An opportunity for young artists in their twenties to reflect on their own practice by observing international productions and collaborations.
Artists collaborate to create and present an original work.
APAF2020 will be held online under the theme “Anti-Body Experiment.”
In light of the current situation, many artists in the performing arts have already started to take action online, streaming footage of past performances or performing conversational theater works on Zoom. These efforts, coming from a love for this art form, have been captivating audiences through their screens. But this conversion of performing arts into online content is ultimately a simulated theater experience for riding out the present situation. We must instead transform online content into performing art, by creating work specially for the online platform or devising new ways of communication where the online environment itself sparks new discoveries. Having the intelligence and resilience to persevere until the spread of the coronavirus subsides is essential, but intelligence and resilience that come into play in keeping the performing arts alive in the current circumstances, is one of the “antibodies” that will be developed in our exposure to the coronavirus, an antibody against “not being able to gather.” Whatever the circumstances may be in October, in Tokyo and across Asia, we will earnestly confront this reality of “not being able to gather” at APAF2020, as well as carefully consider the tragedies brought about by the pandemic, and the ruptures that it has exposed.
APAF2020: “Anti-Body Experiment” involves developing resistance, or “antibodies,” that allow us to engage in the performing arts even during future pandemics; it is also an experiment in transforming the online world, in other words the realm of the non-physical (anti-body), into performing art. The choice to hold the APAF program online is not pessimistic in the least. Through a combination of the strengths of online formats, which overcome distance to create connections, and the performing arts, which help us become aware of what is happening in the here and now, we will work towards creating a future post-coronavirus, or where we can coexist with the coronavirus.
Junnosuke Tada, APAF Director
Beyond borders, beyond the body,
towards a new future for Asian performing arts
APAF Lab places emphasis not on the final product, such as the work itself, but rather on cultivating the creative foundation of the participants through discussion and research, and on expanding their perspective on their own practice as well as the future of the performing arts. Participants will be joined by three Lab facilitators during the course of the two-month camp (August – October), and give public presentations on the final day. The camp will bring together talented independent artists set to shape the future of Asian performing arts. This year’s APAF Lab will be held as an online camp due to the global coronavirus pandemic.
APAF2020 Lab Facilitators:
JK Anicoche, Arsita Iswardhani, and Riki Takeda
Call for Young Participants
Deadline: Saturday, July 4, 2020 11:59 PM (JST)
*Please read the application guidelines before proceeding.
Young Farmers Camp
A place for artists in their 20s
to experience the cutting edge
Participants will be observing the actual processes of international collaborative practice and creation, benefitting from discourse with overseas artists and other participants of their own generation. This program will allow them to gain new perspectives on their practice moving forward, nurturing the “seeds” for the future ahead.
To places you cannot reach alone
Artists with diverse national and cultural backgrounds will present their work in progress, created as a collaborative transcultural collective. Participants will explore new forms and methods of creation, opening up new possibilities for the performing arts through international collaboration. Preparation is currently underway for a remote working format and online presentations. Details are due to be announced around August.
Photo by Kazuyuki Matsumoto
Photo by Toru Hiraiwa
Junnosuke Tada is a theater director who heads Tokyo Deathlock. Through his work, which spans classic to contemporary plays as well as dance and performance, Tada continues to question, by recreating real situations, the actual experiences of people in contemporary society. His practice, founded on the collaborative nature of theater, is one that goes beyond borders: Tada’s activities engage children and non-theater professionals. He has also been involved in multiple international collaborations, including Japan-South Korea and Japan-Southeast Asia productions. In 2010, he became the Artistic Director at Cultural Center of Fujimi City, KIRARI FUJIMI, making him the youngest artistic director of a theater for a public institution in Japan (he served for three consecutive terms over nine years). In 2014 Karumegi won the 50th Dong-A Theater Awards for Best Direction, making Tada the first non-Korean to receive the award. Tada is also part of the directing department of Oriza Hirata’s theater company Seinendan, and a part-time lecturer at Shikoku Gakuin University and Joshibi University of Art and Design.
APAF2020 Lab Facilitators
JK Anicoche is a Manila-based performance maker working at the intersection of art, culture, and development. His practice ranges from developing performances in a black box to devising works with/in various communities. He is the Artistic Director of contemporary cultural laboratory Sipat Lawin Inc., a founding member of anti-disciplinary collective Komunidad X, and Festival Director of Karnabal: Performance and Social Innovation. His recent engagements have taken him to New York, Taiwan, Shanghai, and Japan, where he presented the Sand (a)isles project at Festival/Tokyo 2019.
Photo by Rita
Arsita Iswardhani is an actor and performance maker, who explores performance-making methods through various intercultural and interdisciplinary approaches. She studies martial arts, Javanese dance, the Suzuki Method, and ethnography as a means of performance making. Iswardhani has presented solo performances at festivals, both national and international, as well as participating in the inter-Asian theater collaboration project Multitude of Peer Gynts (2018 –), in which she has participated since 2019. She is a member of Teater Garasi/Garasi Performance Institute, a multi-disciplinary performance collective in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, that explores and devises possibilities in the performing arts as a way to approach both personal and social issues. Iswardhani was an APAF2019 Lab participant.
© Kenji Seo
Riki Takeda is a theater director and folk arts archiver. He joined theater company chelfitsch as an actor and performed extensively in Europe and the US with the company. After the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, he began his career as a director. Takeda invites the audience to consider our contemporary time in a playful manner: everyday matters form the material for his works, such as being reprimanded by a police officer, the Japanese street food takoyaki (octopus balls), and elementary education textbooks. He is also involved in the revival and preservation of folk art in depopulated rural villages in Japan. Recent activities include creating and presenting work in Metro Manila and Shanghai, as well as running an art space in Wuhan, China. Takeda was a Yokohama Arts Foundation Creative Children Fellow in 2016 and 2017, as well as a Japan Foundation Asia Center’s Asia Fellow in 2019.
Asian Performing Arts Farm (APAF)
Asian Performing Arts Farm (APAF) is a Tokyo Festival program supporting the development of young artists. Its goal is to offer opportunities for artists in Asia to elevate their creative practice through mutual interaction, and enable them to expand their presence beyond national and cultural boundaries.
The program was launched in 2002 as the Asian Performing Arts Festival with the aim of promoting culture through artistic exchange between Asian regions. In 2016, it changed its name to “Asian Performing Arts Forum,” serving as a venue where young artists can come together. In 2018, Junnosuke Tada assumed the role of Director, taking over from former-Producer Satoshi Miyagi, who led the program for ten years. In 2019, APAF underwent a major remodeling, changing “forum” to “farm,” with the aim of providing “rich soil” for the next generation of artists to grow in an increasingly globalized age. The new logo, redesigned for 2020, adopts a free and flowing design.
(Weekdays 10 am – 7 pm JST)
Asian Performing Arts Farm 2020 (APAF2020)
Tuesday, October 20 – Sunday, October 25, 2020
Organizers: Tokyo Festival Executive Committee [Toshima City, Toshima Mirai Cultural Foundation, Festival/Tokyo Executive Committee, Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture (Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre & Arts Council Tokyo)]