Choreography for Performing Identities (2022-)

Since July 2022 I have been collaborating with artist and filmmaker Eelyn Lee to choreograph and facilitate a collective performance making process for her Performing Identities project that explores what it means to be East and Southeast Asian (ESEA) in the UK today.

With a focus on Hong Kong diaspora in Sheffield; these cycles involve relationship building, careful workshopping and co-development. As a child of Hong Kong migrants, and most of my extended family still residing in Hong Kong, this project opened a personal and vital creative process that blurred my living and working worlds together intimately.

While Eelyn’s opening gambit is the ‘Chinese’ takeaway and restaurant as a site of embodied identity, she also turns to other, everyday movements that settle into our bodies over time. Inviting recent and established UK-based Hong Kongers across two generations of migration, she facilitates critical discussions around the shaping, holding and re-imagining of identities.

The collaborations have planted seeds for new networks of kinship that create space for a re-imagining of our myths and ancestral lineages, moving beyond the colonial and imperial boxes that Hong Kong’s recent history has been so locked into.

Hong Kong Future Diaspora (2022)” culminated in a blessing performance and work-in-progress sharing at Bloc Gallery, Sheffield. It was joyous!

In a further cycle (2023) we collaborated again to focus on weaving costume into the stories and movements of four developing mythical characters. With Christine Ting-Huan 挺歡 Urquhart and a brilliant team of artists* to create installations integrating the choreography and visual worlds of these mythical characters in 4 Quadrants of the Sky.  An exhibition of these works was held at Bloc Gallery in Sheffield in October 2023.

Collaborators in Hong Kong Future Diaspora include artists, researchers, martial arts scholars and fellow makers: Clara Cheung, Dr Wayne Wong, Angela YT Chan, Anna Chan, Jonathan Tang, Franco Ho and Shan Ray Cheung, Yellow Pocket Studios. Curated by Sunshine Wong.

Four Quadrants of the Sky 四大神獸 collaborators* include:

Performers: Clara Cheung, Angela YT Chan, Tala Lee Turton, Eelyn Lee
Choreographer: Jan-Ming Lee
Costume & Set Designer: Christine Ting-Huan 挺歡 Urquhart
Costume Assistant: Thu Truong
Cinematographer: Jim Wraith
Focus Puller: Ai Narapol
Gaffer: Anh Do
Sound Design: Jane Lo
Colourist: Sarina McCavana
Costume & Set Assistant: Shania Simpson
Make-Up: Kinga Dwornik
Curated by Sunshine Wong
Production stills: Juan de Leon-Padmore
Exhibition documentation: Jules Lister

Black and White Photography: Yellow Pocket Studios
Colour photography stills: Juan de Leon-Padmore