Mathias Woo Theatre Tech Installation: Bach is Heart Sutra (2020) Mathias Woo Theatre Tech Installation: Bach is Heart Sutra (2020) Mathias Woo Theatre Tech Installation: Bach is Heart Sutra (2020)

Mathias Woo Theatre Tech Installation: Bach is Heart Sutra (2020)

Season 2020 Playback


9-14.11.2020 (MON-SAT) 14:30 16:30 19:30 20:30 21:30

Studio Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre

  • Handwritten sutra and Bach’s music in space

    Meditation on sounds in Bach’s music and the Heart Sutra


    Mathias Woo Theatre Tech Installation Bach is Heart Sutra innovate classics with theatre technology, bringing the audience into a mirrored space to experience the hymn of The Heart of The Prajna-Paramita Sutra and the music of Bach’s Six Suites for Unaccompanied Cello. Through handwritten sutra, experience the peace of mindfulness through the wisdom from the Heart Sutra with the audio-visual design of Bach is Heart Sutra; to feel a unique space where the audience could interact with oneself. Bach’s Six Suites for Unaccompanied Cello merging with the technology of Soundscape and the Heart Sutra – with the profound Prajna-Paramita wisdom and Bach’s pure music, to see and illuminate to the emptiness in all matters. Each session is limited to four audiences to immerse in an “emptied” mirrored phantom. Construct a spiritual universe with music, projection, and space, create a gentle sensory fiesta, and transmit the healing power of the theatre.

  • Handwritten sutras in Sound, Form and Emptiness

    In ancient times sutras (scriptures) were copied out by hand for posterity. Writing Buddhist sutras by hand can bring the mind and body together, and open the door for contemplation on the wisdom of the sutras. Calligraphy, a traditional art form of Chinese culture, is regarded as highly instrumental in nurturing one’s virtues and personality. In modern times when computer keyboards have replaced the need for handwriting, people have lost this skill and are unable to produce neat and legible texts by hand. In Bach is Heart Sutra, a special session is held to give participants the opportunity to write out a sutra by hand as a mind-purifying practice to help the mind and body abide in a restful state. Beyond just training one’s ability to concentrate, the handwriting act itself produces the same effect as a Buddhist sitting meditation. During the handwriting process, one is absorbed in reading the text, reflecting and meditating on the main points in synchronicity – thus not only practising one’s handwriting, but also enabling one to be enriched by the Buddhist teachings, and acquiring wisdom.

  • Z Innovation Lab


    “Z Innovation Lab 2019” garnered the Red Dot Award in 2020. Curated and designed by Mathias Woo, Z Innovation Lab 2020 is a performing arts project that focuses on the integration of technology and creativity. The theatre serves as a stage and technology laboratory that experiments stage technologies with artists and technical specialists all over the world, to inspire creativity in the theatre industry and expands the possibilities of theatrical performance. We establish a platform for knowledge and ideas exchange, a platform to demonstrate stage technology exploration and showcase various technical configurations and applications, developing a new arts festival paradigm of “Technology + Innovation”.


    “Z Innovation Lab 2020”, utilizes the server based control system, soundscape system, tracking, and other stage technologies to create an installation of sound and space that experiments with the chanting of Heart Sutra and cello music, and the sounds of technology and humans. The work collects materials on-site in real-time for visual and audio designs, creating an interactive feast for the eyes and ears of audiences.

  • Team


    Chief Curator / Artistic Director/ Spatial Design: Mathias Woo

    Performer (recording): David Yeung
    Music Editing: Yu Yat Yiu, Matt Hui
    Sound Designer: Can. Ha
    Lighting Designer: Adonic Lo
    Video Production: Wing Chan
    Graphic Design: Rachel Chak


    Production Manager: Carmen Cheng
    Technical Manager: Chow Chun Yin
    Rehearsal Master: Charmaine Cheng
    Stage Manager: Megan Hung
    Deputy Stage Manager: Zeta Chan
    Disguise System Operation: Johnny Sze
    Assistant Stage Manager: Onki Chan
    Stage Crew: Chan Chun Yin, Chim Man Lung, Tse Man Kuen
    Backstage Interns: Chan Chi Kin, Chan Mei Yin, Wong Lai Man, Wong Long Yin, Yan Tsz Kwan


    Company Manager (Administration and Finance): Jacky Chan
    Company Manager (Programme): Doris Kan
    International Exchange Director: Wong Yue Wai
    Assistant Artistic Director: Cedric Chan
    Senior Researcher: Theresa Leung
    Senior Programme Manager: Bowie Chow
    Public Relations Manager: Luka Wong
    Programme Manager: Ho Yin Hei
    Assistant Programme Manager: Ricky Cheng
    Programme and Art Administration Trainee: Stephy Yeung


    Graphic Design Assistant: Coco Cheung
    Translation: Mona Chu, Moyung Yuk-Lin

  • Music


    Six Suites for Unaccompanied Cello
    Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach


    “Heart Sutra” Calligraphy


    By Bada Shanren

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