Asian Performing Arts Farm (APAF)
Asian Performing Arts Farm (APAF) is a development initiative under the Tokyo Festival that offers opportunities for artists in Asia to elevate their creative practice through mutual exchange, and expand their presence beyond national and cultural boundaries. The initiative was launched in 2002 as the Asian Performing Arts Festival with a view to promoting culture through artistic exchange between Asian regions. In 2016, it changed its name to “Asian Performing Arts Forum,” serving as a venue that brings young artists 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.
The 2019 Remodeling
Junnosuke Tada became Director in 2018, and carried out a remodeling of APAF the next year. The initiative’s name was changed from “Asian Performing Arts Forum” to “Asian Performing Arts Farm.” With its programs, APAF offers three spaces: the Exhibition, for artists to spread their “branches” through creation; the Lab, where participants can deepen their practice, firmly establishing and expanding their “roots”; and the Young Farmers Camp, helping the next generation to plant the first seeds for future growth.
The experience of the participants over the course of the initiative will inform a variety of outputs, including performances, presentations, and essays. The three programs will cultivate a “farm” that yields artists and programs that will contribute to the Asian performing arts scene of the future.
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.