CAS presents an exciting cross-artform presentation of live and digital arts, commemorating the forgotten CHINESE LABOUR CORPS during WW1

(If you are pledging using bank accounts outside the UK, please use "W1B 5TD" as postcode)

THE STORY

100 years ago, the British and French armies recruited 140,000 Chinese men to work behind the Western Front during the First World War. They were the CHINESE LABOUR CORPS (CLC) who made a vital contribution to help the Allies win, but have since become "the forgotten of the forgotten"* in WW1 history.

* See Guardian article here 

For a special multimedia report 'The forgotten army of the first world war: how Chinese labourers helped shape Europe' in South China Morning Post please click here, and more information of CLC in Wikipedia here 

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For more historical photos of CLC, please visit Imperial War Museum's website.

CHINESE ARTS SPACE (CAS) presents PROJECT NEW EARTH (PNE) as part of the commemorations for WW1celebrating the CLC’s memory within the context of British Chinese communities in the UK today. Commissioned artists create four short works: two evocative music-dance films, an exciting live contemporary dance and a moving music drama.



SCHEDULE

Work-in-progress presentation:

8 Sep - China Exchange, London Chinatown, with artists' Q&A (presented by China Exchange)

National tour to cities where CLC are buried in local cemeteries:

11 Oct - The Black-E, Liverpool (ticket prices: £8/12, tickets via Unity Theatre)

13 Oct - Quarterhouse, Folkestone with post-show Q&A with local historian (ticket prices: £8/10)

15 Oct - Theatre Royal, Plymouth (free admission)

Chinese arts festival in London:

16 Dec - Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre (details TBC)

PROGRAMME

1. HEROES WITHIN

Julia Cheng - Choreographer/Dancer

Lavin Lee - Director

Ricky J Payne - Cinematographer/Animator

Andy Leung - Composer/Sound Designer

lula.xyz - Vocalist/Spoken Word

Claire Nicolas - Costume Designer

Dina Ahmed - Make-up Artist

A young Chinese woman discovers her ancestral contribution to Allied success in this music-dance-spoken word film. Animation peels back the layers of the painting, Panthéon de la Guerre, when the CLC were ‘painted out’ of history to make room for American soldiers.

2. MISSING PARTS 

Lucia Tong - Choreographer

Angelus Squid Marr - Composer/Pianist

Cheng Yu - Musician

Charlie Taillard - Motion Graphics

Sonja Perreten - Dancer

King San Lo - Dancer

Robin Harvey - Costumer Designer

Contemporary dancers explore distant journeys, monotony & nostalgia in homage to the CLC who became essential cogs in the war effort. Specially composed music creates a soundscape via recordings & live performance on pipa.

3. LUNAR CORPS 

Quang Kien Van - Choreographer/Dancer

Suki Mok - Filmmaker

Ruth Chan - Composer/Sound Designer

Ruta Irbite - Costume Designer

From labyrinthine warrens of lost memory, the stories & bodies of the CLC are excavated & brought into blazing light. This vivid music-dance film is a sensorial awakening to remember the forgotten.

4. SONG UNSUNG 

David K.S. Tse - Writer/Director

Kumiko Mendl - Dramaturge

Chris Chan - Music Director/Composer (Smile Work song)

Beibei Wang - Music Supervisor

Matthew Leonhart - Xu Kaidi

Windson Liong - Zhang Changsong

Candy Ma - Xu Meimei

Cherrie Lau - Costumer & Props Designer

Singer-actors weave together Chinese folk & English WW1 songs, with a moving drama focused on two men separated from family, lovers & friends by the war.

Song Unsung - Chinese New Year performance in Trafalgar Square, 2016

Lunar Corps - Teaser trailer 

Ski Mok Photography

Project New Earth - Creative Team members (Suki Mok Photography)

BIOGRAPHIES:

HEROES WITHIN:

Julia Cheng - Choreographer/Dancer

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Julia is a professional dance artist with over 10 years experience in contemporary & street dance styles. At present, she continues to compete, judge, teach, perform & choreograph. As Creative Director of company House of Absolute, she aims to push her eclectic range of theatre & dance training to expand cross-art performance. Click here for Julia's website. 

Lavin Lee - Director

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Graduating with a BA (Hons) degree in Film Studies, Lavin began his field experience as a camera assistant, for projects including Channel 4: Noah's Ark (2014) & Honey Trap (2014). He thereupon co-founded an independent production company Metona Film & Photography in 2014, directing commercial & corporate short films for international western & eastern companies. Click here for Lavin's website. 

Ricky J Payne - Cinematographer/Animator

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Born & bred in Brixton, Ricky graduated from drama school performing his 5-stars award-winning one-man show Wombman. Facilitating workshops in acting, film & animation for young people, Ricky developed production company Invisible Darkness, where after a successful preview at Warner Bros, he is now developing a TV pilot. Click here for Ricky's website.

