Duppy Transience

Vashti Harrison, Thuy-Han Nguyen-Chi, Erica Sheu, and Sohil Vaidya
Past event


Duppy Transience is a program of four short films that provide space for spirits, ancestors, jumbies, duppy, and the memories of these to wander, roam, or exist in transit. Vashti Harrison, Thuy-Han Nguyen Chi, and Erica Sheu render deeply personal films about their families’ pasts and cultural heritage, while Sohil Vaidya finds a way to thoughtfully engage with mythologies outside of his worldview. The films in this program use varying visual languages and techniques, from the beauty of grainy 16mm film to mediated images of digital avatars. Most importantly, they provide visual containers for the spiritual self and ancestrally-bestowed memories.


Presented in English, German, Marathi, and Vietnamese with English subtitles.

The program includes a post-screening talk with Thuy-Han Nguyen-Chi and Erica Sheu, moderated by Jheanelle Brown.

Please note: Duppy Transience contains descriptions of sexual violence.

In a time when so many artists dabble in video, Nguyen-Chi stands apart for her mastery of cinematic storytelling.

Emily Watlington, Art in America

The Jack H. Skirball Series is organized by Jheanelle Brown.

about the artists

Thuy-Han Nguyen-Chi

Thuy-Han Nguyen-Chi is a Milky Way-based artist whose practice mutates in and out of film, sculpture, installation, performance, and interdisciplinary research. Her recent body of work explores the epistemological, aesthetic, and political possibilities of the moving image at the intersections of art and science, documentary and fiction, personal/prosthetic memory and individual/collective histories. Having studied Fine Arts at the Städelschule and Film at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, she is currently pursuing PhD research in Film at the University of Westminster.

Thuy-Han’s work has been presented in both the art and cinema context, including Art Collider Lab, Seoul; Akademie der Künste, Berlin; Atletika, Vilnius; Belvedere 21, Vienna; Centro di Musica Contemporanea di Milano, Milan; De Appel, Amsterdam; Gene Siskel Film Center, Chicago; Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; Kunsthall Trondheim, Trondheim; Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt; Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, Manila; Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham; Sàn Art, Saigon; Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, Baden-Baden; Villa Medici, Rome; Whitechapel Gallery, London; 12th Berlin Biennale; 20th Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival; 60th New York Film Festival; Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin 2023; 20th Reykjavík International Film Festival; 33rd Singapore International Film Festival; 42nd Uppsala Short Film Festival; among other spaces. In 2023, she was awarded the Golden Lola for Into The Violet Belly. 



Erica Sheu/徐璐

Erica Sheu/徐璐 makes short films, expanded cinema, and installation with celluloid film. Her work is often about diary film, handmade film, screen and projections, cross-generational memories, and Taiwanese identity politics. Her experimental short films have been shown at NYFF Currents, TIFF Wavelengths, IFFR Bright Future, International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, (S8) Mostra de Cinema Periferico, EXiS, TIDF, among other film festivals and venues. Sheu holds an MFA in Film/Video from CalArts. She works and lives in Los Angeles.

Instagram / Website


Sohil Vaidya

Sohil Vaidya is a writer and director based in Mumbai and Los Angeles. His films have been officially selected for more than 100 film festivals worldwide, including Rotterdam, Melbourne, Chicago, Raindance, Indian Panorama at IFFI, Palm Springs, and the New York Indian Film Festival. His USC thesis film, Difficult People, won him the prestigious Directors Guild of America’s Award for Best Director. His recent short film Murmurs of the Jungle won him the Grand Prix Award at Melbourne International Film Festival. It also won the Artistic Excellence Award at SCAD Savannah Film Festival and Best Short at NFDC Film Bazaar.

Vaidya’s works have been distributed and screened on various channels such as SBS Australia, PBS Rhode Island, Omeleto, Viddsee, and ShortTV US to name a few. He is a BAFTA Fellow for their newcomer’s program in Los Angeles. He graduated from the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts  with an MFA in Film/TV Directing. Vaidya is developing his first feature film named “Aadim” (Primordial), a neo-noir psychological folk Thriller/horror, which was selected for NFDC Film Bazaar’s Co-Production Market in 2022.

Instagram / Website


Vashti Harrison

Vashti Harrison is the #1 New York Times-bestselling creator of Little Leaders, Little Dreamers, and Little Legends and the illustrator of Andrea Beaty’s I Love You Like Yellow, Matthew Cherry’s Hair Love, and Stephanie V.W. Lucianovic’s Hello, Star, among others. She received a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor for Lupita Nyong’o’s Sulwe and is also a two-time recipient of the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work for Children.

Harrison received her BA from the University of Virginia and her MFA in Film and Video from CalArts. Her experimental films and videos focus on her Caribbean heritage and folklore. They have shown around the world at film festivals and venues, including the New York Film Festival, Rotterdam International Film Festival, and Edinburgh International Film Festival.

Instagram / X / Facebook / Website

list of films

Field Notes (2014), 18 min. * 

Dir. Vashti Harrison


Murmurs of the Jungle (2021), 20 min.

Dir. Sohil Vaidya


It follows It passes on (2023), 5 min.

Dir. Erica Sheu


Into the Violet Belly (2022), 19 min.

Dir. Thuy-Han Nguyen-Chi


* only presented in-person