Asia Meets Asia: Big Performance Unites People

Asia Meets Asia is a blog for anyone interested in Asian culture. You can find posts on food, travel tips and even some fashion inspiration. We love to share our experiences with you so we hope you enjoy reading!

Asia Meets

Asia Meets Asia Organization

The organization produces artistic events across Asia. Every year they encourage performers from different cultural, racial, and religious backgrounds to use their art form as a way to overcome language barriers, raise awareness, and communicate their stories. To get a better sense of what this means in practice, let’s take a closer look at the main performance event staged by AMA in 2017.

• Promote cultural understanding through theater

• Promote collaboration between Asian countries to promote peace

• Cultural exchange leads to the connection of people on a more personal level

• Performances are interactive and open audience members up to new experiences

• Show that in spite of historical barriers, people can still come together

• Build bridges to share cultures and thoughts through performance arts

• Enlighten the world with the diversity of Asian culture

• Promote international exchange at three levels: mind, body, and soul

One Thousand and One Nights

Archana Kumar is a dancer and choreographer from Bengaluru, India who has been working with the AMA since 2005. This year she assembled a group of actors and dancers to tour Asia and perform a collection of street acts inspired by the legendary folk-tale collection known as The Thousand and One Nights (or The Arabian Nights).

The group presented a series of short stories that reflect difficult experiences in daily life around Asia. Presented in a largely figurative and surreal fashion, these stories addressed gender inequality, social issues and the hardship brought on by natural disasters.

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Sharing and Processing Painful Life Stories Through Art

One of the performances produced this year focused on the challenging lives endured by Korean mothers – Omoni – who sell fish for a living. The show was performed by 12 artistes and staged in the well-known Jagalchi fish & seafood market of Busan, South Korea.

Another performance used visual theater techniques and powerful imagery to pay tribute to the 2014 Sewol Ferry Disaster in which more than 300 people – most of whom were high school students – lost their lives. When asked about the goal of this performance and the 2017 event in general, Kumar explained that “the overall intention was to touch upon recent issues and disasters that are still raw in public memory and in a way share their grief, as well as push people from their comfort zone and encourage them to think and articulate their thoughts.”

Over the last two decades, AMA events have brought a wide variety of themes and styles to many parts of Asia, including Japan, Indonesia and Hong Kong. The next tour is planned to visit three Indian cities in September 2018.

National Theater of Korea in Seoul

Asia Meets Asia (AMA) is a non-profit organization that promotes international exchange through the enduring power of theater, dance and performance arts. Founded by Japanese theater director Hiroshi Ohashi in 1997, AMA aims to show that in spite of historical conflicts between countries, art has the power to bring people together.

The “Asia Meets Asia” project was born out of this vision. In 1999, six Asian artists from Japan, China and Korea came together for an unprecedented artistic collaboration at the National Theater of Korea in Seoul. This historic production was followed by two more joint productions with leading theaters from each country – one at Tokyo’s Suntory Hall and another at Beijing’s Poly Theatre – which were both sold out events. These three productions have been recorded on DVD as part of a collection called “The Best Performances.”