Two Chinese artists on Sunday showcased their sonic works at the ongoing Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space in the Czech capital, winning applause from the audience.
Soung engineer Sun Hua. [Photo/CNODDT]
Sun Hua, a sound designer from the China National Opera and Dance Drama Theater, and composer Feng Jinshuo from the Communication University of China, performed their piece Crazy Fabric at the Sound Kitchen, which offers a platform for sound designers, artists and composers from around the world to exhibit their sonic works as part of the event.
Composed for an interactive stage performance, Crazy Fabric was presented using touch-sensitive fabric, interactive videos and sound design. The composition incorporates real-time data control in the sound engine and is specifically designed to enable performers to connect with their emotional rhythms.
"This is an interactive work. We have tried to create a musical piece, but designed and transformed it into a performance, an interactive piece," Sun, also an audio engineer, told the audience after their performance.
Upon request, he also brought the touch device from behind the scenes and showed the audience how it works. "I move my hands on the pliable cloth, creating various three-dimensional positions and shapes. Each movement serves as a trigger for generating corresponding sounds," he explained.
Sun said it was their first performance in Prague. "We were a bit nervous at the beginning to be honest, but we were delighted that our work was well received by the audience when there was a big round of applause after the show.
"Being a part of the Prague Quadrennial has been a rewarding experience. It provided us with a valuable platform to engage in artistic and technological exchanges with artists from different nations. Our performance integrates elements of Chinese ethnic song, demonstrating the integration of new artistic technology and traditional ethnic culture in our country," he added.
"It feels quite dramatic," Sound Kitchen co-curator Peter Rice said about the Chinese artists' performance, noting that humor and technological advancement were the two things about the performance that most appealed to him.
"When we first saw the piece, we knew it had to be here," Rice recalled. "It was a fantastic piece of the coming together of research, performance, humor and technology. It was like nothing else that we've seen, and it was one of my favorite pieces."
Rice said they received some 50 works globally and selected 29 to be presented in Prague for three days of sonic bliss.
The Prague Quadrennial is billed by organizers as the "world's largest event focused on performance design and scenography in all their forms". Held once every four years since 1967, the event includes an extensive program for professionals and the general public that includes exhibitions, lectures, performances and educational activities.
The 10-day 2023 edition of the event runs to Sunday. This year's main exhibitions have some 100 installations created by teams representing 59 countries and regions, according to organizers.