📘 E-Issue 05 ––VCE Fall 2022
  1. Editor’s Note
  2. What’s On in VCE
  3. Pop(Corn): UAE National Pavilion
  4. Rapport: Venice
  5. Zeitgeist of our Time: Füsun Onur for the Turkish Pavilion at the 59th Venice Biennale
  6. GAD’s Top Picks: National Pavilions
  7. Strangers to the Museum Wall: Kehinde Wiley’s Venice Exhibition Speaks of Violence and Portraiture
  8. Questioning Everyday Life: Alluvium by Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian at OGR Torino in Venice

📒 E-Issue 04 ––IST Spring 2022
  1. Editor’s Note
  2. What’s On in IST
  3. Pop(Corn): Refik Anadol
  4. Rapport: Istanbul
  5. Independent Spaces in Istanbul: Sarp Özer on Operating AVTO

E-04++ Spring/Summer 2022
Creating an Artist Books Library in Istanbul: Aslı Özdoyuran on BAS
How Pearl Lam Built Her Gallery Between China and Europe
What’s On in the UAE: Our Top Summer Picks
DXB Art Jameel Joins The World Weather Network in a Groundbreaking Response to Global Climate Crisis
DXB “Geometry is Everywhere”: An Interview and Walking Tour of Order of Magnitude, Jitish Kallat’s Solo Exhibition at Dubai’s Ishara Art Foundation
“We Are Witnessing History”: Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian On Their Retrospective Exhibition at NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery
 Istanbul’s 5533 Presents Nazlı Khoshkhabar’s “Around and Round”
HK Startbahn Presents “Made in Japan 3.0: Defining a New Phy-gital Reality”, an NFT Pop-Up at K11 Art Mall
DXB Dubai's Postmodern Architecture: Constructing the Future with 3dr Models
📘 E-Issue 03 –– TYO Fall 2021
  1. Editor’s Note
  2. What’s On in TYO
  3. Pop(Corn): Nimyu
  4. Ahmad The Japanese: Bady Dalloul on Japan and Belonging
  5. Rapport: Tokyo 
  6. Alexandre Taalba Redefines Virtuality at The 5th Floor
  7. Imagining Distant Ecologies in Hypersonic Tokyo: A Review of “Floating Between the Tropical and Glacial Zones”
  8. Ruba Al-Sweel Curates “Garden of e-arthly Delights” at SUMAC Space
  9. Salwa Mikdadi Reflects on the Opening of NYU Abu Dhabi’s Arab Center for the Study of Art

E-03++ Fall/Winter 2021-22
Art Dubai Digital, An Alternative Art World?
Must-See Exhibitions in Dubai - Art Week Edition 2022
Prepare The Ingredients and Let The Rest Flow: Miramar and Zaid’s “Pure Data” Premieres at Satellite for Quoz Arts Fest 2022
 Akira Takayama on McDonald’s Radio University, Heterotopia, and Wagner Project
AUH Woman as a Noun, and a Practice: “As We Gaze Upon Her” at Warehouse421
AAN The Labor of Art and the Art of Labor: Christopher Benton on His First Exhibition in Al Ain
IST “Once Upon a Time Inconceivable”: A Review and a Conversation
RUH Misk Art Institute’s Annual Flagship Exhibition Explores the Universality of Identity
RUH HH Prince Fahad Al Saud Discusses Saudi Arabia’s Artistic Renaissance
Engage101 Presents “Connected, Collected” at Sotheby’s Dubai

📕 E-Issue 02
NYC Spring 2021
  1. Editor’s Note
  2. What’s On in NYC
  3. Pop(Corn): Zeid Jaouni
  4. You Can Take The Girl Out Of The City 
  5. Rapport: NYC
  6. Kindergarten Records Discuss The Future of Electronic Music
  7. Sole DXB Brings NY Hip-Hop To Abu Dhabi
  8. Wei Han Finds ‘Home’ In New York
  9. Vikram Divecha: Encounters and Negotiations

E-02++ Spring/Summer 2021
DXB “After The Beep”: A Review and Some Reflections
OSA Rintaro Fuse Curates “Silent Category” at Creative Center Osaka
AUH “Total Landscaping”at Warehouse 421
TYO “Mimicry of Hollows” Opens at The 5th Floor
TYO Startbahn, Japan’s Leading Art Blockchain Company, Builds a New Art Infrastructure for the Digital Age
DXB There Is A You In The Cloud You Can’t Delete: A Review of “Age of You” at Jameel Arts Centre
BAH Mihrab: Mysticism, Devotion, and Geo-Identity
LDN Fulfilment Services Ltd. Questions Techno-Capitalism on Billboards in London
DXB Ana Escobar: Objects Revisited
TYO BIEN Opens Two Solo Exhibitions in Island Japan and Parcel
CTU/AUH/YYZ Sabrina Zhao: Between Abu Dhabi, Sichuan, and Toronto
RUH Noor Riyadh Shines Light on Saudi Arabia’s 2030 Art Strategy
DXB A Riot Towards Landscapes
DXB A ‘Menu Poem’ and All That Follows
DXB Alserkal Art Week Top Picks 
DXB Permeability and Regional Nodes: Sohrab Hura on Curating Growing Like a Tree at Ishara Art Foundation
AUH Re-viewing Contrasts: Hyphenated Spaces at Warehouse421
DXB There’s a Hurricane at the Foundry

