Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen


© Allan Barberona

© Allan Barberona

© Allan Barberona


This is not an installation by Khavn

12-16 May


Khavn De La Cruz, or Khavn, one of the major Filipino contemporary artists, will stage HAPPYLAND at the exhibition space of Verein für aktuelle Kunst in Oberhausen during the 63rd International Short Film Festival Oberhausen.


HAPPYLAND is the name of a Manila slum and that’s what the space will look like: a dump, a heavenly body, an orgy session, a punk explosion. Parts of Khavn’s film Mondomanila will be recreated: a slum home, paintings, photographs, drawings, Jeepney stencils, rubber stamps, tarpaulin art. Visitors are to be transported to HAPPYLAND; they can sing and dance, eat and listen to music or poetry recitals. At the Blind Faith Barbershop, the artist himself will cut the hair of brave visitors who allow themselves to be blindfolded. “One should have complete trust in the universe”, says Khavn. Part of the installation will be a Philippine kitchen (carinderia), where authentic home-made Philippine comfort food will be prepared by Master Chef Carina Ulan of The Abominable Spaceship From Planet 21 in the evenings.


For Filipino artists, improvisation is frequently the only way of coping with the structural obstacles in their country, and improvisation is the principle of HAPPYLAND. This will open a unique and rare window on an art scene that’s almost unrepresentable within traditional art formats. Various events during the Festival will break the isolation of the “slum”, including live concerts by Khavn and other musicians, poetry recitals and a fashion show. By bringing a foreign social reality into the limited frame of a (film) festival, HAPPYLAND also questions the latter’s conventions: the borders between inside and outside, here and there, film and art, actors and audience. HAPPYLAND is a collective-anarchic art event, more laboratory than finished piece, a work that doesn’t aim to be permanent and comes alive through participation.


Supported by Kunststiftung NRW, Rapid Eye Movies and the Film Development Council if the Philippines.

The artist:

Khavn is the director of 51 features and 115 short films, the author of six books, and the composer of 23 albums. He has won the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Award for his poetry and fiction, where he has also served on the jury. He has also served on the juries of various international film festivals such as the Berlinale, Clermont-Ferrand, CPH:DOX, Jeonju, Bifan, Jihlava, New Horizons, & Dok Leipzig. Khavn has exhibited at the MoMA, MAXXI, Guggenheim Museum, Tate Modern, National Museum of Singapore, & Venice Architecture Biennale. He has lectured at the Berlinale Talent Campus, Bela Tarr's Film Factory, Goethe Institut Nigeria, & the Danish Film Institute. Khavn has curated programs for the Viennale, the Edinburgh International Film Festival, & the Sharjah Biennial.