Centre 42 Black Box
Southernmost arose out of a vision to revolutionize how theatre is performed, perceived and structured. With a unique focus on Southeast Asia, Southernmost sought to create new modes of production, critical thinking, practitioner training and communications within an experimental framework of no-fixed rules or parameters to bring about new symbiotic relationships and creativity growing out of collaborative efforts and the process of self-reflection.
From cross-cultural to inter-cultural, Southernmost has blurred the lines between performing arts disciplines, cultural heterogeneity, language, political and gender constructs. Coming into the third year of its being, Southernmost is now at the end of its three-year phase one of development. But this end also heralds new beginnings and opportunities.
As with any performance, different actors play roles that converge, intersect and diverge, creating meanings through deliberate and unexpected exchanges and interactions. With the forum ‘Mapping Southernmost: From Cross-Cultural to Inter-Cultural and why it all Matters’, Southernmost embarks on its most contemplative exercise to-date, inviting participants and interest-parties past, present and future, to dissect, review, and even criticize Southernmost. The objectives are two-folds: to initiate a discussion on the future of Southernmost, and; to stimulate critical thinking and crowd-source ideas for purposeful forms of sustainable inter-cultural exchanges.
Date and Time:
9 Nov 2019, Saturday, 3-5pm
(Registration from 2.30pm)
Black Box, Centre 42
$12 at the door
Free for Festival pass holders (registration required)
$6 special tickets for arts students and arts managers/researchers and cultural workers
(limited tickets, to pm to ES on facebook)
Speakers will prepare to discuss based on the assigned topics(questions), after that other speakers are welcome to further comment on the questions or answers.
Han Minli, Moderator and commentator
Cultural observer, entrepreneur and independent researcher, Minli is the founder and director of Filmgarde, an independent cinema chain in Singapore, and other hospitality businesses. She is a firm advocate and supporter of the arts and education. In addition to advising on various international cultural initiatives and programmes, she is currently serving as a Board Member at several arts organizations such as the Singapore International Film Festival, the Asian Film Archives, and experimental theatre group Emergency Stairs. In her personal capacity, she is pursuing her Ph. D in Cultural Studies in Asia.
Danny Yung, Artistic Advisor
An experimental art pioneer, the most influential artist and cultural practitioner in Hong Kong. Over the past 40 years, Yung has been actively involved in multifarious fields of the arts, including creations in theatre, cartoon, film, video, visual and installation art projects, and curated various international conferences as well as founded a number of cultural networks and institutions, that have reached over 50 cities around the globe.
Yung has received a number of awards and prizes, some of them are –
The recipient of The Hong Kong Arts Development Awards 2015 Artist of the Year (Drama) presented by Hong Kong Arts Development Council (2016)
The laureate of The Fukuoka Prize – Arts and Culture Prize for his contributions to the development of Asian arts and culture (2014)
The recipient of The Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in recognition of his contributions towards the arts and cultural exchange between Germany and Hong Kong (2009)
The recipient of The Music Theatre NOW Award presented by the UNESCO’s International Theatre Institute for his theatre work Tears of Barren Hill (2008)
Didik Nini Thowok, Speaker
Didik Nini Thowok is a Classical Javanese dancer and choreographer.
Born in Central Java, Didik graduated from the Indonesian Institute of the Arts, Yogyakarta (former ASTI Yogyakarta). He is now one of the very few artists who continues the long tradition of “cross-gender” dance performance. Didik has performed around the world and is renowned for combining classical, folk, modern and comedic dance forms in his works. He continues to refine and develop his art by working and teaching to become a multi-talented and professional artist, particularly in dancing.
Daniel Teo, Speaker
Daniel Teo is the Research and Documentation Executive at theatre development space Centre 42. One of his key duties at Centre 42 is to document Singapore theatre – its history through the Centre’s digital archive The Repository, and the creative processes of new works developed in the Centre's incubation and residency programmes. Outside the Centre, he can most likely be found watching in theatres watching the latest local productions, and documents his audience experiences on Instagram under the hashtags #dantheatre2019 and #dantheatre2018.
Pawit Mahasarinand, Speaker
A Fulbrighter and an Asian Cultural Council (ACC) fellow, Pawit was most recently the director of Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC), an independently run multi-disciplinary arts centre and the hub of BIPAM, Bangkok Theatre Festival (BTF) and Bangkok Art Biennale (BAB).
