INTER-RUPTURE is a hybrid installation/performance art piece that simultaneously manifests and ruptures rubrics of temporality, gender, mediation, westernization, and performer through the intersections of live performance, motion capture, projection and audience interaction. Condensing and colliding music written for Asian characters by Western composers, INTER-RUPTURE explores the orientalist tropes and imaginary (Erotic East, Dramatic Dowagers, Submissive Slave, Waiting Wives, Pure Princesses, Colonial Consequence) that still persist today.
Inspired by Stephen Chen’s reflections on his experiences and tensions as an Asian male mezzo performing Western opera, INTER-RUPTURE transcribes the ruptures of sight embodied by his performances (a male that sounds female, an asian in a western construct) into a site of performance and discourse. As Stephen performs, his movements are captured by a motion camera, and those movements are transposed onto an Asian shadow puppet projected behind him. It constructs a janus-faced experience that is in itself aesthetic yet also raises the issues of representation and colonialism that are latent in any form of aesthetic appreciation, particularly of “classical” or institutionalized forms that are upheld as “eternal”/”universal” standards.
Conceived and performed by: STEPHEN CHEN | IN PRODUCTION FOR 2015/2016