The Berlin-based Singaporean artist Choy Ka Fai initiated the Cosmic Wander project after a long journey across Asia, exploring and documenting dance practices, shamanism and the continent’s relationship to the supernatural. Yishun is Burning blends shamanism and voguing to create a transcendent, multimedia and multinational queer solo by dancer Sun Phitthaya Phaefuang (aka Amazon Sun). His is a trance-like passage towards ecstasy, as well as a kind of transcendence that surpasses gender attributions, cultural identities and religion. Thirty years after the iconic New York documentary Paris is Burning, this show combines the themes of a globalized world with the most ancient spiritual traditions, building in the process contemporary models of transmission and resistance.
Choy Ka Fai is a Berlin-based Singaporean artist. His multidisciplinary art practice situates itself at the intersection of dance, media art and performance. At the heart of his research is a continuous exploration of the metaphysics of the human body. Through research expeditions, pseudo-scientific experiments and documentary performances, Ka Fai appropriates technologies and narratives to imagine new futures of the human body. Ka Fai’s projects have been presented in major institutions and festivals worldwide, including Sadler’s Wells (London, UK), ImPulsTanz Festival (Vienna, Austria), Tanzplattform and Tanz Im August (Berlin, Germany). He was the resident artist at tanzhaus nrw in Düsseldorf (2017–2019) and Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin (2014-15). Ka Fai graduated with a M.A. in Design Interaction from the Royal College of Art, London, United Kingdom.
Sun Phitthaya Phaefuang also known as Sun, was born in Thailand, and then moved to Norway when he was 3 years old. He graduated from Oslo National Academy of the arts in 2011, with a bachelor in modern and contemporary dance. He has been living in Thailand since 2012 and has been working with artists such as Pichet Klunchun, Tang Fu Kuen, Daniel Kok, Jereh Leung, Brian Gothong Tan, Cheng Ta Yu, Sze Wei and Wan Ping (on a dance film about the vogue and ball culture in South East Asia) and currently also with Choy Ka Fai. Sun is also known for having created the vogue scene in Thailand. He was the first gay person from Thailand to ever join the balls in Asia and to also join a house in the LGBTQ community known as house of Amazon, by mother transgender vogue dancer Leiomy Maldonado. He is now also creating his own performance work.
Concept, Documentary and Direction – Choy Ka Fai
Dramaturgy – Tang Fu-Kuen
Spiritual Presence – Kali and Kuan Yin
Choreography and Dance Performance – Sun Phitthaya Phaefuang
Sound Design and Musical Performance – NADA (Rizman Putra & Safuan Johari) and Cheryl Ong
3D Visual Design and Technology – Brandon Tay
Light Design, Installation and Technical Direction – Ray Tseng
Visual artist: Sven Gareis / telematique
Stage Management, Operator – Sanja Gergori?
Technical Direction Singapore Studio – ARTFACTORY
Tour Manager – Tammo Walter
Production Manager – Mara Nedelcu
Guest Dancers – tbc
Yishun is Burning is developed with the support of tanzhaus nrw Dusseldorf and Singapore Art Museum.
Additional support was received from the Nationales Performance Netz (NPN) Coproduction Fund for Dance, which is funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, Germany.
The research process was supported by the National Arts Council, Singapore and Kunststiftung NRW, Germany