Friday 27 – Sunday 29 August 2021
CCA: Centre for Contemporary Arts, Tramway Glasgow & more
- Artistic Director Jian Yi curates JOURNEY TO THE THE EAST – the first live performance festival to be held across Glasgow in over a year, since the lockdown of Spring 2020
- Programme of award-winning new and retrospective performance work including the Scottish premiere of Yingmei Duan’s Happy Yingmei, previously staged at Hayward Gallery London, and the UK premiere of Frédéric Gies’ DANCE IS ANCIENT, a collaboration with Berghain resident DJ Fiedel
- Ethereal, QTPOC ensemble work Weathervanes by Jian Yi to be presented in tandem during the lead-up to JOURNEY TO THE THE EAST as part of the Dance Base performance selection on August 14 & 15 at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2021
Running 27-29 August, Scotland’s newest performance art and contemporary culture festival JOURNEY TO THE EAST (JTTE) will welcome diverse audiences back into live art experiences with a superstar lineup of contemporary performance over the summer festival weekend at Tramway, CCA Glasgow and locations around town.
Across three days of cutting-edge performances and techno music, premiere film screenings and artist workshops culminating in the final day Symposium event featuring a roundtable of special guest speakers, JTTE expands the definitions of Eastern/Mysticism as an exploration of the unconscious mind. Taking its thematic starting point in the metaphysical concept of the ‘Journey to the East’ from Herman Hesse’s 1932 novel of the same title, JTTE creates the much-needed stress release post-lockdown for Scottish audiences to embark on this epic journey to the other side…
Artistic Director of JTTE Festival, Jian Yi says – “We seek to create psycho-tropic friendly space for artists and audiences to engage in collective experiences of ritual and community. Proposing ‘East’ as internal landscape rather than strictly geographical – it refers to a journey to the other side of human consciousness, social experience and the search for truth.”
The programme, curated by multidisciplinary artist Jian Yi, platforms some of the most exciting and yet unseen contemporary artists working in timely performative practices for our age. Attendees can expect to be both viscerally and intellectually-stimulated with a programme of thought provoking work featuring a carefully selected vanguard of local and international artists.
Programme highlights include: Singapore-based choreographer Daniel Kok (aka Diskodanny), artistic director of Dance Nucleus performing their now classic work Cheerleader of Europe – standing in as the embodied figure of neoliberalist optimism, reinterpreted for the post Brexit-era. Kok’s work has been previously showcased globally, notably at the Venice Biennale, ImpulsTanz (Vienna), Festival/Tokyo and AsiaTOPA (Melbourne).
Previously shown around the world in renowned venue-runs such as at Hayward Gallery London and the Sydney Biennale, Yingmei Duan, presents Happy Yingmei. Duan is part of the original Chinese avant-garde and a contemporary of Ai Weiwei and Zhang Huan in the 1990s Beijing East Village. Premiering in Scotland her critically-acclaimed performance installation, Happy Yingmei is a durational work that invites small numbers of audiences at a time through a doorway into Duan’s poetic fairytale wonderland that is enacted in a forest glade.
Also premiering their work in the UK for the very first time is Frédéric Gies, who alongside long-term collaborator and Berghain resident DJ Fiedel delivers masterclass techno beats oscillating between clockwork composition, and the intensities and chaos generated by dancing bodies surrendering to the desires and forces that traverse them. Drawing from their dance floor experiences in techno clubs and raves, DANCE IS ANCIENT is a durational performance that is a club night and a club night that is a performance – a strictly-limited capacity, live participatory evening of dance with a 4-hour DJ set.
Festival Curator, Jian Yi, joins these contemporary performance legends in presenting Weathervanes as the lead-satellite event of JTTE as part of Dance Base’s curated performance programme at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Part of Dance Base’s late night Fringe happenings on Saturday 14 & Sunday 15 August, this contemporary pagan ritual and offering to the sky will feature an ensemble of non-gender conforming, queer and POC nude dancers performing from elevated heights. They will also be collaborating on a new JTTE Festival commission with Chinese artist Jing Xie who will be continuing her quietly-startling performance intervention practice exploring paradigms of individuality and social conventions. Jing Xie and Jian Yi with friends will showcase this new, collaborative performance work for JTTE on Friday 27 August.
Alongside many more artists presenting live and filmed works, JTTE is set to showcase the Scottish premieres of Sin Wai Kin fka Victoria Sin’s If I Had the Words to Tell You We Wouldn’t Be Here Now, Marcos Lutyens’ collaborative work Hypnotic Show with Raimundas Malasauskas originally produced for the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum NY, and the Indonesian-seminal performance group Breathing Forest Dance Theatre’s masterwork, Dry Leaf – live performances on film screening exclusively at the CCA cinematheque.
On the final day of the festival, JTTE will host some of the most prominent artists and contemporary theorists as discussion panelists on pressing social themes from within curatorial research, international and independent dance and experimental performance art. Speakers at the event include – Dr. Cecilia Wee, independent curator, producer, researcher and former Chair of Live Art Development Agency; Lucy Suggate, vital and leading figure in UK independent dance; and Sophia Hao, prominent curatorial researcher in contemporary visual art performance culture and Principal Curator of Cooper Gallery, Dundee. The discussion will be moderated by Artistic Director of JTTE Festival Jian Yi, opening up to conversations with the public.
Journey to the East takes place from 27-29 August. Tickets available now via Eventbrite: https://jttefestival.eventbrite.com
Supported by Creative Scotland, Glasgow School of Art, Dance Base, CCA: Centre for Contemporary Arts
Press images available here.
Press release for download available here.