Malthouse Theatre announces collaboration with Wang Chong

Wang Chong and Matthew Lutton photo by Jane RobertsWith a history of ground-breaking international collaborations and tours, Malthouse Theatre will continue this tradition in 2017 through an international collaboration with experimental Chinese theatre maker, Wang Chong.

“Renowned for leading experimental, radical theatre in China, Chong’s work is ambitious and provocative – both artistically and politically,” said Matthew Lutton, Artistic Director, Malthouse Theatre.

“Inviting Chong to create a new work with Malthouse Theatre will deepen our cultural engagement with the region, creating new peer to peer networks for artists internationally, as well as making theatre that will speak to audiences in both Australia and Asia alike.”

Founder of the world-renowned Théâtre du Rêve Expérimental, Chong’s work is characterised by radical interpretations of classic Western plays and the use of cutting-edge digital technology. Slated for Malthouse Theatre’s 2017 season, the new collaboration will explore the unique geopolitical relationship between China and Australia and Chong will work closely with local Victorian artists, performers and practitioners.

The project builds on the foundation set by Malthouse Theatre’s The Good Person of Szechuan – a collaboration with the National Theatre of China, which toured to the Beijing International Theatre Festival and Shanghai International Art Festival in 2014, playing to audience of over 4,000 – and the 2016 production, Approximate Translation – an exploration of the nuances that can be lost in translation by Australian-Chinese theatre-maker Felix Ching Ching Ho.

The project has been supported by the Victorian Government through a $50,000 Creative Victoria Asia Engagement grant. Chong recently met Premier Daniel Andrews in Beijing and was present at the signing of the Victorian Government’s five-year cultural agreement with China which will pave the way for further collaborations of this nature.

Wang Chong is the founder and Artistic Director of Beijing-based performance group Théâtre du Rêve Experimental – a leading force of Chinese experimental theatre, established in 2008. In 2012 he started the Chinese New Wave Theater Movement by presenting a series of new performances with innovative use of live video and sound.

Chong’s works have been invited to festivals in 12 countries, including: Taipei Arts Festival, Singapore International Festival of Arts, Adelaide OzAsia Festival, Rotterdam Festival de Keuze, and Oslo International Ibsen Festival. His productions include: The Warfare of Landmine 2.0 – winning the 2013 Festival/Tokyo Award; Thunderstorm 2.0 and Ibsen in One Take.

He is noted by The Beijing News as Experimental Artist of Year 2012, and he received an Asian Cultural Council Fellowship in 2012 and Han Suyin Award for Young Translators in 2007.

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Image: Wang Chong with Matthew Lutton – photo by Jane Roberts