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Z Innovation Lab

Z Innovation Lab

Studio Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre

Z Innovation Lab

Z Innovation Lab

Studio Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre

  • Introduction Video

  • Interview

  • Introduction Video

  • Interview

    Experimenting the infinite space of performing arts with stage technologies (Excerpt)

    Mathias Woo, Creator and Artistic Director of Freespace Tech Lab (W)
    Yu xiao Reporter (R)

    R: How did the idea of Freespace Tech Lab come about?

    W: The stage technologies are pivotal in performing arts. Besides actors, the lighting, sound design and the spacial concept of stage require a great deal of techniques and thinking. But exploration and experiments of these technical aspects of stage are lacking in the greater China region, that is Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau and mainland China.

    Zuni Icosahedron’s cross-media theatre productions have been extending the boundaries of theatre through exploring the relationship between technologies and stage over the past 35 years. Take the large scale fancy projection that we often see on stage these days as an example, Zuni began experimenting stage projections 25 years ago. In this regard, Zuni functions as a laboratory. Stage technologies and performance are equally important. Without the professional and creative support of stage technolgies, there is no way to complete a theatre production.

    R: A number of new theatres have been built in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan in recent years. Do you think new stage techologies have been adopted in these new venues?

    W: It is unfortunate that we don’t see much development and adoption of new technologies in most of these recently built venues. There isn’t a reinvention of the relationship between the audience and the stage either. Besides, people’s focus on the fancy, costly facades of these new theatre buildings rather than on the front and back stages, which are the most crucial. The complement of the back stage with appropriate technologies is often ignored.

    On top of that, a lot of these venues are not run by theatre groups or performing arts professionals. Unlike their counterparts in Europe, the US or even South Korea, where a lot of theatre buildings are run by performing arts groups.

    R: How does Freespace Tech Lab, which is developed in collaboration with West Kowloon Cultural District, respond to these issues?

    W: We approach these issues from a few different perspectives. Firstly, from a creative perspective, which will allow us to experiment the dynamics between stage technologies and performance, and how new technologies can impact the relationship between the audience and the artists.

    Then, the other important element of this collaboration is to offer training to not only secondary and tertiary students but also those in the architecture profession. We hope to introduce to them the basic concepts of stage technologies. A lot of architects in Hong Kong have limited understanding of performing arts. Some of them have never even been to the theatre! They lack the appropriate concepts of museums, performing arts venues and various other buildings that serve the cultural purposes. For example, the size and location of the loading dock at many theatres were inaccurate. It is difficult to transfer knowledge and experiences from overseas consultants too as they might not fit in with our unique situation.

    Hong Kong already has 50 years of history in performing arts. We have a lot of experience, but how come we cannot produce our own specialists in designing theatre buildings? Thus we hope this “laboratory” can offer workshops for students majoring in architecture and relevant architectural design disciplines. In future, we will offer programmes on professional stage technologies for architects and surveyors. Our collaboration with the West Kowloon Cultural District is a long-term one. Many new stages will be built in this arts hub. These experiments can be great references for the professionals.

    R: I was told that this lab consists of three parts -, Wittgenstein, In Search of Lost Time and the Movement Lab.

    W: Our lab will feature a different theme each week, encompassing the technical and creative aspects of theatre.

    This year our focus is sound and space. We will explore the appropriation of electronic music in theatre during our first week with Wittgenstein. In Search of Lost Time will be the textual base for our second week experiment with vocals in relation to sound. We have invited Zhang Jun from Shanghai and Wei Hai-Ming from Taipei as well as actors from Hong Kong and Paris to take part in this event, which is also an experiment of languages.

    Body movements will be the theme of the third week. Dancers will find themselves in a theatre surrounded by mirrors in order to explore the dynamics and possibilities between body movements and space.

    In Chinese, the word art is comprised of “craftsmanship”, which means the technical aspect of an artwork, and “possibilities”, which refers to the creative side of a piece. Without the knowledge of the technical side of art as the foundation, it is impossible to elevate artistic works to a new dimension.

Z Innovation Lab

Z Innovation Lab

Studio Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre

13

Oct

13 Oct

to

to

3

Nov

3 Nov

Seating Plan
  • Intro

  • Twin Lab

  • Workshop

  • Thematic Talk

  • Creative Team

  • Technical Partners

  • Academic Partners

  • Intro

    # technology_is_the_lead

    In 2018, “Zuni Innovation Lab”, presented by Zuni, the Studio Theatre of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre will be turned into a 4-week stage-and-technology laboratory, breaking the patterns of how theatre is conventionally used. The objective of this project is to develop a new arts festival paradigm of “Technology + Innovation”. Apart from the two works in One Belt One Road Experimental Theatre, The Monkey Business and The Interrupted Dream, as well as Blind Musician Dou Wan, the Project presents “ZHdK/Zuni Twin Lab Telematic Live Performance”.

  • Twin Lab

    ZHdK/Zuni Twin Lab Telematic Live Performance

     

    Capturing, collaborating and connecting cities, through the elements of technology, body, sound, time and space, the Zurich University of the Arts and Zuni Icosahedron bring technology and performing arts to the forefront in a telematic movement based performance incorporating motion capture technology. Performing artists and theatre technical specialists from Zurich and Hong Kong will collaborate and experiment with both live and virtual characters, connecting two cities and integrating technology with the performing arts. A final live telematic performance of Twin Lab will be simultaneously showcased in Zurich and Hong Kong, breaking down the time zone and spatial boundaries, bringing together two cities, artists and audience members alike for an evening of innovation and exploration.

     

    Date: October 25, 2018

    Venue: Hong Kong Cultural Centre & Zurich University of the Arts/Grand Hall, Zurich Central Station

  • Workshop

    Curated and designed by Mathias Woo in 2017, Zuni Icosahedron organises Tech Lab, the first performing arts programme that focuses on integrating the latest stage technology and innovative ideas. In 2018, Zuni Icosahedron and The Zurich University of the Arts join hands to promote the arts education programme Z2 Innovation Lab, with an objective to provide training to the Hong Kong and Zurich students about the applications and development of stage technology.

    As the disciplines of innovative technology and multimedia design continue to develop, these audio and visual tools and technologies are not only applied to the flat, two-dimensional space. The theatre offers the possibilities of a “live” environment, a space for carrying, exploring and integrating different creativity and technologies. Through the activities, students would learn about the possibilities of stage technology in different ways. The programme supports the development of life planning education at schools, and at the same time, helps students understand the profession of stage technology, which in turn helps them make better planning for furthering their studies or their career.

    Under the instruction of professional stage technicians, students of the workshop will:
    – L
    earn about the professions of the stage and become aware of the disciplines of creation, performance, technology, management, etc. through theatre appreciation
    – Learn about the elements and applications of stage technology, and have a site visit on the facilities of the theatre, including video projection, lighting, and audio
    – Try out the operation and integration of various elements of stage technology, and work with the Deputy Stage Manager on the operation and application of a performance
    – Be part of a specially designed space and watch a demonstration of multimedia technologies

    Click here for Enrolment

  • Thematic Talk

    Coming Soon

  • Creative Team

    Creator, Artistic Director & Spatial Designer: Mathias Woo
    Lighting Advisor: Mak Kwok-fai*
    Sound Consultant : Frankie Hung, Ha Yan-pui
    Sound Design : Ha Yan-pui
    Video: Dan Fong

  • Technical Partners

     

    Live streaming equipment supported by

  • Academic Partners