Culture Beat: Contemporary Theatre Biennale in Shenzhen
Published: Nov 27, 2023 10:43 PM
Promotional material for <em>Hamlet</em> Photo: Courtesy of Contemporary Theatre Biennale

Promotional material for Hamlet Photo: Courtesy of Contemporary Theatre Biennale

Contemporary Theatre Biennale in Shenzhen

The fourth Contemporary Theatre Biennale is ongoing in Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong Province. From November 24 to December 3, 12 theater works from six countries and regions around the world will be staged, present-ing avant-garde theater in dialogue with the contemporary world. 

Among them, nine Chinese and foreign dramas are being staged in urban spaces. Two drama master forums have invited artists and thinkers to engage in dialogue, while three drama experience workshops will invite visitors for a joyful experience in theaters. Two drama-themed exhibitions present music and images.

"The Contemporary Theatre Biennale is of great significance to us. It is not only a platform to showcase drama works, but also a platform for communication between artists and thinkers. We will witness the brilliance of drama and feel the power of drama here. At the same time, I also hope that we can share and discuss contemporary art through this platform and jointly promote the development of drama," artistic director Meng Jinghui said in a speech at the opening ceremony.

The opening show was Romeo and Juliet, staged by British director Ben Duke and the Lost Dog Dance Company. In a new twist, the play combined contemporary dance and dialogue to depict the midlife crisis of a model couple.

US creator and performer Peter Mark's Hamlet used a projection cube to create Hamlet's brain, and new and quirky creators showed their creativity, communicating with Shakespeare's classic play across space.

New exhibition from Chinese artist Bing Yi 

Bing Yi: The Eye of Chaos, which is set to run until February 25, 2024, in Beijing, is the third solo exhibition of artist Bing Yi in collaboration with Mozhai Gallery.

Bing Yi's artistic practice covers land and environmental art, site-specific architectural installation art, music and literary creations, ink painting, performance art and film production. 

This exhibition will showcase for the first time Bing's latest masterpiece based on her inferential archaeological methodology: a fascinating and thought-provoking grand narrative that is retold and reconstructed from a female perspective, containing the complex relationship between art and nature, literature, history and mores.

Bing's story revolves around two main series of works, which are the results of her exploration of the origin of ink landscape paintings over the past five years: The Eye of Chaos: Huanxi Palace series and Dream within Dream with-in Dream series. 

The former is an organic combination and development of Bing's land and environmental art practice and tradi-tional landscape painting, while the latter is an inferential archaeological reconstruction of the life of a fictional Northern Song female artist Hua and her life. 

Among them, The Eye of Chaos: Huanxi Palace is the first exhibition of Bing's Taihang series in China, and also the first time that her Taihang Temple concept has been fully presented. 

A smaller version of the installation was first unveiled at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 2022, curated by Hiromi Kinoshita, Chinese art curator and head of the East Asian Art Department.