The identities of props concealed in metaphors
Thailand’s most sought-after director, Wichaya Artamat——who questions the relations between politics, an individual’s upbringing, and artistic expression——joins us for the second time following his piece for Kyoto Experiment 2021 Spring. This new work is also an international co-production with Masamitsu Araki as sound designer and Yuya Tsukahara as dramaturg.
In previous works, Artamat has used various props on stage as metaphors to avoid the censorship of political messages. However, could this approach not be read as a way of oppressing the identities of props as “things” through theatrical expression?
For this work, no actors are present on stage. The performers are a number of props: a particular date, a frame, a song, a teru teru bozu (hand-made doll which is believed to bring good weather), a tree, a pizza, and a fan. Artamat himself reflects on his own dictatorial behaviors by tracing the political incidents that gave birth to each of his pieces and the roles these props play in them. He considers how he has forced meaning on to them, and, in this work, allows them space to “respond.”
His playful yet subversive approach to directing this work suggests ways of asking questions in order to overcome harsh and unreasonable situations: not only in regards to the Thai government, but also any individual or wider society that is unwittingly subsumed by larger authoritarian structures.
9.30 (Sat) 14:00 ★◆
10.1 (Sun) 13:00 ♡ / 17:00
★ Post-show talk
◆ Festival Share Cafe
♡ Childcare Service (reservation required 7 days before each performance)
Duration: 70 min (TBC)
Thai with Japanese and English surtitles
⚠️ Audiences may not enter after the performance has started.
Recommended for ages 12 and above.
Please note this performance contains some violent video footage. Viewer discretion is advised.
Youth (25 and under), Students ¥3,000
High School Students & Younger ¥1,000
Day tickets: Advance ticket price +¥500.
High school students & younger are the same price as advance tickets.
Wichaya Artamat is a co-founding member of For What Theatre. He was long captivated by performances since when he was still studying Film. He started working in theater as a project coordinator for Bangkok Theatre Festival 2008. He joined the New Theatre Society in 2009, during which he grew to become a director recognized for various experimental forms and unconventional theatrical approaches. Hailed as ‘one of the most promising contemporary theater creators of Southeast Asia,’ Wichaya is especially interested in exploring how society remembers and unremembers its history through certain calendar days. He co-founded For What Theatre in 2014 and is also a member of Sudvisai Club and Collective Thai Scripts. Since the European premiere of his most prominent work This Song Father Used to Sing (Three Days in May) at Kunstenfestivaldesarts 2019, Wichaya has been extensively touring and creating in Europe, Asia, and beyond.
For What Theatre
Founded in 2014 by Wichaya Artamat, Sasapin Siriwanji, and Ben Busarakamwong, who were already active members of other theater troupes, For What Theatre is a playground for experimenting with performance-making. Their work has taken multiple forms: spoken theater, documentary theater, puppet theater, performance art, photography, video, and installation. Besides dealing with the problematic and complex nature of Thai society and politics in diverse ways, For What Theatre also strives to question the concept of theater itself—a term which in Thailand’s context seems to have fixed, unaffectable values.
Concept and Direction: Wichaya Artamat
Text: Pathipon Adsavamahampong, Wichaya Artamat
Art and Technical Direction: Pornpan Arayaveerasid, Rueangrith
Dramaturgy: Yuya Tsukahara
Sound Design and Operation: Araki Masamitsu
Mechanics Creation: Laphonphat Duongploy
Technical Operation: Piti Boonsom, Monthira Jamsri
Object Operation: Surat Kaewseekarm
Stage Management: Pathipon Adsavamahapong
English Translation: Carina Chotirawi, soi squad
Project Management: Thongchai Pimapunsri
Producer: Sasapin Siriwanij
In co-operation with Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC)
Residency support: KYOTO ART CENTER
Co-Produced by Kyoto Experiment, The Japan Foundation and For
Supported by The Saison Foundation (International Project Support
Program / Kyoto Experiment × For What Theatre Juggle & Hide
[Seven Whatchamacallits in Search of a Director])
Co-Organized by The Japan Foundation
Organized by Kyoto Experiment
This work was produced for the Japan Foundation‛s International Creations in Performing Arts 2023.
Kyoto Experiment Staff
Technical Coordinator: Yuhi Kobayashi
Lighting:Kosuke Ashidano (RYU)
Sound: Ryo Yoshida
Video: Sou Fukuoka
Japanese surtitles: Sho Fukutomi
Talk Interpreter: Miho Tsujii, Pongsapitaksanti Piya
Production Coordinator: Tomo Setou (KYOTO ART CENTER)
Intern: Marina Arita, Misaki Kudo and Haruto Maeda