CHINESE ARTS NOW (CAN) FESTIVAL 2019:

THE FIRST ARTS FESTIVAL of CONTEMPORARY BRITISH CHINESE ARTS ACROSS LONDON

Lion Dance | SIC Chinese New Year 2017

Lion Dance | SIC Chinese New Year 2017

Image by John Ragai

The festival, which runs from 19 January to 2 February 2019, is produced by Chinese Arts Now (CAN), the new Arts Council funded body working with Chinese artists, both British born and from the Chinese diaspora. CAN Festival will showcase a diverse range of art forms (music, drama, live art, dance, films, digital arts) with over 60 events across London. The festival presents high-quality contemporary and innovative Chinese arts and aims to raise the representation of Chinese artists in the UK.

CAN Artistic Director (concert pianist and theatre director), An-Ting Chang says ‘Chinese’ – what does this word mean to the London public? Lion dances, food and Beijing opera? These are wonderful traditions from China. However, the reality is that Chinese people have been moving forward in contemporary society like everyone else in the world. Chinese people are not just those people living in mainland China during the time of the Emperors or the Cultural Revolution. There are many contemporary Chinese stories which have not been told yet.

CAN Festival will present contemporary British Chinese stories and new works that fuse Chinese heritage and European culture in innovative ways. We are proud to work with a wide range of talented British Chinese artists and to give them a platform at some of the most prestigious arts venues in London.’

Highlights of the CAN Festival -

CITIZENS OF NOWHERE? challenges the stereotypes of Chinese people in contemporary society and questions what ‘foreign’ means in the post-Brexit period. Written by award-winning writer, Ming Ho, and directed by David Jiang, this intimate performance by actors seated among the audience is experienced through headphones, as if eavesdropping on a family’s conversation. Tickets include dim sum and refreshments courtesy of Duddell’s London Bridge (the first Duddell’s in Hong Kong is a highly regarded arts space and Michelin starred restaurant).

LSO ECLECTICA: EAST MEETS WEST presents a string quartet from the London Symphony Orchestra and a traditional Chinese string quartet with a mixture of European and Chinese repertoires at LSO St Luke’s. The programme will show the influence of the two cultures on each other’s musical languages, and culminate in an octet combining the two groups composed by British Chinese composer, Keting Sun especially for this event.

BOUNCE BEAT is a concert presenting live ping pong percussion with a piano trio (piano, clarinet and cello) as part of Southbank Centre’s Soundstate Festival. The concert features two table tennis players trained in the province leagues in China, and five British Chinese composers: Nicola Chang, Angelus Marr, Raymond Yiu, Alex Ho and An-Ting Chang.

LAO CAN IMPRESSION is a fusion of concert and theatre directed by CAN Artistic Director, An-Ting Chang. Three musicians highlight the eastern influences in Debussy’s music while two actors tell Liu’s story about westernisation in China in the 1900s. After a sell-out run at the National Theatre of Taiwan, this unique production will have its London premiere at Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room.

NEITHER HERE NOR THERE is a theatre experience at Artsadmin and Chinese Community Centre by Jo Fong & Sonia Hughes, which is told through a series of conversations between audiences. The work explores a sense of belonging as intimate and powerful, connected, optimistic, unknown and curious making, and will challenge audiences’ perception about what community is.  

GHOST GIRL // GWEI MUI 鬼妹 Born to Cantonese parents but fostered and raised by a white British family, theatre director Jennifer Tang’s new show at Camden People’s Theatre asks what it really means to be British Chinese in contemporary England, and whether we can ever truly accept our own personal identities.

LOVE SONGS Alissa Anne Jeun Yi’s company Trip Hazards has been chosen by The Guardian as one of ’five of the UK's best young theatre companies’. Love Songs at Camden People’s Theatre mixes get-on-the-dance-floor music, rap and spoken word; exploring the personal and political puzzles of our lives through the autobiographical poems of a hopeless romantic.

RED INK is a dance theatre work by exciting young choreographer Si Rawlinson through his company Wayward Thread. An international cast of male dancers embody the struggle between the desires of a state and its citizens. Bodies fly and ink runs…An artful and pulse-quickening mix of break/hip hop and contemporary dance.