📙 E-Issue 01 –– AUH/DXB Summer 2020 
  1. Editor’s Note 
  2. What’s On in the UAE
  3. Pop(Corn): Hashel Al Lamki
  4. Tailoring in Abu Dhabi
  5. Rapport: Dubai 
  6. Michael Rakowitz From the Diaspora

E-01++ Fall/Winter 2020-21
GRV MIA Anywhere Hosts First Virtual Exhibition of Female Chechen Artists    
DXB Sa Tahanan Collective Redefines Home for Filipino Artists
SHJ Sharjah Art Foundation Jets Ahead on the Flying Saucer
AUH SEAF Cohort 7 at Warehouse 421 
DXB 101 Strikes Again with Second Sale at Alserkal Avenue
DXB Spotlight on Dubai Design Week 2020
DXB Melehi’s Waves Complicate Waving Goodbye
DXB Kanye Says Listen to the Kids: Youth Takeover at Jameel Arts Centre
DAM Investigating the Catalogues of the National Museum of Damascus
AUH Ogamdo: Crossing a Cultural Highway between Korea and the UAE
TYO James Jarvis Presents Latest Collages at 3110NZ
DXB Do You See Me How I See You?
DXB Thaely Kicks Off Sustainable Sneakers
AUH BAIT 15 Welcomes New Member Zuhoor Al Sayegh
MIA a_part Gives Artists 36 Hours to React

UAE Tawahadna Introduces MENA Artists to a Global Community
LHR/CAI Alaa Hindia’s Jewelry Revives Egyptian Nostalgia
DXB Taaboogah Infuses Comedy Into Khaleeji Menswear
DXB Meet Tamila Kochkarova Behind ‘No Boys Allowed’
DXB Alserkal Arts Foundation Presents Mohamed Melehi
AUH/DXB 101 Pioneers Ethical and Curious Art Collecting
AUH Sarah Almehairi Initiates Conversations
DXB Augustine Paredes Taking Up Space
LHR/MCT Hanan Sultan Rhymes Frankincense with Minimalism
BEY GAD Map: Arts & Culture Relief for Beirut

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🗃️ Archive Year 2018 
    NYC Shirin Neshat In Conversation with Sophie Arni and Ev Zverev
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    BER Slavs and Tatars: “Pulling a Thread to Undo The Sweater”
   AUH Abu Dhabi Is The New Calabasas

🎙️ GAD Talk Series –– Season 1 2020
   1. What is GAD? 2015 to Now

    2. Where is GAD? An Open Coversation on Migration as Art Practitioners

    3. When the Youth Takes Over: Reflecting on the 2020 Jameel Arts Centre Youth Takeover
   4. Young Curators in Tokyo: The Making of The 5th Floor
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8. Wei Han Finds ‘Home’ in New York

By Global Art Daily Editorial Board

Published on February 20, 2021

        Wei Han is a NYC-based cinematographer and director, and recent graduate of NYU Tisch. He recently directed, shot, and edited a new music video, Home by The Saint in New York City. The video portrays the stage in-between friendship and love with a logline titled A Warmth That's Greater Than Love. Capturing this fragile yet pure stage of ambiguity, the video focuses on the birth of a relationship between two main protagonists. “Even when things are gone and become too late, when we look back, those are still very beautiful memories,” reads the video description. We caught up with Wei and asked him about his inspirations, from movies such as Lost in Translation by Sofia Coppola and Japanese anime films such as Weathering With You and Your Name by Makoto Shinkai. 

1. The Saint, Home, 2020. Visuals by Wei Han. Courtesy of the artist.

Global Art Daily: Please describe how you got started as a cinematographer and director. Could you share a little bit about your journey in the film/fashion industry in New York City and the challenges you overcame to get to where you are now?

Wei Han: I actually started as an architecture student first in college but the experience was not satisfying. It’s just not as creative as I thought. I later took a semester-long film program as a visiting student at NYU Tisch. I was like maybe after studying some basic film courses, I can shoot vlogs myself, but I really fell in love with it, so I transferred to NYU and finished my film degree there. Since then, I’ve been living and working in NYC.

