performance - spoken word, live painting, soundscapes, crossmedia



My Poor Marat (1965) Aleksei Nikolaevitch Arbuzov
Performance scheduled July 2013

With this my first stage design for theatre, I am working with director Liang Dandan on a Russian realist play, "My Poor Marat" by Aleksei Arbuzov. The concept is to use a soma game cube as set pieces. Simple, playful, as a way to extend a realism work into the realm of the abstract...but hopefully not take it too far.

A number of elements come into play. We collapsed the bleacher seats and place the audience on floor level in a round, this to disturb the traditional 'lecture-student' arrangement of formal theatre. here there is no fourth wall, in fact there are no walls at all.

The soma game cube, as imagined, abstractifies the set. What better counterpoint to realism than cubism? But we add a few objects and textiles to accent the imaginary. Though the actors will not move the cube pieces themselves, stagehands will rearrange the set periodically.

RGB - DMX lights. Just to be punk, and because we have them on hand, we are using these fancy DMX color mixing lights. Noone yet has been interested in this technology for lighting their shows at Penghao, many stating that the color is 'un-natural.' It is my feeling, however, that these people are simply rejecting a 'new' technology simply because they do not understand it or how to use it. Anyhow, isn't everything in the theatre, un-natural? It's a play.

Part of the reason I am working in theatre is the possibility to try different things, and Linda Lai is always in my head, reminding me that art must be to push the boundaries, break new ground, not just be beautiful. OK, this isn't really groundbreaking, but we like it: game cube as an abstract set for a realist work, let's play!

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Journey Festival Dec 2012
I created a Video Projection and Audio Mix for the opening performance, Liang Dandan, Wang Daifu, Danny Yeung and others. I monitored the audio recording the lectures and discussions for this week-long series, and I baked cake!

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True Jade Lounge 2010-2013
This regular event has been a feature at Penghao Theatre since Nov 2010, developed together with my wife Liang Dandan. We initiated this alternative form of script- and poetry reading, spoken word performance, in order to break with the formal speaker-listener paradigm. I mix electronic music, ambient noise, field recordings and experimental music together with microphone technik to create a live, dynamic soundscape. Listeners are encouraged to read, write and share poetry and prose in the cafe space, a less formal and more comfortable arena to exercise ones voice. Using the different cafe areas and DMX RGB lighting and controlling the sound environment, each event is unique, the tone and direction set largely by the audience.

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Journey Between Worlds is a futurist monologue performance which blends oral storytelling, digital soundscape and live ink painting into a rich crossmedia theatre event.

Max Willis relates a journey from the Sonora Desert of Arizona in the United States to the jungles of Yucatan, Mexico, passing beyond the scientific world, through ancient shamanic practices, weaving a path between psycho-spiritual dimensions. On this journey the audience follows a cosmic map which marks the links between a family history, an anarchist subculture, the modern world of the traveler and the spiritual world of his ancient ancestors, investigating the voyage of mankind, on the earth and beneath the sky.

This monologue has multifaceted technological underpinnings, however, the central element is oral storytelling, an individual relating, in person, ideas and events. Sound-scapes, field recordings, minimal electronic music and digital effects provide emotional immersion to the narrative, and live ink painting relayed by video offers a visual perspective. 'Journey Between Worlds' is presented in ambisonics surround sound and the artist creates a virtual environment using digital and analogue audio, interaction programming and computer-human interface elements.

I am is a live ambisonics sound-space and spoken word performance,
with video. It's got everything, an is an example of the direction which my media art took during my MFA study.

Self-reflexive documentary, ambisonics surround sound, field recordings and videography,
and oral storytelling.
This work also follows back to my traditional arts, ink on paper.
My best media artworks have never really escape the life of hands-on art.


Preparing the video for the performance.