travel documentary series take an in-depth look at arts, culture, food and lifestyle of each city.

Best Infotainment Programme Finalist for Asian Television Awards 2007.

Big Unknown

Big Unknown is a 13-part reality documentary series that highlights the experiences of 1st-year Singaporean University students studying abroad as well as in Singapore. The documentary traces the lifestyle of each student in a span of 1 year.

Highly recommended Youth Programme at Asian Television Awards 2003 and Best Long Form Editing Nomination Asian Television Awards 2003.

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A House of Its Time

A House Of Its Time is an 8-part architecture series produced for Channel News Asia. The series highlights the magnificent residential houses of Asia with heritage values.

These include the black-and-white houses of colonial Singapore, joglos in Indonesia, plantation bungalows in Malaysia, and country manors in Sri Lanka.

Experts in the field, including architects, historians, conservationists share their knowledge on the history and architectural secrets of these houses, while residents share personal stories of life within these walls.

We worked with Dr Julian Davison, who was the script consultant for the series.

The Big Picture

An SG50 Special, The Big Picture is a 3-part documentary series that takes viewers on a journey of nearly five decades of Singapore art and post-independence history.

What is the relationship between art and history? What stories can artworks reveal to us about ourselves and the times in which we live?

By discovering artworks that reflect the changing social, cultural and political landscape in Singapore, viewers will get a “big picture” of Singapore’s art and history through a tapestry of fascinating visual material in this investigative and thought-provoking series.

We worked with Mr T.K Sabapathy,who was the script consultant for the series.

Sing by Change of Plans

Music Video for a popular Indie Turkish band Change Of Plans. Filmed in Black & White Super 8mm reversal film and mixed with digital video.

Shot on location in Istanbul and Singapore.

Broadcasted on MTV Turkey.

Bare Beauty Series

Produced 3 seasons for Art Central. A groundbreaking lifestyle TV series that was sold to various countries and well acclaimed for its fresh approach to content and cinematography.

The use of salt to treat ulcers and lemon juice to lighten hair are not new to those who read women's magazines, but there is far more than just that in the spectrum of natural beauty treatments.

Whether you are an earthy hippy type or simply the kind of person game to try anything once, Bare Beauty series shows just how much you can do when it comes to keeping your beauty regime all natural.

We worked with Nazli Anwari, our medicine woman, who was the series consultant for the show.

Best Cinematography Runner-Up at Asian Television Awards 2006.

Early Morning Awakening

Early Morning Awakening is a 1-hour telemovie produced for Art Central. Adapted from Haresh Sharma’s play titled ‘Off Centre’, the show features Yeo Yann Yann and Daniel Hutchinson.

X'Mas Mambo

A Christmas Special Music Entertainment for Art Central.

Presenting Singaporean musicians of different genres such as Electrico, Tang Quartet, Claressa Monteiro, Parking Lot Pimps, Vocaluptous (Acapella Band), Magdalene Wong (Harpist) and Maniam (The Tabla Player). The musicians paired up for special Christmas songs in a cozy out-door party environment.

Finalist for Best Live Action Opening Sequence at Asia Image Apollo Awards 2006.

Channel 5 Valentine's Day Idents

A weekly Arts & Entertainment Magazine Show.

Music Walk

A weekly Music Show featuring weekly top-ten videos.

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Corporate & Advertising

National Gallery Singapore
Marshall Cavendish Education
Coca TVC
Spa Botanica Marketing Videos
Marshall Cavendish Corporate Video
Singapore International Foundation
Singapore Fashion Festival
National Arts Council
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Short Films

Infinity: Time Without End

director: gozde + russel
Singapore, 2008
01:18 Minutes
Super 8mm / Silent

A collection of six experimental videos by different filmmakers under the theme Infinity.

If we knew when time would end, would we live any differently?

The theme infinity as interpreted by us explores the relationship of a newspaper vendor and the people who visit the stall. The repetitiveness and routine motion suggest we are like machines that are replaceable as with the two vendors who change shifts, who work without end, and regardless of time, as it might seem in this short documentation.

Besides, there is this question of information, news and the circulation of it. How much of our environment is shaped consciously or subconsciously by it and how dependable is it all. It never seems to end – are we a part of the wheel of the universal machine, the economy.

Screened at 1st Experimental Film Forum and as part of the Singapore Panorama section at the 22nd Singapore International Film Festival.

Low Tide

director: russel zehnder
Singapore, 2008
02:10 Minutes
Super 8mm / Silent

At low tide many things are revealed.

Screened at 1st Experimental Film Forum 2010.

