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OzAsia Festival announces 2022 Program of performance and culture

OzAsia Festival announces 2022 Program of performance and culture
August 11, 2022

Adelaide Festival Centre’s OzAsia Festival taking place from 20th October – 6th November will feature contemporary Asian and Asian Australian performance, art, literature, cuisine, and culture.

This year’s program features more than 500 community, national and international artists from more than eight countries, and includes 10 world premieres, one Australian premiere and seven Adelaide premieres, across 50 ticketed and free events and exhibitions.

In her third year as Artistic Director, Annette Shun Wah (pictured above) is excited to welcome outstanding artists, writers, and thinkers from around Australia and Asia and notes “I loved the way OzAsia Festival audiences embraced our program last year. With borders open this year we offer even more exceptional, meaningful, and enthralling works of creativity and artistry, putting Asian and Asian Australian perspectives, imaginations, and ideas firmly at the centre of this unique festival. Join us for three weeks of wonder, beauty, magic, and stories that will warm your heart and fill minds and stomachs in the most satisfying ways.”

Adelaide Festival Centre Chief Executive and Artistic Director Douglas Gautier enthused “this year’s OzAsia Festival program shines brightly on ideas central to our multicultural community. I look forward to seeing everyone out and about at the diverse variety of free and ticketed events that we will have on offer for audiences.”

Free family favourite event, the Moon Lantern Trail, returns on the opening weekend, over four fun days to discover more than a dozen giant handcrafted lanterns, including four brand-new lanterns and the popular 40-metre-long Hong Kong Dragon. Attendees will be welcomed in through the newly-commissioned Gate of Grace, which lights up at night. Created by renowned artist Tianli Zu, her signature papercut design is inspired by Australian and Asian natural elements and what they culturally symbolise. Also on offer are free roving performances, puppetry and live music, plus interactive workshops to create your own mementos of the visit

Two works will have their world premiere in 2022 after postponements from the OzAsia Festival 2021 program. Leading film actor and fight choreographer Maria Tran’s Action Star smashes everything from glass ceilings to gender and racial stereotypes, as she reveals her story in her theatrical debut. Choreographer Sue Healey’s The Long Walk is inspired by the pilgrimage of over 16,000 Chinese miners in the 1850s to Victoria’s goldfields. The piece will be performed on Robe’s uniquely beautiful, rugged coastline and led by Asian Australian dancers Kimball Wong and Julian Renlong Wong, and simultaneously streamed online and to Adelaide Festival Centre’s Space Theatre via real-time drone and camera recording as the dancers move spontaneously across the extraordinary landscape.

Two additional works from OzAsia Festival’s 2021 program will now make their Adelaide premiere in 2022. Michael Mohammed Ahmad’s gripping play The Demon investigates the history of the White Australia Policy in an action-filled, neo-noir investigation set in modern-day Sydney, whilst Chinese Australian musician, composer, and performer Mindy Meng Wang’s When is a deeply personal tale of upheaval, family, and the global pandemic, sharing stories between her hometown of Lanzhou, Wuhan and her new home of Melbourne.

Music also plays an important role in this year’s program. Bridge of Dreams is a breathtaking collaboration between 22 pre-eminent Australian and Indian musicians, led by award-winning saxophonist Sandy Evans. Iconic New York-based Singaporean pianist Margaret Leng Tan explores her 50-year career and its impact on avant garde music in Dragon Ladies Don’t Weep. And on the final day, Hyoshi in Counterpoint sees virtuoso percussionist Satomi Ohnishi and Guzheng virtuoso Zhao Liang lead an all-star collective of six South Australian women, all from different musical traditions and practices.

Korean alternative K-pop sensation LEENALCHI and Australian-Korean hip-hop supergroup 1300 team up to present one exhilarating night of alt-pop, funk, and rap, whilst Nexus Arts will host Eastmode in the West End: one massive block party celebrating the rise of Asian hip-hop and RnB, featuring multi-award-winning artist Kuya James and DJ/curator Diola along with artists Eastmode, Parvyn, Barkada, Claz and many more to be announced!

South Australian Minister for Arts Andrea Michaels adds “I congratulate OzAsia Festival on its 15th year in 2022 and encourage everyone to make the most of the incredible program that Annette Shun Wah and her team have curated. The South Australian Government is proud to support this wonderfully popular event and annual staple on Adelaide’s festival calendar.”

Adelaide’s Festival Centre’s Festival Theatre foyers will display three exhibitions all programmed around the theme of “Women at Work” as a visual response to 9 TO 5 THE MUSICAL, playing in Festival Theatre throughout October. On display is work in a variety of different mediums, exploring such ideas as the inequitable division of labour across gender and racial divides, the fight for education and employment, and the limitations of both the glass and the bamboo ceiling. From Indonesia, Batik Sangiran captures on cloth cultural motifs designed by a team of thirteen researchers and ten women batik artists. Dream Job, curated by Melbourne-based curator and arts writer Sophia Cai, examines the highs and lows of how, where, why, and for whom women work in the modern world. Art, Not War features the work of Shamsia Hassani, Afghanistan’s first female graffiti artist, and will include a brand-new work created specifically for OzAsia Festival.

Full program details and tickets at 

Image top: Roving Puppets Rama and Sita - Moon Lantern Trail - OzAsia Festival 2021, Credit: Xplorer Studio; image above: OzAsia Festival Artistic Director Annette Shun Wah. Credit: Prudence Upton

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