Artist Farm

Artists at play — unexpected collisions combine to form units of infinite possibilities!

Every year, nine artists and three dramaturgs are invited for a unique creative bootcamp, led by The Theatre Practice’s Artistic Director Kuo Jian Hong. Artist Farm is a safe haven for artists to work across disciplines, jam with little pressure, and most importantly play. 

Engaging in training and skill exchange in the mornings, followed by creative sparring and work development in the afternoon and evenings, Artist Farm nurtures ideas and pushes the boundaries of collaborative practices. These artists must find common ground as the foundation of their collaboration- also known as “The Thesis Statement”. Through their artistic processes, we gain a unique insight into what it means to collaborate, experiment and play. 

The journey concludes with a series of three public presentations. Audience members are invited to witness the evolution of works, and to dive deeper into the artistic process by engaging in critical open dialogue with our Farmers.

With just a week to toil, how do these artists find and articulate a unified, clear voice under such exquisite pressure?

Date: 24 – 26 August 2018

Venue: The Theatre Practice Rehearsal Studio

Festival: M1 Patch! A Theatre Festival of Artful Play

Facilitator: Kuo Jian Hong

Artists: Alex Tálamo, Cloud Wang, FERRY, Hao Wei Kai, Irfan Kasban, Ng Mun Poh, Thong Pei Qin, Yeo Lyle, Steve Wilson-Alexander

Documenters/Dramaturgs: Ang Xiao Ting, Sim Xin Yi, Michelle Tan

When I was doing my masters in Design, my teachers would often ask: What is your voice in this? This question would often come up when designers had to work on the same project with directors in the school’s theatre department. Over time, when I began my practice as a professional lighting designer, film director and eventually, theatre director, the idea of finding a voice in my work became even more apparent. I needed to have a voice to be heard by my fellow collaborators.

Over the past 53 years, TTP has nurtured many voices in the theatre community. We also have a long history of creating residencies or “boot camps” to facilitate the process of letting various art-makers articulate their voices in a safe haven, though subject to the exquisite pressure of time. In recent years, however, the industry is witnessing a shift towards works with devising as the common ground. Therefore, Artist Farm emerged as a response to this shift. It is a testing ground in which artists have to struggle to find clarity very early in a creative process so as to communicate with their fellow collaborators. I have to emphasise that this is merely an exercise. I am not advocating a method of devising theatre. Instead, I am focusing on the muscle that I believe a good artist needs to flex. The ability to articulate a clear voice.

Unique to The Theatre Practice, however, is the emphasis on collaboration.

Therefore, this gathering of artists is not just an opportunity to distil the 9 solo voices. In Artist Farm, with the help of the 3 dramaturgs, we push the collaborative process to the very limits by encouraging our participants to create 3 unified, yet distinct voices.

– Kuo Jian Hong

Artist Farm Facilitator