Andy Leung - Composer/Sound Designer

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Andy is an artist, songwriter & music producer. Most notably as the youngest composer commissioned for New Music 20x12 for the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad (CAS commission, XX/XY). In 2016, he released his debut electronic album New Cola; the pioneering work featured a digital erhu (developed from CAS commission, Project New Moon). Click here for Andy's website.

lula.xyz - Vocalist/Spoken Word

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lula.xyz is a multidisciplinary singer, actor, writer across different platforms. Currently, a resident host/presenter for EFG London Jazz Festival & Love Supreme; Musical Director for House of Absolute Dance Co; content creator for an online publication Global Style Gypsy; & a member of Filament Theatre Co. She is working on a National Theatre production The Jungle with Steven Daldry (Director of The Hours, Billy Elliot) that will see her on stage in 2017, whilst producing her first EP collaborating with other artists. Please click here for more information about lula.xyz, and here for her youtube channel. 

Claire Nicolas - Costume Designer

Claire is an established versatile costumier & costume production manager, based in London with over 7 years experience in the theatrical industry, working on world renowned productions in London, Paris & New Zealand. She works extensively across various productions in theatre, film, contemporary & commercial costume making & design, specialising in garment construction both historically & in fashion placement. Please click here for Claire's website.

Dina Ahmed - Make-Up Artist

Dina is a trained hair & make-up artist based in London, Surrey & the surrounding areas for photoshoots, bridal make-up, party make-up & fashion shows. Please click here for Dina's website.

MISSING PARTS

Lucia Tong- Choreographer

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Lucia is a dance artist & choreographer based in London. Her passion for movement began with Chinese dance & competing with the Hong Kong rhythmic gymnastics team before studying contemporary dance at the University of California-Berkeley (USA). Lucia established Pangea Art in 2008 to develop interdisciplinary works inspired from our personal histories & perceptions. Please click here for Lucia's website.

Angelus Squid Marr - Composer/Pianist

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Angelus is a British Chinese multi-genre artist with a particular interest in exploring identity & stories of the marginalised. Composition, improvisation, song-writing, performance, recordings, drawing, zine-making, running creative workshops, piano-tuition are all vital forms of communication for him. More about The Flying Coffee Machine & the Musician Puppets project here.

Cheng Yu - Musician

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Beijing born, pipa & guqin virtuoso Cheng Yu gained her BMus (China), MMus & PhD (SOAS, University of London) in performance & ethnomusicology. She performs regularly on traditional, contemporary & cross-culture/genre music including with Lang Lang, Matthew Barley & Damon Albarn & with her Ensemble & the award-winning Silk String Quartet. She lives in London & teaches at SOAS. Click here for Yu's Facebook page and here for more information about her.

Charlie Taillard - Motion Graphics

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Charlie had passion for art and design from a young age and attended art school École des Arts Décoratifs in Strasburg. He is inspired by nature’s harmony from his travels around the world. His work as  Creative Director, Graphic Designer and VJ has supported Artists, Music Festivals, Entrepreneurs and Blue Chips internationally. He is currently working on a new project Phosphere, an interactive digital portal illuminating the healing benefits of sacred geometry and its relationship with nature. Please click here for Charlie's website.

Sonja Perreten - Dancer

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Sonja is a collaborative artist working on stage & film in dance, physical theatre & aerial movement. She has made work with Sidi Larbi, Stan Won’t Dance, Fin Walker, Jasmin Vardimon, The Holy Body Tattoo & Roxanna Young, among others.  Sonja has also directed movement in the West End, most recently working as associate director for Steven Hoggett.

King San Lo - Dancer

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King San Lo was born and raised in Hong Kong. His performing journey started in secondary school's theatre arts club and dramaturgy lives within him ever since. Graduated from the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, he is currently a member of EDge. He has worked with local and international choreographers including Laura Aris, Helen Lai and Rebecca Wong Pik Kei. He has received scholarships to participate and perform in dance festivals in Spain, USA and China. Please click here for his website.

LUNAR CORPS

Quang Kien Van - Choreographer/Dancer

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Quang is a dance artist & has performed with companies such as Adventures in Motion Pictures, Skanes Danstheater, Cirque du Soleil, Michael Clark Company, Scottish Dance Theatre & The Royal Court Theatre amongst others. Please click here for Quang's website.

Suki Mok - Filmmaker

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Suki is a photographer, DP & director based in London. His photo & film work covers portraiture, film, fine art, press, editorial & commercial. Please click here for Suki's website and blog.

