At the heart of the PLAY ARTS Festival are games and gatherings. The Taiwan Contemporary Culture Lab (C-LAB) launched this festival in 2018. Since then, it has become a grand occasion taking place at summer’s end. This year, it enters its fifth edition and will be held from September 3 to September 4.
The theme of this year’s PLAY ARTS Festival is “All-Purpose Humanity.” It continues the tradition of past festivals by providing a friendly and lively atmosphere. This is especially important during the period of gradual recovery from the isolation experienced during the pandemic. The festival is mainly made up of interactive performing arts programs that are renewed explorations of and reflections on the various types of exchanges between people. Activities include interactive performances, circus acts, dance productions, musical performances, programs co-created along with the public, game installations, mobile platform works, and arts market. Numerous projects are launched simultaneously, transforming C-LAB into a theme park where everyone can play and experience the performing arts.
For this year’s PLAY ARTS Festival, Yoyo KUNG and Sylvia YANG, known for planning art projects that encourage public participation, were invited to collaborate with Jianguo Jade Market stall owners and the performing arts group The Double Theatre, Dancecology and DONG Chia-Lin X TAN Tien to carry out the For C-LAB’s Neighbors performance project. Their challenge was to hold an ideal art festival in the minds of jade market stall owners. Hsingho Co., Ltd., with its rich circus performance curatorial experience, brings the exciting Tíng-Koo-Ki Mad Skills Battle and a series of wonderful circus performances, during which performers compete and experience cross-disciplinary growth as they surprise and delight audiences. In addition, Flip Flops Theater shares lively and interactive stories in the Hokkien (Taiwanese) dialect with children and their parents. C-LAB CREATORS yinalang.group focuses on object theater performances and during this festival offers workshops on how to create performances at home to caregivers and families. Moreover, choreographer YU Yen-Fang leads the Choose Any Three project for which three up-and-coming creators were recruited to dialogue with the history of the venue in which they perform based on physical expression, generating unique insights.
Musical performances curated by Wild Goose Run and presented by 1976, Lilium, Finn, JenJen, Huan Huan, and Blueburn are also highlights. As summer ends, people who have never met before sit together on a lawn, listen to music, and enjoy familiar melodies.
If visiting the festival alone, no need to worry. Download the Chito app to your mobile phone and unlock wonderful stories of the buildings on the C-LAB site as they are personified with stories about love and hate. In addition, people of all ages are invited to visit installation artist LEE Wen-Cheng’s Sì-Kè-Pue/Paper Aircraft Space Station, where they can make paper airplanes and fly them. Children are the focus of the live broadcast project Twinkle Twinkle Little Eyes 2.0, which provides opportunities for them to present their perspectives on the arts festival. Besides, performing artists are invited to showcase their diverse talents in the SLASHIE Market.
How many possibilities do the performing arts offer for creating interpersonal relationships? Now that social distancing measures have been relaxed, we can look forward to the PLAY ARTS Festival’s performances and activities. These not only shorten the distance between the arts and life, but also create different types of interactions and connections among people on different levels and in different atmospheres.