Celebrating its 10th Anniversary, and featuring an impressive array of performances and visual arts by contemporary Asian artists, the 2016 OzAsia Festival kicks off tonight with a mix of free and ticketed events.
Over the 12 days, more than 280,000 people are expected to attend this year’s Festival in a program that features a far-reaching and diverse number of Asian countries including Japan, India, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Korea, Cambodia, United Kingdom, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Israel. Australian Arts Review takes a look at ten events that are worth checking out.
As If To Nothing
Dunstan Playhouse: 22 – 24 September
A sublime examination of modernity, unique rhythms and psychological tension, As If To Nothing features fourteen of Hong Kong’s best contemporary dancers who delve into a multimedia landscape of memory, déjà vu and sensory distortion. Technically brilliant, fast-paced high-octane action.
The Riverdeck: 22 September – 1 October
Grab your phone and friends for a fun interactive experience like no other. The Riverdeck will contain a special interactive street art installation designed by Indonesian artist Andres Busrianto and the team at Tutti which you can help create or simply take some fun photographs to post online. And nearby in the Riverside Precinct, discover a secret underground wonderland of temples. Inside each temple, you’ll discover performance art based around the theme of animals and iconography from South East Asia.
Moon Lantern Festival
Elder Park: Sunday 18 September
Australia’s largest lantern parade event returns along with the giant Hong Kong Dragon! Bring family and friends together to celebrate the traditional Moon Lantern Festival. Wander through Elder Park to look at lantern installations, try the local cuisine, participate in workshop activities and watch the community performances. After sunset, the famous lantern parade will make its way through the park accompanied by a live score from Hong Kong’s acclaimed musicians SIU2. The evening will finish with spectacular fireworks over the River Torrens.
Outdoor Concert Series
Elder Park: 21 September – 2 October
Partying to the beat of contemporary music from across Asia, Elder Park will come alive for ten nights featuring local and international artists each night including: Japan’s Kenta Hayashi; Indonesia’s Ega Robot, Eyuser and Ria Rhythm Chambers; India’s biggest cultural and musical export Raghu Dixit along with Pung Cholom. Hong Kong will be represented by Jin Wong, four-girl band GDJYB, Jabin Law and SIU2. Don’t miss super cool Singapore band The Steve McQueens and Charlie Lim and The Mothership; Taiwanese folk-band Wonfu, Freedom Beat X DJ Cheer and Fade to Blue; Korea’s We Dance and Danpyunsun and The Sailors. Australia’s Electric Fields and Ngaire, Malyasia’s Tenderfist and Cosmic Cambodia.
Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia: continues to 14 October
Hong Kong artist Kingsley Ng brings his eclectic oeuvre of digital magic to Adelaide for his first ever solo exhibition in Australia. Record Light features a selection of inter-disciplinary installations and digital art works from Ng including his highly acclaimed multi-channel video installation Galaxy Express. The exhibition creates a tender and moving counterpoint to the bright lights and sensory bombardment of modern day Hong Kong.
split flow & Holistic Strata
Dunstan Playhouse: 27 & 28 September
A blistering storm of frenetic pixels. An optical dancer plays with the duality of light. Cutting edge digital multimedia. Choreographer and dancer Hiroaki Umeda is one of the leading figures in Japan’s avant-garde art scene. Umeda’s two extraordinary performances, split flow & Holistic Strata have enthralled audiences the world over with his investigation into an exciting new dance vocabulary, blurring the boundaries between the physical dancer, light and sound.
Nexus Arts: 30 September – 1 October
Immerse yourself in a bold, subterranean universe of sound, pop culture, music and digital art as the Nexus Arts space transforms into a vibrant sonic temple. Through a hybrid mix of postmodern rock and thundering electronic beats, a special line-up of artists will guide you on a unique journey. Over two incredible nights, experience some of the most progressive experimental music from underground Asia alongside a handpicked selection of exceptional local talent including Joy & Sparks, North of X, Wedance, Phil Rogers, HH, Shao, Whai, zephyrROM, Sparkspitter and Eric the Falcon.
Space Theatre: 21 – 24 September
At the heart of 600 HIGHWAYMEN’s innovative performance style is an investigation of how a group of individuals can come together to witness and participate in a singular experience. The Record brings together 45 people from South Australia to create a live performance that captures the mortality of us all, and what it is to be breakable, magnificent and inescapably human.
Her Majesty’s Theatre: 29 September – 1 October
Acclaimed as the most performed drama in mainland China, this play by Meng Jinghui is a hilarious comedy about two dogs trekking to the big city to pursue their dreams of happiness and fulfilment. Their adventures are soon harshly thwarted by reality. Comedy and improvisation combined with a grunge/punk rock aesthetic create an absurd, yet thought-provoking performance challenging the lifestyles and idealist views of modern China.
Dunstan Playhouse: 30 September – 1 October
Piecing together select sequences from Vertigo’s 20 year history into a new full length dance work, choreographer Noa Wertheim crafts a delicate and beautiful performance by the full company ensemble, heightened by moments of wit and sadness with a hint of mysticism. Moving between realism and surrealism, Vertigo 20 conveys a hypnotic physicality that has been the hallmark of this world-renowned dance company from Israel.
The 2016 OzAsia Festival continues to 2 October. For more information and complete program, visit: www.ozasiafestival.com.au for details.
Image: OzAsia’s Moon Lantern Festival – courtesy of the Adelaide Festival Centre