Revisit “‘The Interrupted Geng Zi Dream’ – Director’s Note” Revisit “‘The Interrupted Geng Zi Dream’ – Director’s Note” Revisit “‘The Interrupted Geng Zi Dream’ – Director’s Note”
Revisit “‘The Interrupted Geng Zi Dream’ – Director’s Note”
Danny Yung Experimental Theatre 2020
The Interrupted Geng Zi Dream (2020) is “A Featured Work of IATC(HK) Critics Awards 2020“.
The Interrupted Geng Zi Dream (2020)
(Editor’s note: As the dawning of the show 2 or 3 Things about the Interrupted Dream, let’s revisit Director Danny Yung’s consciousness and subconsciousness in the year of Geng Zi, with the idea brewing for over 6 months, ask again about what is theatre, history or truth.)
Text: Danny Yung, originally published on the programme note of The Interrupted Geng Zi Dream (2020).
Hello Everyone. In the Year of Geng Zi, our way of life and culture are much affected by the pandemic, especially our culture of communications, as well as our established preconceptions about performing arts. All of these provides an important opportunity for future creative process . This opportunity allows us to review the nature of art: art and society, art and education, art and market, art and community, art and technology, art and culture, and the list goes on. Should art be more independent and critical? More importantly, we need to re-organize the structure of creativity. What factors behind creative process have been driving us? Be they economical and market-oriented? Or related to policy and institutional structure? Or the culture of artists’ dialectical and critical thinking that matters?
This Year of Geng Zi is no doubt a year of troubles. From a grand historical perspective, these troubles may be considered next to nothing, yet, Hong Kong was badly hit by these troubles, so much so that people are made to reflect seriously on their stances. When we reviewed the rebellious spirit of Kunqu’s Peony Pavilion of Ming Dynasty in the disguise of dreaming, the play was meant to challenge the then conservative culture and institutional structure. Does Hong Kong have the right to dream? Does Hong Kong have the power to criticize on culture and institution as such? And, how do we uphold this right and the power of criticism? This is a political challenge, and political challenge can be creative contents but it should not become the confine of our creative space and direction .
I selected a photo taken in the Square on ’89 from my archive. Looking at the photo, pondering the history, pondering what is a hero, pondering what is publicness, pondering what is a square, pondering what is old photo. In the photo , students climbed on and covering the statue of hero, they can see farther and more up there. Nowadays, where are these students? Thirty years passed, today, what are their opinions about the history, the hero and the publicness? How would they look at the square and reflect on what happened there? How would they look at themselves? Why do people always tend to climb up? Is self-doubting included in today’s reflection? And then, the statue of hero, today, is still erected on the square. It’s never been expected to have such a function in the movement though.
The Interrupted Geng Zi Dream started with looking at an old photo taken 30 years ago. Imagine the statue of hero on the square is full of youngsters climbing on it, and one of them fall in front of you, lying still. Is he passed out ? Or is he dead? Or fallen asleep? Or dreaming? We started to make up the story of him from his dream, time travelling over 600 hundred years and different kinds of culture. We talked about the story before and after the revolution. Rumour had it, before the revolution, people rejected the legacy brought down from the conservative history. Thus, people took down the old statue and felt satisfied. After the revolution, a new series of hero emerged whereas new idols appeared on the square. What is idol? What is truth? What is fake? What is theatre? What’s not theatre? We keep asking.
An experimental art pioneer, Danny Yung is a founding member cum Co-Artistic Director of Zuni Icosahedron.