The COVID-19 pandemic has posed challenges to the global art sector. It’s time to regroup, rebuild, and reconnect. From August to October 2021, we have launched this «To-gather» International Collaboration open call. This call supports 2–3-year collaborations between partners in Switzerland and in the regions of the Pro Helvetia liaison offices. We expect these 3 selected projects to have critical reflection on the current situation, to share ideas towards more equal forms of exchange between cultures and across contexts, and to experiement with new formats for collaborating.
“To See, To Say: the new wave of international women independent performing arts project” (TTWW 2022-2025) serves as a promotion of the communication among female performing artists worldwide and the co-production of independent performing arts projects.
“To See” refers to observing the creative atmosphere of female artists, while “To Say” indicates an encouragement for them to speak out. Performing art is their area of expertise. There has been an evident wave of female creativity in literature, film, visual arts, and architecture. Now, women’s independent performing works in a niche theater-style have also started to come to their attention — these artists are creating their own impressive works as individuals. In the post-epidemic era, this project aims to encourage the audience to see the effort of the female artists, while inspiring the artists to say and do more. To See, To Say, To Act – Being women, they are taking actions to promote this project, with the aim to create a better creative environment for female artists.
Chongqing YINZI Theatre, founded by Hu Yin, is joining hands with the Pro Helvetia Shanghai, Swiss Arts Council to spearhead the call in Chongqing, for building a LIVE archive and international network of independent performing arts by women in the context of a global epidemic over a three-year period. Through the international resident creation in Chongqing (including exchange visits, online meetings, residency programs, festival-commissioned, etc.), they strive to the creation of works by female independent performing arts groups, and actively explore co-production mechanisms for independent performing arts works worldwide.
YINZI Theatre hopes that, through whatever means of communication, creators and observers from different regions will connect as roots and blossom like flowers, stimulating and inspiring each other in different cultural ecologies.
“TTWW” will build a more profound and extensive partnership with the Pro Helvetia Shanghai upon the success of the 2015-2020 five-year International YINZI Young Directors Residency (YYDR). As the pandemic seems to be a turn for the better, this project also serves as a platform to present the social and creative issues faced by women artists in the era of the global epidemic slowdown. Three years after the launch of the project, they will have a more in-depth production of some of the works created as a result of the residency program, and these productions will also be invited to join the TTWW Art Festival.
At the same time, they will invite institutions from more countries to jointly promote this wave of contemporary performing arts with the help of online and offline media channels around the globe. For example, they will set up a city observatory— A Walk Through the City. As an observer, they will record how the art institutions there help independent female groups face different creative crises or challenges; as facilitators, they will establish an effective international co-productions network for these artists.
Chongqing is a fascinating three-dimensional city, and the YINZI Theatre facing the Yangtze River is located at Huangjueping, the roots of contemporary art in southwest China. The theater, which is surrounded by disused power plants, railways, warehouses, and old teahouses, provides artists with the cultural landscape and the artistic atmosphere of Chongqing. They welcome artists to do their creation in this theater, be it performance videos, sound experimentation, or dance and environmental theatre, and they look forward to meeting with artistic groups that like to embrace experiments and innovation.
About the Team
As the first independent experimental theatre meeting the international standards and based in Chongqing city, southwest China, YINZI theatre started at 501 Art Base, a red bricks warehouse. Their curatorial team is based in Chongqing and centers on multidisciplinary creativity, and they have also set up a production network with many outstanding independent producers and curators from home and abroad. The YINZI theatre started with the promotion of visual arts, and through ten years of interdisciplinary practices, it now mainly focuses on the development of contemporary performing arts. In addition to using the Black box to produce, contract, present, and promote works of contemporary performing art (in the form of music, sound, non-verbal performance, dance, one-act play, immersive theatre, installation, and video), they also explore more possibilities for performing arts in public spaces and is actively building an archive for independent young performing artists in southwest China.
Target Groups: Director, Producer, Actor, Playwright, Theater critic, Interactive artists.
Artistic Forms: Performing art productions by female artists, performances, visual art, video, text, interactive art