OzAsia Festival appoints Annette Shun Wah as new Artistic Director

OzAsia Festival Annette Shun Wah - photo by Brian GeachThe Adelaide Festival Centre has announced the appointment of Annette Shun Wah as Artistic Director of the 2021 OzAsia Festival, providing a fresh lens on Australia’s leading contemporary arts festival engaging with Asia.

Ms Shun Wah is a freelance actor, writer and broadcaster and since 2013 has served as Executive Producer of Contemporary Asian Australian Performance – a non-profit organisation promoting cultural diversity through cross-artform theatrical works.

“There has never been a more relevant time to engage the Australian community around the importance of unity, cultural understanding and tolerance through creative collaboration,” said Adelaide Festival Centre CEO & Artistic Director, Douglas Gautier AM. “We are thrilled to welcome Annette Shun Wah on board and look forward to her online talk series later this year and an even bigger and better OzAsia Festival in 2021.”

In light of the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency, OzAsia Festival cannot proceed with ticketed performances and public events this year. However, to ensure an ongoing presence of this popular festival in 2020, Ms Shun Wah will deliver a series of online discussions and interviews at the end of this year, focussed on the importance of Australia’s continued engagement with Asia and the arts.

“Having enjoyed a long association with OzAsia Festival over many years, I’m thrilled to be joining the team at this critical and dynamic moment in the relationship between Australia and Asia,” said Ms Shun Wah.

“Although we cannot present a full program in 2020, our online series will be a platform to engage patrons, industry and leading thinkers on exciting and essential ways to explore the connections between Asia and Australia, especially through contemporary Asian Australian artists.”

“I’m looking forward to leading the next evolution of this very important festival, and I can’t wait to program a fresh, surprising and deeply relevant OzAsia Festival 2021,” said Ms Shun Wah.

Adelaide Festival Centre’s OzAsia Festival 2020 was set to take place from 22 October to 8 November, with its 14th program showcasing the best theatre, dance, music, visual arts, literature, film, food and cultural events from across Asia and Australia. Events set to return in 2021 include OzAsia Festival’s Moon Lantern Parade, the iconic Jaipur Literature Festival satellite event and Lucky Dumpling Market.

“OzAsia Festival is a fixture in Adelaide’s cultural calendar and continuity is important,” said Adelaide Festival Centre Trust Chairman Michael Abbott AO QC. “Even when present circumstances mean some of the festival’s traditional events can’t take place this year, the new Artistic Director will keep audiences connected and involved and continue the celebration of Asian and Australian creativity.”

For more information about the OzAsia Festival, visit: www.ozasiafestival.com.au for details.

Image: Annette Shun Wah – photo by Brian Geach