To all our readers in Adelaide, we hope you all had the opportunity to catch the OzAsia Festival. Annette Shun Wah is OzAsia Festival’s new artistic director, and one of her aims in taking the role was to ensure the festival took Asian Australian artists seriously. The festival kicked off on October 21, and Shun Wah wasted no time to ensure the program included many awesome Asian Australians.
The line up included: Taiwanese Australian pianist, sound artist and producer Belle Chen; a shadow play from multidisciplinary Sydney-based Indonesian Australian artist Jumaadi; a comedy show hosted by Chinese Australian writer and comedian Jennifer Wong; and a line-up of writing and ideas: In Other Words.
OzAsia Festival since it started in 2007, has always had a focus on showcasing culturally diverse artists, but this time round with Shun Wah at the helm, Asian Australians featured quite prominently. Here are a few things she told the ABC about the festival this year:
“That’s really important, and a really wonderful opportunity for Australian audiences to see what is happening in contemporary arts in Asia – and try to connect with the sorts of thinking and concerns that are happening over there.”
“I just looked for works that I felt were really interesting and would really engage an audience and felt emotionally right for this time,”
“It is about reaching out to local communities, firstly, to support the culturally diverse works that are presented [and] finding better and more effective ways of engaging audiences for culturally diverse work.”
“But also it’s about reaching out into the community – to culturally diverse communities, diaspora communities — to help them feel more at home in their local venues.”
Let’s hope this momentum continues in the festival in the years to come.
Image via ABC News