Previously, he ran Sodsai Pantoomkomol Centre for Dramatic Arts, presenting and producing contemporary dance and theatre performances, workshops and lectures by artists from several countries and disciplines, including Pichet Klunchun and Myself, Democrazy Theatre Studio’s Happy Hunting Ground, Hamlet by Shakespeare’s Globe, Compagnie Non Nova’s P.P.P., Pascal Rambert’s Love’s End and A (Micro) History of World Economics (danced), Oriza Hirata’s Sayonara, Metamorphosis (Android Version) and Bangkok Notes and M.O.V.E. Theatre’s Kuang Qi.
The first president of the International Association of Theatre Critics’ (IATC) Thailand centre, Pawit was critic-in-residence at the Festival/Tokyo 2011, Asia Pacific Dance Festival 2015 and City Contemporary Dance Festival 2017. His articles can also be found in Greenwood Press’ Encyclopedia of Asian Theatre and Routledge Handbook of Asian Theatre. Awarded “chevalier de l’ordre des arts et des lettres” by France’s Ministry of Culture and Communication, he is currently a member of the Southeast Asia Advisory Committee (SEAAC) for Taiwan’s Ministry of Culture.
Jo Lim, Speaker
A graduate from the National University of Singapore’s Theatre Studies Programme, Jo has been an arts manager and theatre producer for the past decade. She completed her Masters’ degree in Arts and Cultural Management from Goldsmith, University of London in 2018, and presented her dissertation in the AIMAC arts and cultural management conference in Venice in 2019. Jo is also a recipient of the Singapore Toteboard overseas scholarship to Duke University.
She is one of the founding members of Emergency Stairs Ltd., a new experimental theatre outfit.
Low Sze Wee, Speaker
Trained as a lawyer, Sze Wee graduated with a Masters' degree in History of Art from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London in 1999. He returned to London as the first Singaporean to be selected as an International Fellow for the Clore Leadership Programme in 2013/14.
Trained in London and practising in Southeast Asia has provided Sze Wee with a keen transnational perspective. As the former Director (Curatorial, Collections and Education) of the National Gallery Singapore, Sze Wee was a key contributor to the conceptualization and development of the S$530m project. Before that, he was Deputy Director (Curatorial and Collections) at the Singapore Art Museum (SAM), and participated in the development of its new wing 8Q-SAM. At SAM, he also oversaw an important landmark donation of paintings by eminent Chinese artist Wu Guanzhong, the single largest art donation to Singapore. Sze Wee has been involved in many exhibitions abroad and in Singapore, including important retrospectives on Singapore artists, the Singapore pavilion at the 50th Venice Biennale (2003) and collaborative projects in China, Japan and Korea. Three of his exhibitions have garnered the National Heritage Board Exhibition Award in 2007, 2008 and 2009. Recent exhibitions he has co-curated include Wu Guanzhong: Beauty Beyond Form (2015) and Artist and
Empire: (En)countering Colonial Legacies (2016).
He has contributed many essays and lectures on Singapore and Southeast Asian art, and presented papers at international platforms in the United Kingdom, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, and Malaysia. In 2007, he was awarded the National Heritage Board Research Award for his contributions to scholarship on Singapore and Southeast Asian art history. In 2013, Low was the first Singaporean to be named a fellow of the prestigious Clore Leadership Programme.
Apart from being an award-winning curator with management experience, Sze Wee has also been involved in strategic arts planning and policy in Singapore’s Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts.
In his present role as CEO of the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre, he leads a team with the aim of promoting the development and greater appreciation of Singapore Chinese culture.
Liu Xiaoyi, Speaker
Xiaoyi is the founder and Artistic Director of Emergency Stairs. A committed practitioner with a desire to push artistic boundaries, Xiaoyi is considered a promising figure at the forefront of the experimental theatre scene in Asia. He was the recipient of “Young Artist Award” by the National Arts Council of Singapore in 2016.
