The first year Magic Caravan (1982) began with humans tilling the land, producing offspring and sowing the seeds of history in a soundless vacant land.
“The most profound inspiration given by One Hundred Years of Solitude, is not only the endless, interlocking feelings, but also something that every character and every paragraph in the book has – the gesture of getting up from the ground for the first time and standing firmly on both feet, and then obstinately moving forward step by step, full of vitality, walking a path that belongs most to yourself, independent, but doomed to eternal solitude.”
Mito International Theatre Festival in Japan
Creative notes on The Seventh Year of One Hundred Years of Solitude – Mirage
One Hundred Years of Solitude, Zuni’s highly representative classic series, has continued to keep evolving since the opening of The First Year of One Hundred Years of Solitude – Magic Caravan in 1982. The series, carrying forward the ideology of the novel One Hundred Years of Solitude by the Nobel Prize-winning Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez, is a collective creation that takes “direction” and “action” as the motifs and condenses the voluminous novel into three basic elements: the love for language; the obsession of modern people with technology; and the views on love and death, conveying the implication that each person leads their own life independently, but is also linked to their predecessors and later generations.
In the One Hundred Years of Solitude series, persevering performers travel from left to right on the stage and point towards certain directions on their way. With “pointing” and “watching” as the vocabulary and “direction” and “action” as the motifs, episodes of a journey are developed: caravans, explorers, wedding ceremonies, carnivals, strikes, funerals, revolution – when put together, they weave a tapestry of a journey of all mankind.
In The First Year: Magic Caravan (1982), the creators spent 3.5 hours on the stage tilling vacant land, producing offspring, and sowing the seeds of history; the Second Year: From A Past Event to Prophecy (1984) presented a parade, having undergone endless cycles of birth and death with the vicissitudes of life, still sticking to the old path in a gradually changing environment and getting insights into the journey; The Third Year: The Long March (1985) is an interpretation of history and society, using mythology to reflect on the common destiny of Hong Kong, China and the world; in The Fourth Year: October (1987), the creators tried to reflect life in Hong Kong through the taboos of individuals and groups to verify the environment we lived in and problems we were facing; The Fifth Year: The Final Stage (1989) reproduced the urgent struggle and revolution in the open air. The sudden downpour symbolically implied that this race, sentenced also to a hundred years of solitude, struggle against nature too.
The Sixth Year: Days and Nights of Abstinence (1990) unraveled the lingering persistence and hope of thousands in a world of multifarious and pluralistic existence, how those staying in front were held accountable for those walking behind, and how everyone had the chance to play the roles of followers and leaders; The Seventh Year: Mirage (1992) explored the concept of “independence”. When you are independent, you feel that the soles of your feet are grounded with the land, and you begin to realize that will and action cooperate with each other. Every mirage ahead reminds us of “yearning”; The Eighth Year: Viva (1996), in an indistinct voice journey, the issues of slogans are explored: is slogan a blessing, something to be blindly followed, or boundless worship of those in power? The Ninth Year: 9 (2002) is an experiment on video, sound, lighting and stage, re-interpreting the motifs and vocabulary of “pointing”, “looking”, “direction” and “action” in a multimedia theatre journey; The Tenth Year: Cultural Revolution (2011), coinciding with the centenary of the 1911 Revolution in China, took culture and revolution as the creative starting point to reflect on the multilayered interactive relationship between individuals, masses, leaders, organisations, governments, countries, people, culture and revolutions from the perspective of large and small revolutions in history.
The One Hundred Years series, with its unique experimental and artistic vision, uncommon structure, expressive techniques and staging skills, has broken the expression conventions of traditional theatre practice, bringing unprecedented artistic space to Hong Kong theatre, and expanding theatrical art to the concern of society as a whole.
The One Hundred Years series has been staged in Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan; the audiences have also embarked on a bumpy revolutionary journey with us. One Hundred Years of Solitude 11 – Twelve Hours (2022) reveals symbols of theatre to audiences of all ages, allowing them to slowly interpret the relationship between the symbols on the stage and themselves as the years go by. The slowly-evolving and accumulating spirit of One Hundred Years of Solitude has also grown robustly in the past 40 years, building and transcending itself with intentions full of vitality。
The One Hundred Years series will never stop moving forward. It is also a process in which creators try to get rid of the narrative frame, leading the viewers to look at novels and theatre from a new perspective, and restoring the pure fundamentals of theatre art. As it has evolved and grown in the past 40 years, One Hundred Years of Solitude has become the era-defining song. Zuni will continue the adventure this year. We will carry on to follow the yearning for moving ahead, moving forward independently whilst staying in the collective, and recognising in the journey of life there is a magical reality that cannot be given up.
Zuni Experimental Theatre Archive
Danny Yung Experimental Theatre Education Programme
The First Year of One Hundred Years of Solitude – Magic Caravan (1982)
The Second Year of One Hundred Years of Solitude – from a past event to prophecy (1984)
The Third Year of One Hundred Years of Solitude – The Long March (1985)
The Fourth Year of One Hundred Years of Solitude – October (1987)
The Sixth Year of the One Hundred Years of Solitude – Days and Nights of Abstinence (1990)
The Seventh Year of One Hundred Years of Solitude – Mirage (1992)
The Eighth Year of One Hundred Years of Solitude – Viva (1996)
The Ninth Year of One Hundred Years of Solitude – 9 (2002)
One Hundred Years of Solitude 10.0 – Cultural Revolution (2011)