The 2020 PLAY ARTS Festival is organized by the Taiwan Contemporary Culture Lab (C-LAB). With “games” and “gatherings” as its cores, this joyful and friendly event starts from performing arts, creating an art venue for public participation. Since 2018, C-LAB has held this festival at the end of every summer. Following the tearing-down of the outer walls this year, the third edition includes activities that extend from indoors to outdoors, providing chances for viewers and performers to meet each other initiatively, corresponding to the theme “Eye Contact – Transformation”.
2020 PLAY ARTS Festival curator LIN Hsin-Yi indicates that “play” is a unique interaction. It does not always come naturally: playing together requires courage and curiosity. There is first a process of sizing each other up, as questions like “Am I to coordinate with you?” or “Why did you become my partner?” is taken into consideration. Once “eye contact” is made with the other players, there is “transformation” and the game starts. The theme “Eye Contact – Transformation” was born from this process of “play”.
C-LAB Executive Director LAI Hsiang-Ling says that with the removal of the walls, C-LAB gave renewed thought to the distance and methods of audience-performer interactions during the planning of this year’s PLAY ARTS activities. Moreover, PLAY ARTS provides the opportunity for those who are unfamiliar with C-LAB to come close to and spend time in its park-like setting while enjoying wonderful games.
This year’s PLAY ARTS also builds on the interactions and energy accumulated from previous years. LIN invited numerous performing arts groups to work together to create outstanding exhibitions and performances. The (Beyond) Picnic and Concert opens this year’s festival, during which the music of Yujun WANG and Cicada fills the air. As people enjoy this concert and a picnic dinner, giant puppets manipulated by members of Puppet & Its Double Theater will also join them. People of all ages are welcomed to bring their artistic creativity to the Park Forts and Light and Shadow Installation as well.
Our Theatre organized the 5x5 Clash of Time, which brings together five traditional arts and five modern arts groups of different genres and styles, producing unique works that cross disciplines. In addition, Anarchy Dance Theatre presents the You Choreograph “C-LAB GAME” in which participants use their own cellphone and earphones to listen to instructions, adding dance moves to create a choreographed work jointly. Dance My Way, developed by choreographer LAI Szu-Ying and visual designer HO Mu-Yun, makes use of bright color blocks and playful patterns to invite the public to remap spaces through dance.
The cultural backgrounds and life experiences of participants have been taken into account in the design of artistic experiences for various age groups. For example, parents and children can spend quality time together in Reading Corner or Graffiti Space. They can also enjoy Storytime Under the Tree performances by the Sleep No Playground in the Banyan Tree Square. Moreover, Taiwan Sound Lab, in collaboration with the National Center for High-Performance Computing and the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra (NTSO), presents an AR audiobook adaptation of a classic children’s symphonic fairy tale, entitled Book of Sounds: Peter and the Wolf. On the other end of the age spectrum, creator TAO Wei-Chun curated the sound installation Never Too Old, collecting stories of C-LAB’s past from elderly participants. Their inspiring life histories have been transformed into a thought-provoking experiential exhibition, while a cross-generational workshop provides an imaginative co-creative space for young and old.
To bring PLAY ARTS to a close, Hsingho Co., Ltd. presents a thrilling contemporary acrobatics production Tíng-Koo-Ki Mad Skill Battle. Performers challenge one another, showing off their superb acrobatic and juggling skills and innovative styles. Audience members cast their votes to decide the winner.
The lawn in front of C-LAB’s Political Warfare Building is the main venue for 2020 PLAY ARTS Festival, where interesting, accessible and parallel connections are possible to be made. The accompanying market provides refreshments and recreation, among whose booths are plays and puppet shows waiting to be discovered! For more information and activities schedule, please visit the PLAY ARTS Website or Facebook fans page.