On the Couch with Victoria Chen

Victoria-Chen-by-Wolf-MarlohWho is Victoria Chen?
Theatre-maker with an essential desire to spread love, investigate the truth, and offer meaningful interactions filled with happiness, connection and clarity in the human experience. Also an Associate Artist of Bhumi Collective and creator of Charlie, which is being presented digitally at the Melbourne Fringe this year!

What would you do differently from what you do now?
I think about how I can do things differently all the time, and I always conclude that I’m so thrilled to be on my current path. Right now I’m thinking of how I can innovate new ways of connecting humans and strengthening the social fabric. It’s a step towards a goal I have but also a step away from what I’m used to.

Who inspires you and why?
Right now, young people are my biggest inspiration. The ones refusing to be limited by their age and speaking up against injustice. The ones who are brimming with potential and need a little polishing to flourish. The ones that elevate and empower the people around them. Everything I’m doing now is underpinned with the hope that I am strengthening foundations and holding doors open for the people that come after me.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Drown the world in kindness. Even one person at a time. Through my artistic practice, I hope to reach deep understanding of human behaviour, social systems and the environment so as to cultivate new connections and relationships.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Anywhere with great food and a rich history and I’m on my way! I am a city girl and love urban environments, but two of the most memorable travel experiences have been visiting the Grand Canyon and observing the Aurora borealis along the Iceland shoreline.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
Is this for Singapore or Melbourne? If it’s Singapore… I’d take them walking down the promontory. (Is that what it’s called?) We have a gorgeous cityscape and a unique heritage and I’m extremely proud to show this part of my hometown to anyone who visits!

What are you currently reading?
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes. It’s about a man who is the subject of a lab experiment. Purely coincidental that it’s resonating with what I’m doing right now, but it’s an engaging read!

What are you currently listening to?
There’s a lot of noise in the world right now and sometimes it feels like music or podcasts add on to that cacophony. Can I be corny and say I’m listening to my gut? I want to understand what that quiet voice is trying to tell me.

Happiness is?
Not the destination but a part of the journey. Or a giant bowl of soup udon.

What does the future hold for you?
I’m currently fascinated with notions of an impending apocalypse but hope it never comes to that. But on a more tangible note, I’m really stoked to make my directorial debut with Wild Rice Theatre! It’s also the Singaporean premiere of Mike Bartlett’s Bull. And beyond that I’m really looking forward to working internationally again.

Victoria stars as Charlie in Bhumi Collective’s presentation of Charlie – currently playing as part of the Melbourne Fringe Digital Program until 28 November 2020. For more information, visit: www.melbournefringe.com.au for details.

Image: Victoria Chen – photo by Wolf Marloh