Asian artists frequently receive attention for their work only when they speak about topics that German mainstream society has earmarked for them. One of the goals of the Asian Performing Artists Lab is to support artists of Asian backgrounds in creating works that produce a broader spectrum of Asian voices and open a self-determined space for their topics and aesthetics. At the end of a four-day residency, the participating artists will present their works-in-progress, followed by a post-performance discussion.
A writer goes fishing for lost voice. // Avrina Prabala-Joslin (India)
A borrowed field. // Michiyasu Furutani (Japan)
ZUSAMMEN/zerissen/SEIN // Thủy-Tiên Nguyễn (Germany)
Songs From the Second Floor // Wang Ping-Hsiang, Tien Yi-Wei & Shen Sum-Sum (Taiwan)
KIRIKIRI キリキリ // Nine Yamamoto-Masson (Japan-France)
Language: English, German, Vietnamese, Tamil
Curation & Organization: Ming Poon & Frederika Tsai
Dramaturgical support: Dandan Liu
Technical support: Jonathan Florez
Berliner Ringtheater e.V. (co-production)
Ming Poon began his career as professional dancer in 1993, and started to develop his choreographic practice in 2010. He creates choreographic interventions, where spectators are invited to exercise their agency to create change. His works are interactive and collaborative in design, and focus on bio-politics of the peripheral and resistance of the weak. He is currently researching on performance and decolonising strategies that involve vulnerability, care, queerness and failure. His practice is influenced by Buddhist concept of interdependence and care, Judith Butler’s resistance in vulnerability, Jack Halberstam’s queer art of failure, Augusto Boal’s theatre of the oppressed and Nicolas Bourriaud’s micro-utopias.
Frederika Tsai is an interdisciplinary theatre maker, dramaturg and musicologist. Together with Davide Di Palo and Hannah Elischer, she founded the theatre collective "TsaDiEil" in 2019, which deals with socio-critical topics, including Missing Ms N.N.(2019, reprise in 2021), an artistic resistance against sexual harassment and sexualised violence. As a dramaturg, her latest work has been the cinematic interpretation of Aunt Tiger (2021) (Quanxiyuan Puppet Theatre Taipei/Taiwan). For years she has been committed to creating more solidarity in the theatre world and belongs to Initiative für Solidarität am Theater (ISaT) and The Magdalena Project (Network of Women in Contemporary Theatre). She is also a founding member of Metoo Asians e.V., an association that fights against sexism and racism in German society.
Avrina Prabala-Joslin (India) is a queer south-Indian writer, who works with spoken-word, storytelling and other forms of narrative practices rooted in the body. She uses storytelling to remember and reclaim, and often thinks about the many narratives that have fallen victim to erasure. A related project is Asking the Archives, that she’s currently undertaking with a small team of writers at the Literaturhaus Berlin. She's lived in different cities in India, England, Romania, Italy and Germany. Traces of these lives can be seen in her work. Her short story The Plumagewas shortlisted for the Berlin Writing Prize 2019 and she is a runner-up for the Radical Art Review Creative Writing Contest 2021. Besides writing, she studies feminist cultural memory and Black British identity for her PhD and teaches at the University of Leipzig.
Michiyasu Furutani (Japan) is a choreographer, performer, and dancer whose work and expression grow from Butoh technique and practice. In the process of continual research, he has developed his vocabulary of movement to encompass improvisation and a variety of modern and classical dance techniques forming necessity, possibility, and contingency. Furutani frequently collaborates with diverse art disciplines to broaden the communicational passage and constantly investigates unforeseen modes of expression and movement. His interest is how bodies and objects are adapted to gravity and arrange these matters to destabilize places, supported by physical movements with scientific research.
Nine Yamamoto-Masson (Japan-France) is a practising theorist, researcher, translator, and community organiser. Her work examines and mobilises historical memory, ideology, resistance and counter-narratives at the site of their encounter with art, and discusses radical creative imagination as a critical forum and method of resistance towards social equity and justice. Using a decolonial intersectional feminist framework, she examines configurations of power, prejudice, violence, representation in everyday life and analyses the necro-geopolitics our bodies and existence are entangled within. In Berlin she works with self-organised migrant-led grassroots groups that fight racism, fascism, gender-based-discrimination.
Thủy-Tiên Nguyễn (Germany) is a queer Asian German and Viet-German. She is an activist, physical theatre artist, choreographer, dance theatre pedagogue and political educator who works in performing arts, in cultural and political education, in youth work and community work. She has participated in several plays as a theatre actress and performer and is experimenting with different performative elements such as movements, sound, spoken language, music, visuals, acting. In her work she particularly deals with the topics anti-racism, anti-Asian racism, queermisia and classism. Also, she offers (dance) theatre workshops on anti-racism and empowerment, gives lectures and workshops on anti-Asian racism, e.g. for universities and organizations as well as works in a consulting collective giving advice on media content on sensitivity of discrimination and intersectionality.
Wang Ping-Hsiang (Taiwan) is a director, performer, and dramaturg. He studied directing at the Taipei National University of the Arts, where he graduated in 2013. In recent years, he has worked with several international theatre companies, including Agrupación Señor Serrano, Rimini Protokoll, ArtKB 48 and cmd+c company. Ping-Hsiang’s signature aesthetic is honed on the transference of normal daily landscapes into fantastic digital realities. He views theatre as a perceptual vehicle for enabling new means of communication, and combines multiple performative elements using text, spoken language, sound, movement, live streaming video, objects, and scenography. His work posits narrative as a full sensory experience.
Tien Yi-Wei (Taiwan) is a performance-based artist who is currently based in Berlin and Taipei. In addition to performance work, she also participates in theatrical performances, theatrical body guidance, film and video dance performances and choreography. During her stay in Europe, after working and meeting different artists and performers, she began to pay attention to the synthetic relationship between body and visual art and transformed into her own language in different forms of performance.
Shen Sum Sum
Shen Sum-Sum (Taiwan) is a sound-designer and recordist based in Berlin. She works on film productions and occasionally extends her practices into the field of sound installation and performances. Her sound designing works were selected in international film festivals in places such as Taiwan, Brazil, and was also shown in Berlinale 2018 and 2019.