DANCING TO UTOPIA
Four visual artist, four choreographers and 20 dancers from 20 countries met in Warsaw for a creative exchange through dance. Chia Ming Chien was there to observe and discovered a dance beyond dance.
How do opinionated strangers, from cultures as disparate as Indonesia and Estonia, come to understand and respect each other? What occurred during an eight-day dance workshop in Warsaw was cross-cultural alchemy where stereotypes were dissolved to produce laughter, friendship and a dance in which cultural boundaries became invisible. Clearly visible was the message that differences need not result in conflict; conflict leads to understanding, that differences delight; and a shared vision is far more crucial an ingredient than shared ideas in the process of co-creation.
The concept behind the Asia-Europe Foundation’s Fourth Dance Forum, Pointe to Pointe, was simple enough: invite four choreographers to study the work of four visual artists and produce a dance performance based on their interpreation of the artists’ work. (To read on, click: Dancing to Utopia)
Twenty DJs from 16 European and Asian countries gathered in Beijing for a weeklong DJ camp to meet, exchange tricks and personal experiences, explore, network and perform. Chia Ming Chien reports on this migration of sounds.
Party, dance and entertain every night for a whole week these 20 DJs did, but as I discovered at the I’mPULSE Beijing DN Music Camp, there’s a lot more to being a DJ than clubbing, spinning, scratching and mixing records or CDs. For serious DJs, life encompasses more than the mere craft of playing records or CDs for a crowd of dancers. Many DJs, like those who gathered in Beijing, are musicians and artists in every sense of the word: their instruments are vinyl, turntables, mixing machines and laptops. And their art form is mixing sounds and remixing tunes to produce music that moves people to dance; to sculpture an experience in a live audience, in the moment.
These DJs were highly conceptual, intellectual and talking to them off stage about their music was no different than, say, talking to a jazz composer or a philosopher.
(To read on, click: Sound Migration)
COMIC BOOK PERSPECTIVES
European and Asian comic artists gathered in Singapore to collaborate on a comic book about migration. Chia Ming Chien reports.
Migration – both within and across broders - has become one of the most powerful socio-political forces shaping our globalised world, raising both opportunities and challenges for societies everywhere. And how better to communicatae these serious issues to a mass audience than through a comic book, via an art form readily understood across cultures?
To achieve this, the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) gathered 12 established comic artists, six from Europe and six from Asia, for two weeks of intensive brainstorming sessions and workshops to explore the topic of migration and come up with a book.
Comics are a wonderful medium for story telling. They are reader-friendly, entertaining and, as importantly, accessible to a young audience. Taken to an art form, comics can communicate sensitive, even complex issues with cogency, emotion and clarity, and accomplish all this with disarming ease because the medium can lend itself to satirical, dark or witty humour. (To read on click: Comic Book Perspectives)