insomnia / Song Shan Culture Park / Taipei, Taiwan / December 21-24, 2017
1:00AM. It’s the same city as during our normal waking hours, the same architecture, the same streets, but somehow, in these early morning hours, it changes. Or we change. Our senses are heightened, our eyes perceive and process light differently, noises are amplified… and the normal cast of characters that we encounter during the normal waking hours also change. The businessmen shuffling to work and children rushing to school are replaced by nightshift workers and late night revelers, the club music and street cleaners adding a different soundtrack to our familiar cityscape. Staged at the Song Shan Culture Park at 1:00AM, “insomnia” is a lullaby for those who lie awake at night, a potion for dreaming with your eyes open.
the first time I walked on the moon / Taipei International Festival of Art / Taiwan National Experimental Theatre / March 8-11, 2018
We have all seen the images of Neil Armstrong’s historic first step onto the surface of the moon on July 21, 1969 that was broadcast around the world on live television. Set against the backdrop of martial law in Taiwan, the Vietnam War, and social and political unrest around the world, this trip to the moon was a heroic statement that even though we were mired in violence and self-inflicted horrors, we could elevate ourselves out of these nightmares and aspire for the heavens. We could escape the mess of life on earth and dream about new possibilities and new frontiers. If man could really travel almost 240,000 miles and return safely to tell his tales, what else could we accomplish? Of course, most of us no longer dream about walking on the moon. We are caught up in the pragmatics of everyday life, in paying our bills or finding a job or trying to work through difficult times with our loved ones. We tend to lose our ability to dream. It is not just gravity that keeps us bound to the earth; it is the weight of responsibilities, of life. the first time I walked on the moon is a celebration of the wonder of possibility, an embracing of our childhood ability to imagine the unimaginable. It is a performance that encourages us to step out of the shadows and reach for the heavens, to take that first step and walk on the moon…
ventriloquism / Taipei Museum of Contemporary Art / March 27-31, 2018
We are drawn to the magical possibility of ventriloquism, to that instant when an inanimate piece of wood and cloth opens its eyes and speaks. It both appeals to us and horrifies us; if that collection of wood and cloth can speak, what about the rest of the infinite number of objects that surround us? When will they, too, stir from their slumber? It is this uneasy blurring of fear and fantasy that fascinates us when the bus comes to life in Miyazaki’s My Neighbor Totoro and the teapot speaks in Beauty and the Beast. It is this magical departure from the scientific laws of nature that momentarily liberates us… If the boundary between the living and the dead is fluid, what other “truths” are not set in stone? Can I move to a new city and start a new life? Lift my feet from the ground and ascend to the heavens? Disappear? Staged as a performance for an audience of one, ventriloquism explores this magical space between fact and fiction, dream and reality.