Take Me Home a.k.a. I Saw Jesus

director: gozde + russel
Singapore / Turkey, 2006
16:16 Minutes
Super 8mm / with Dialogue
Experimental / Fiction

A young woman leaves home to buy cat food and fails to come back home. Meanwhile her Aunty Valerie waits anxiously for her return. When Valerie finds a watch in her letterbox, she finally accepts her once lost memories. This short is generally about people dealing with their personal selves. These characters are struggling with loneliness, loss of love, fear, and pressure, lack of control, pain and death...situations and circumstances that all people experience.

It is a short film that explores the idea of three lives connected only by time, place and memory.

Screened at Resfest Singapore, 2006.

IF ISTANBUL 2007. Hisar Short Film Festival Istanbul, 2007.

In competition, 9th International Panorama of Independent Film &Video Greece, 2007. 4th Singapore Short Cuts at the National Museum of Singapore, 2007.

Cannes Short Film Market, selected Turkish Short Films, France, 2007. Busho Budhapest Short Film Festival Hungary, 2007.

In competition, Concorto Film Festival Italy, 2007. Project Slingshort London, 2008. 1st Experimental Film Forum, Singapore 2010. Best 10 Years of Short Cuts Singapore - Videe 2013

The Love Thieves

director: gozde + russel
Singapore, 2004
06:09 Minutes
Digital Video
Experimental / Fiction

The Love Thieves is about a woman’s confusion and chaotic state of mind over a decision to confront the truth. Has she got the desire to confront her own emotions? To know or not to know?

The short explores such themes as suffering, vulnerability, and loss. How do we confront such situations and how do we react to it as human beings?

Nomination for Best Experimental Film, 55th Montecatini Film Festival International Competition Italy, 2004. Best Film Nomination in the Experimental Category, 10th Antalya Short Film Festival in competition 2004,Turkey. SeptFest 2004 – Asian Film Symposium 2 at Substation, Singapore. Poland Offensiva Experimental Shorts in Competition 2005, Poland.


director: Gozde Zehnder
Singapore, 2002
04 Minutes
Digital Video & Super 8mm
Experimental / Colour

The moving images explore the illusions of one’s unconscious world, a daydream of two souls following their senses into the maze of their own reflection.

Daydream is a part of dance video installation called ‘Innocence’ mixing Super 8mm film and video.

Video Installation at Substation, in collaboration with 2 artists, a dancer, Elizabeth de Roza and a photographer, Russel Zehnder.

In competition at IF Istanbul Film Festival 2003, Turkey.

Happy Birthday Sharon

director: gozde + russel
Singapore, 2002
04 Minutes
Digital Video & Super 8mm
Experimental / Fiction

A young woman journeys back to the time when she was a child celebrating her birthday. In Super 8 images, she recollects the time of these parties in what seems to be lost memories.

Best Short Film Award, 2nd IF Istanbul Independent Film Festival 2003, Istanbul. Singapore Film Society Short Films showcase @ the Goethe-Institute Singapore, 2003.

The Gadabout Traveling Film Festival in USA (screened in over 30 US cities). The Antimatter Film Festival of Underground Canada, 2003.

Invited to VideoBrasil, 14th International Electronic Art Festival 2003, Brazil. Audience Voice Award, 2nd Singapore Shorts Film Festival @ Substation 2002, Singapore.

Sometimes I Feel Like Chewing A Gum

director: gozde + russel
Singapore, 1999
03:36 Minutes
Digital Video

What happens when a boy decides to chew gum?

Best Short Film nomination in the 1st Tiger Classic New Directors’ Showcase 1999, Singapore.

The Living Wall

director: gozde hicdurmaz
Australia, 1997
07:40 Minutes
Experimental / Colour

Adapted from Nazli Eray’s short story titled in Turkish ‘Yasayan Duvar’, the short film explores a woman’s longing for her roots back home.

Best Experimental Film Award, 12th Western Australian Screen Awards 1998, Australia. Best Editing Award, 12th Western Australian Screen Awards 1998, Australia.

In competition, International Ankara Film Festival 1998, Turkey.


director: gozde hicdurmaz & russel zehnder
Australia, 1997
13:34 Minutes
Experimental / Fiction / Blue & Black

An experimental love story about a modern day vampire.

Best Experimental Film & Writing nomination, 12th Western Australian Screen Awards 1998 Australia.

International Ankara Film Festival 1998, Turkey. Local Flavors @ Substation 1999, Singapore.

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Exhibitions & Festivals

Singapore Short Films

Turkey, 2008

A selection of short films curated by Freestate and Objectifs presented as part of the Hisar Short Film Festival at Mithat Alam Film Center in Istanbul, Turkey.

Turkish Shorts

Singapore, 2008

Thirty critically acclaimed Turkish Shorts, Documentaries and Animations presented by Arts House and Freestate.