In 2002, Xiaoyi started working professionally in theatre, which augured what was to become a deeply passionate and rigorous involvement with Singapore Theatre and the Arts. Over the past decade as a professional artist, he distinguished himself first and foremost as an accomplished actor. Now, Xiaoyi is considered one of the most acclaimed male actors from the Singapore theatre scene. Xiaoyi's passion and talent for words also revealed a gifted playwright with a deft sensibility for language. As a director, the cornerstones of his oft lauded but controversial work are unsurprisingly experimentation, introspection, and poetry. Xiaoyi’s works often polarize, drawing both praise and debate.
Since 2011, Xiaoyi has been particularly involved in the intercultural dialogue. Since 2017, he curates the annual Southernmost: One Table Two Chairs Project, a first-of-its-kind arts festival in Singapore. It seeks to bring prominent and established traditional and contemporary theatre artists from the region together at Singapore for intercultural exchange and presentation.
Shen Yili, Speaker
Shen Yili is a National Class One Performer and received the 28th Plum Blossom Award for Chinese Theatre. Amongst the 3rd batch of artists completing the Kunqu Performers’ Training Course, Shen holds an MFA degree conferred by the Shanghai Theatre Academy.
Specialising in guimendan roles, Shen is a protégé of Wang Yingzhi, and later received personal guidance and teaching from famous Kunqu Opera artists such as Zhang Jingxian, Zhang Xunpeng, Hua Wenyi, Zhang Jiqing, Shen Shihua, Wang Fengmei, Liang Guyin and Wang Zhiquan etc. She won the Leading Performer Award at the 11th Shanghai Magnolia Performing Arts Award. In 2009, she performed A Dream in the Peony Garden with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Shen also established “Yili School” and has held seminars on “Kunqu Opera” in higher education institutions, libraries and communities in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Europe and the US.
Felipe Cervera, Speaker
Felipe Cervera is a Lecturer of Theatre in the School of Dance and Theatre, LASALLE College of the Arts, and an Assistant Professor (status-only) in the Centre of Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, University of Toronto. His research interests are the interplays between theatre and performance theory with science and technology, as well as collaborative theatre-making and collaborative academia. He co-leads the Singapore-based theatre collective, The Art of Strangers, and serves as Associate Editor of Performance Research and Global Performance Studies.
Wang Lingjie, Co-ordinator
Lingjie is currently an undergraduate at the National University of Singapore, majoring in Economics and Statistics. His passion in theatre started during his secondary school days, and he has been active in the theatre scene since.
Lingjie is a student actor and director in his co-cocurricular activities. He was recently involved in a production put up by his residence hall in NUS.
Lingjie believes that his theatre experiences is useful for his other life pursuits and will continue to be involved in theatre.
Curator and Moderator
(Board Member - Emergency Stairs, Asian Film Archive, SGIFFFounder/Director – Filmgarde Cineplexes, Singapore)
(Artistic Director, Zuni Icosahedron, Hong Kong)
Didik Nini Thowok
(Classical Javanese Dance Artist, Founder/Director - LKP Tari Natya Lakshita Didik Nini Thowak,Yogyakarta)
(Research & Documentation Executive, Centre 42, Singapore)
(Dismissed Director of Bangkok Art and Culture Centre
and CEO, art4d, Bangkok)
(Arts Manager – Emergency Stairs, Singapore)
Low Sze Wee
(CEO, Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre, Singapore)
(Artistic Director, Emergency Stairs, Singapore)
(Kunqu Artist, National Class One Performer, Shanghai)
(Theatre Lecturer and Researcher, Lasalle College of the Arts, Singapore/Mexico)
2018 Open Forum
Ang Gey Pin (Singapore, Artist)
Beto Ruiz (Singapore, Arts Educator)
Corrie Tan (Singapore, Arts Critic)
Lim Wah Guan (USA, Arts Academic)
Liu Xiaoyi (Singapore, Artistic Director)
Max Yam (Singapore, Arts Critic)
Michael Earley (Singapore, Arts Educator)
Sufern Hoe (Singapore, Arts Academic)
Commentator: Danny Yung (Hong Kong, Artistic Director)
2017 Open Forum
Alvin Tan (Singapore, Artistic Director),
Alfian Sa'at (Singapore, Playwright),
Cedric Chan (Hong Kong, Arts Manager),
Corrie Tan (Singapore, Arts Critic),
Lim Wah Guan (USA, Arts Academic),
Jobina Tan (Singapore, Arts Manager)
Danny Yeo (Singapore, Artist)
Danny Yung (Hong Kong, Artistic Director)