Home - T Singapore

On Set | Joan Chen

By T: The New York Times Style Magazine Singapore

To Joan Chen, the acclaimed Chinese-Hollywood actress, films distil the human condition and lays the good and bad for all to see. Chen sat down for an interview with T when she was in Singapore for the Singapore International Film Festival 2018:

"I mean art is the, really, essence of humanity. It’s distilled humanity. 

Music, literature, [and] a painting. And film is versatile in a way that it does encompass all of [these] forms. It can. You can exploit all of the forms in this medium. You have images that move, you have sounds, music, words that people say. So it is really a versatile form. That’s why so many people want to make movies. 

It’s a distillation, it’s a crystallisation. It’s a record of our human stories. In the future, if we are going to go extinct, and if Artifical Intelligence will roam the earth, I think they will understand us by reading the literature and looking at films — good films.

Good films tell who we are, in essence, who we are as humans. I mean, if you stand in front of a piece of art, and can’t take your eyes off it, it’s speaking to you. It’s telling a story to you. And it has distilled an entire period — of a destiny, someone’s fate, of some love lost, aspirations, dreams — that’s what makes us who we are. And art is the one that preserves it."