Ishvara (2017)

by Tianzhuo Chen 


Tianzhuo Chen, the new troublemaker of the Chinese art scene, created an overwhelming stage piece in ISHVARA that no opera, not even a drug rush, will match any time soon: music, dance, bodies and images meld into visual/acoustic ecstasy. Inspired by the Hindu epos Bhagavad Gita, the stage characters push themselves in various versions of divinity – and use the big stage for their carnevalesque rivalry, whereby reality and fantasy seem to become blurred. Chen helps himself to religious symbols and dance styles such as Butoh or voguing and combines them with subcultural codes from drag, club and pop culture. As a precise alchemist, he investigates and probes history and religion in order to understand our human existence and spiritual exploitation in the modern world. It is a ceremony of sub- and high culture that Tianzhuo Chen brings onto the stage with a number of artistic accomplices; it’s a show that “is able to create a new definition of the opera genre with its associative power and bombast,” as the Vienna Festwochen announced, where ISHVARA will also be shown. The pioneering approach of this artist, who was born in Beijing in 1985 and educated at London’s Central Saint Martins College, is not only shown in his works that include installations, performance, video, drawings and photography, but also in the locations of his performances: Berlin’s Berghain belongs along with London’s Fashion Week or Paris’ Palais de Tokyo where Chen had a solo exhibition in 2015.

DIRECTOR Tianzhuo Chen
CHOREOGRAPHY Ndoho Ange, Tianzhuo Chen und House of Drama (Aymeric Bergada Du Cadet, Dyna Dagger, Igor Dewe, Ylva Falk, Amélie Poulain)
MUSIC Khyam Allami, Aïsha Devi, VagusNerve, Nodey
LIGHT Tanida Akihiko
VIDEO FL production
TEXT Tianzhuo Chen, Beio
WITH Ndoho Ange, JoJo, China Yu und House of Drama (Aymeric Bergada Du Cadet, Dyna Dagger, Igor Dewe, Ylva Falk, Amélie Poulain)

A production by Tianzhuo Chen, Long March Space
Resumption at Wiener Festwochen 2017 in co-production with Theater der Welt 2017.