Montage: Out of Focus

Singapore, 2007

A component of Month of Photography Asia (also known MOPAsia) was an international festival of photography in Singapore from 2002 to 2011. The festival promoted photography both as an art form and as a creative industry.

Each year, Month of Photography Asia is curated along a specific theme and presented works by international and Singaporean photographers in relation to this.

In 2006, the festival started a series of group shows titled ‘Out of Focus’ dedicated to emerging Singaporean or Singapore-based photographers who had not yet had a solo show.

With 3 other photographers from Singapore, Gozde has exhibited 8 photos titled ‘MoNtAge’.

Inspired by Michel Gondry’s superb music video titled ‘La Tour De Pise’ for Jean Francois Coen, each image can act as a film poster and the whole series can be observed as a visual collage.

“To me, these objects are imprints of people who created them and left there consciously or unconsciously for others to sense, learn or react. This playful series of photographs reflect my way of looking at the simple things that make up our daily lives – the colours, shapes, the way they are just discarded or left behind.

The images are not chronological, but are a collection of images taken over time.“

View Exhibition Photos

Cinematic Dreams: Turkish Film Week

Singapore, 2006

The First Turkish Film Festival organised by the Arts House & Freestate and supported by The Embassy of Turkey in Singapore.

Turkish Cinema has a long and illustrious history spanning the glory days of the Yesilcam or “Turkish Hollywood” period to the wave of New Turkish Cinema of the early ‘90s. Turkish Cinema has enjoyed both commercial and artistic successes, enjoying recognition at major international film festivals and has nurtured a faithful following of sophisticated fans around the world.

With the aim of strengthening cultural ties, The Arts House and Freestate, with the support of the Embassy of Turkey present Cinematic Dreams – Turkish Film Week at The Arts House, featuring 5 critically acclaimed feature films, three documentaries and a selection of the best short films of 2006 and all presenting facets of Turkish themes, traditions and way of life through cinematic images.

Basak Children Colors The City

Turkey, 2005

Parallel event of 9th International Istanbul Biennial 2005.

Video documentation & video wall by Gozde Zehnder.


Singapore, 2003

Sound and Photo Installation by Russel Zehnder at The Substation.

In collaboration with Elizabeth de Roza and Gozde Zehnder, with the project Innocence, I have compiled a series of images into a slide installation.

These images explore the simple moments in life that some of us, including myself, sometimes take for granted. With these images I also hope to evoke and suggest a reality beneath surface appearances.

These images are also personal interpretations that explore inner landscapes –the inner self, a journey of self-discovery through a camera.

The search for innocence with my obsession. Maybe a memory, a dream, a reflection...


Singapore, 2003

Solo Black & White Exhibition by Russel Zehnder.

The Exhibition was opened by then Turkish Ambassador, Mr Hayri Erol.

The photographs were taken with 35mm Tri–X Film and printed using traditional darkroom techniques.

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While You Sleep

Singapore, 2002

Photography project curated by Ffurious and Lomographic Embassy Singapore. Gozde and Russel explore the night life in Singapore with their Lomo cameras.

Living Dangerously

Singapore, 2007

The works of photographer and filmmaker Russel Zehnder was on display at Objectifs, Centre for Photography and Filmmaking, in 2007.

Wholly in black and white, Russel seeks to reflect his thoughts on life and reflections through his travel pictures, bridging language and cultural gaps with his photographs.

The photographs were taken with 6x6 Tri-X Film and printed using traditional darkroom techniques.

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Singapore / Istanbul, 2011
HD / 6x6 Film
Video Loop

Change is inevitable and is happening at a more rapid rate these days. The new is fast replacing the old. And when change happens, old things disappear forever, they only reside in you memory and often, these memories gradually fade away.

Having no interest in the old, faded, untidy or chaotic, cities are fast losing its distinct visual identity. The machines of redevelopment, modernity and economic opportunity are a constant force that we have to engage in everyday.

This photo exhibition Bios, is “life” that revolves around the streets called “Sungei Road”, translated it means “River Road” because the road runs along the Rochor River. This is probably the oldest flea market in Singapore and is as vibrant and exciting as any modern shopping street in the city.

This is like a second home to many of the sellers who have been here for many years and the area has become part of the urban fabric of Singapore and very much an alternative culture. However the area is due to give way to redevelopment soon.

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Held at the Substation, Vertigo is a collaboration with artist Elizabeth de Roza and Gerald Chong.

The “family series” is a photo/sound installation that reflects the vague, metaphorical, imperfect and personal aspects of recollection.


2006: First Super 8mm Workshop Collaboration With Norwood Cheek (Flicker Fest LA) At Objectifs

2008: Second Super 8mm Workshop At Objectifs

2010: Talk & Screening At The First Experimental Film Forum At Substation

2010: Third Super 8mm Workshop At Objectifs

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