It’s not easy to make it in NYC as a cinematographer or director because the industry is oversaturated and the competition is fierce. If you just want to be an assistant camera or a lighting guy, positions that have much less creative control, then that’s not hard because you just need to go on other people’s sets. However, if you want to make a living as a director or cinematographer, then that’s a different story. The U.S. market is not as big as many people think, at least in the short-form world and Covid makes it worse. There is a decent amount of music videos out there, but music videos normally don’t have good budgets and you don’t make much money. People do it for portfolio. Commercials have much better budgets but there aren’t many commercials out there. And NYC is very expensive to live in, that’s why it’s not easy to make it as a cinematographer or director here.

The U.S. market is not as big as many people think.

2. Stills from The Saint, Home, 2020. Directed by Wei Han. Courtesy of the artist.

GAD: How did you get attracted to the music scene? Is this your first time directing a music video, and do you foresee directing more?

W.H.: I’ve always loved music since I was a kid. It’s just very natural for me to start doing music videos after I became a filmmaker. I’ve done a decent amount of music videos since I moved to NYC. I'm more of a cinematographer honestly but I can direct. And when opportunities show up, I wouldn’t want to say no so I just direct and DP [Director of Photography] at the same time.

3. Stills from The Saint, Home, 2020. Directed by Wei Han. Courtesy of the artist.

GAD: About A Warmth That's Greater Than Love: you describe a feeling that surpasses love - a stage of true intimacy - how did you feel shooting this video during times of social distancing? The couple gives us glimpses of young love and fresh beginnings that have been deeply lacking during these times.

W.H.: We wanted to portray the ambiguous romance between friendship and love because we’ve seen a lot of movies or music videos about two people either in love or breaking up. Less common to see is this premature stage where you feel like you’re in love but things aren’t necessarily clear yet. Shooting the music video during Covid was definitely very hard. That’s why we kept the concept simple and the crew minimal. Instead, we tried to elevate the music video through other approaches such as cinematography and editing. I think the result is satisfying and hopefully this music video gives people hope during those hard times.

Shooting the music video during Covid was definitely very hard.

4. Still from The Saint, Home, 2020. Directed by Wei Han. Han was inspired by Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation. Courtesy of the artist.

GAD: You also mentioned that you were inspired by Sofia Coppola's Lost in Translation and Makoto Shinkai's animated films. Could you tell us what specific moods you tried to recreate and how these films set in Japanese society inspired you to see NYC from a new angle?

W.H.: Those are films I loved and I always like to draw inspirations from things I like. For example, Lost in Translation by Sofia Coppola is also about the ambiguous romance between two people so that just naturally inspired this music video. And I’ve travelled in Japan a few times and love Japanese culture. It always has a sense of subtlety regarding emotions and concentration on details. I often apply those things to my own works.

I’ve travelled in Japan a few times and love Japanese culture. It always has a sense of subtlety regarding emotions and concentration on details. I often apply those things to my own works.

5. Graphics accompanying Home music video, 2020. Graphic design by Wei Han. Courtesy of the artist.

GAD: Why shoot in 35mm? Could you share with us some challenges that come along with that?

W.H.: 35mm is my favorite format. The colors are very pretty, and the textures feel very clean and subtle. The main challenge of shooting on film is that you are not able to see what you just shot on set. You’ll have to send the exposed film to the lab later after the shoot and wait for some time until you see the footage. It could be kind of scary when someone first starts shooting on film, but it’s also very exciting because you don’t know what you will get exactly and a lot of times, there are good surprises.

GAD: "Is NYC dead?" is a question that is on everyone's mind - what's your take on the future of the creative scenes in NYC? With rent prices going down and the massive exodus out of the city, do you think NYC will regain its creative edge? Do you have any advice to give to young filmmakers trying to move to the city in 2021?

W.H.: The Big Apple never dies. I mean for the first few months when the Covid hit, yes, a lot of projects got cancelled and many people were out of work, but since September last year, a lot of projects resumed, and many people got actually very busy including me. I think people started learning that okay this monster is not going to go away magically after one night, so we might as well adapt to the situation and do the best we can. It’s true that some people left the city due to financial burden but more people stayed. It’s like a big test. If you can make it in NYC during Covid, you can make it at anywhere at any time. With a new president and all the vaccines, I think 2021 will be very promising for NYC. My advice for those trying to move in this year is that things are getting better and don’t be afraid. Just do as many projects as you can and stay creative.

If you can make it in NYC during Covid,
you can make it anywhere at any time.

6. The Saint, Home, 2020. Cover visual by Wei Han. Courtesy of the artist.

Wei Han is a director and cinematographer based in New York City. 

Follow Wei Han on Vimeo
Watch The Saint - Home (2020).