Expiry Dates are something we encounter in our daily lives but take little notice of. This project aims to discuss the idea of loss through exploring the notion of “Expiry Dates”. What does this expiry mean to us? When we stamp on an expiry date or seek an expiry date in our lives, what exactly are we looking for?
- What does the expiry date mean to the individual?
- What narratives can a “date” inspire?
- How are these narratives related to one another?
- How does the concept of “preservation” link to expiry dates?
The issue to be focused on will be the loss of Traditional Asian Theatre forms in contemporary society. Possible traditional Asian theatre forms to be explored are, but not limited to:
- Chinese Opera
- Japanese Noh Theatre
- Kabuki Theatre
How is contemporary society’s reception of traditional Asian theatre forms? With many Asian countries facing an ageing population, these traditional art forms face an impending “expiry”. What are these practitioners doing to reconnect these forms with contemporary society? Will these art forms be completely lost one day? How does technology affect the preservation of the traditional theatre forms? Were any of these theatre forms specific to a particular area or religion in Singapore?
During the final presentation on 25 April 2018, I talked about wanting to find narratives of individuals in society and connecting them with the idea of “expiry dates”. However, I realised that it was a very broad scope and I needed to narrow it down further. I think that it is important for me to narrow down and be as concise as I can with my project so that I can better develop the project.
While preparing for the presentation, I did some field research by speaking to individuals about their concept of expiry dates (contact me for more information). I also visited a few exhibitions locally to find out more about how I can take this idea further.
One of the exhibits I visited recently was Lucy Davis’ Migrant Ecologies Project, held at Tanglin Halt. I think it was really informative and helped me better connect with the community there. Prior to my visit, I was stressing over how I should present my works and it did not help with conceptualising my project. The visit also connected me with some of ADM’s alumni members. I feel that at this stage, it is more important to plan the development of the project.
I feel that the Gantt chart I created for the first phase of my FYP can still be applicable to this new direction I am moving towards. The visits to the various exhibitions and artists’ talks during the semester has helped me realise that passion for a project is really crucial. Although I was ambitious and wanted to work with as many groups of people as I could, I feel that it is also important to be realistic and not be too greedy. For this, I have contacted a few theatre practitioners and will be contacting a few more to ask if they would be interested in my project. I will then be conducting in-depth research through interviews and workshops with these groups of people.
I will also be conducting lab sessions in collaboration with a local theatre company during the summer break to find out how interactive media can help with bringing more awareness and understanding towards traditional Asian theatre forms.
Moving on, I will be researching on public art and level of site-specificity this project could be brought to. For example, how did these traditional theatre art forms arrive in Singapore and which areas in Singapore was known to hold these performances for the members of public. There are three forms of traditional theatre forms I wish to research on in Singapore:
- Chinese Opera
I have previously contacted and had lessons with some of these practitioners, thus I feel that this would be a good direction to work towards.
Outcome of the Project
As I have mentioned, I wish to find out how I can work on interactive site-specific works in the community. I also want to explore this with the people I am planning to work with so that the process will be a more organic one. I do not want to force the outcome of my project onto the people I will be working with.