GLOBAL SOUNDSCAPES/ TANGRAM: YANGQIN TRIO is a double-bill concert at LSO St Luke’s presenting experimental classical music and avant-garde styles applied to traditional Chinese instruments. The renowned pianist, Belle Chen (London Music Award), integrates classical music, soundscapes, electronics, and improvisation to recreate locations from around the world. Tangram are a new trio, composed of Reylon Yount (Yangqin in Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble), Beibei Wang (percussion), and Daniel Shao (flute). Their performance, featuring new compositions by Alex Ho questions conventional conceptions of “Chinese” and “Western”. The trio open a window into the space that exists beyond those definitions through this concert.

There will be 62 events during the 15 days across London, celebrating the contemporary and innovative Chinese culture.

Website: chineseartsnow.org.uk

Twitter: twitter.com/chineseartsnow

Facebook: facebook.com/chineseartsnow/                                                                                                                 

Notes:

Chinese Arts Now (CAN) is the first National Portfolio Organisation awarded by Arts Council England to produce high quality Chinese art which reflects Chinese stories and elements in contemporary and innovative ways.


Originally founded in 2005 as Chinese/Chinatown Arts Space, CAN has built an extensive network of partner organisations interested in Chinese talent, for example Southbank Centre, Linbury Studio, Tamasha, Yellow Earth, Dance Umbrella, The Place, PRS Foundation, Asia House and Chopsticks Club.

CAN commissions and develops contemporary British Chinese performing and visual artists, and creates a bridge for collaborations with artists of Chinese and East Asian origin.

An-Ting Chang is Artistic Director of Chinese Arts Now, Founder and Artistic Director of Concert Theatre, a concert pianist and director. She regularly appears on the national and international concert circuit and has been featured on many radio programmes, including BBC Radio 3’s ‘In Tune’. In 2012 Chang created Concert Theatre, an emerging company pioneering a new hybrid genre interweaving classical music and drama.

Her directing credits for Concert Theatre include Lao Can Impression (National Theatre Taiwan), The Tenant (UK tour including National Portrait Gallery, Holburne Museum Bath) and Kiss of the Earth (UK Tour); music directing credits include Wattle and Daub’s The Depraved Appetite of Tarrarre the Freak (Wilton’s Music Hall, Tobacco Factory Theatre).

British Chinese (BC) includes any person now living in the UK who is of Chinese descent, irrespective of their or their family’s country of birth. CAN’s use of ‘BC’ covers a wide, dynamic group of artists who identify with both the UK and their Chinese origins.

Duddell’s is a cultural and social destination created for people who have an active appreciation of the arts. Founded in 2013 by hospitality entrepreneur Yenn Wong, Duddell’s is neither museum nor gallery – it is a colourful backdrop against which ideas can be shared and developed, connecting art and people in a fresh new way.

Duddell’s London is the first of the celebrated restaurant and arts space concept to open outside of Hong Kong. As with its Michelin-starred Hong Kong counterpart,  Duddell’s London showcases authentic Cantonese cuisine and hand-crafted dim sum, using only the freshest, high quality ingredients.

Duddell’s London is situated at the historic site of St. Thomas Church. Award-winning architects Michaelis Boyd were commissioned to restore the interiors of the building, one of the finest examples of Queen Ann architecture. Their design for Duddell’s London was inspired by the traditional 1960’s Hong Kong tea restaurant, making use of colour and pattern to create a retro space with a contemporary twist, while respecting the traditional architecture and fabric of the listed building.

CHINESE VISUAL FESTIVAL

Chinese Visual Festival (CVF) is a leading cultural event showcasing the very best in contemporary cinema and art from around the Chinese language speaking world. Featuring documentaries, fiction and experimental art from Mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Tibet and beyond, CVF brings audiences a carefully curated selection of the most cutting-edge and challenging works from new and established artists and directors alike.

Chinesevisualfestival.org

Twitter: @CVF_London

Facebook: Chinese Visual Festival  

Hashtag: #ChineseVisualFest

FILMING EAST

Founded in 2007 and sponsored by the UK Film Council, the first Filming East Festival took place in Oxford, England. The Lord Mayor of Oxford opened the festival, and Ms Yixi Sun was appointed as the festival director. In 2009, the Filming East Festival partnered with the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) and co-presented the “Focus on China” programme of film premieres and forum discussions.

Since 2012, the Filming East Festival has become a long-term partner of the British Film Institute (BFI), raising awareness of Chinese cinema to the British and international audiences.

Website: www.filmingeast.com

 

Facebook: @FilmingEastFestival


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