Ruth Chan - Composer/Sound Designer

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Ruth composes for media & concert works, including: Around China with a Movie Camera (BFI), Moon’s Magmatism (CAS commission, Trafalgar Square), Piccadilly Revisited (CAS commission, Royal Opera House), As in a Dream (West Road Hall, Cambridge), A Very British Airline (BBC2) & Shangri-La (Finborough Theatre). She was Composer-in-Residence for Finzi Trust Residency in St Endellion & finalist for the Opera Close Up Flourish New Opera Competition 2014. Click here for Ruth's Facebook page and here for her website.

Ruta Irbite - Costume Designer

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Ruta’s design credits include productions for Scottish Dance Theatre, Royal Court Theatre, Soho Theatre. She was a Linbury Prize Finalist in 2013. Please click here for Ruta's website.

SONG UNSUNG

David K.S. Tse - Writer/Director

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Actor, Writer, Director, CAS Creative Director (p/t) & Founder-AD Yellow Earth Theatre (13yrs). Recent acting: National Theatre new play workshops; BBC Radio 4 drama; workshopped David Lane’s Korea; various TV & Film dramas in 2016/17. Also RSC Chinese Classics Project Special Adviser; CBBC commissioned writer, The Infirmary Ghost; & will direct Mary Cooper’s From Shore to Shore in 2017. His first feature screenplay, Yellow Poppy, is in development. Please click here for more information about David.  

Kumiko Mendl - Dramaturge

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Artistic Director of Yellow Earth Theatre since 2011. Kumiko devised & produced Dim Sum Nights, showcasing short new British East Asian works in Chinese restaurants. Directed Rashomon, Yeh Shen, Why The Lion Danced & The Last Days of Limehouse. Also works as an actress, teacher, storyteller & movement director & co-AD for A Thousand Cranes.

Chris Chan - Music Director/Composer (Smile Work song)

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Chris studied music in Oxford where he was organ scholar & conducted the Merton Chapel Choir, Oxford String Ensemble & Voxabilis. On receiving the Association of British Choral Directors Award, Chris went on to workshop with the Oxford Bach Choir & BBC Singers & served five years as director of Young Voices Children’s Choir in South London. Please click here for Chris's website.

Beibei Wang - Music Supervisor

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Chinese-born operatic soprano, professionally trained classical voice in China, Italy & the UK. She has won many awards, including Roy Pleasance voice competition, Mario Lanza International Singing Competition, the prestigious Leap award for Arts (20th Anniversary Phoenix TV & 10th Anniversary Phoenix Life), most recently appearing in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly at Cadogan Hall to great acclaim. Other roles include Suor Angelica, Mozart’s Così fan tutte, Turandot, Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi & Handel’s Rinaldo. Popular as a soloist in Gala concerts both in UK & China. Please click here for Beibei's website.

Matthew Leonhart - Xu Kaidi

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Trained at the California Institute of the Arts, Matthew is an actor, puppeteer, filmmaker & illustrator. He's held art exhibitions in England, China & America, recently toured his film Sick to my Bones around 18 film festivals & is currently in post-production for his next film, May You Never Die. For more information about Matt, please click here, and his website here.

Windson Liong - Zhang Changsong

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Windson is an international artiste who has performed in over 40 productions in 10 countries, with 7 original cast recordings under his belt. He was trained in Theatre Arts from Lasalle College of the Arts (Singapore) & Music Theatre from Royal Central School of Speech & Drama (UK). Please click here for Windson's website and here for more about him.

Candy Ma - Xu Meimei

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Trained at Xinghai Conservatoire of Music in China & Royal Central School of Speech & Drama, Candy has gone on to establish herself as a versatile performer with extensive experience. She has played leading roles in musicals including Aladdin, A Chorus Line & Avenue Q (West End), other theatre & TV credits include: BBC’s Last Choir Standing, Cyber Girls girl band National Tour, Pepsi Music Awards. Please click here for more information about Candy.

Cherrie Lau - Costume & Props Designer

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Cherrie gained a BA degree from Central Saint Martins in Performance Design & Practice. She currently works as a Performance Designer within the realm of Site-Specific Theatre & Live Events. Find out about her recent collaborations with Secret Cinema & Alice’s Adventures Underground (& more!) here.

WHY WE NEED YOU?

CAS receives no regular funding and operates as a non-profit organisation.

PNE has been partly funded by Arts Council England and is definitely going ahead, but we still need to raise additional money to help us tour the production to three cities where members of the CLC are buried, and then to bring it to a major Chinese arts festival in London this December. And in order to educate the public about this piece of 'forgotten history', we will produce a documentary about the tour for wider dissemination, and to promote and distribute the two short films (Heroes Within and Lunar Corps) all over the world. Your support will directly help to ensure the success of this unique and historically significant intercultural event. Every penny counts!

The funds raised will contribute to the following:

1. Production of a documentary of the tour and performances for wider dissemination: 45%

2. Promotion and distribution for the two short films across short film festivals around the world including media in UK & China, as well as online forums and WW1 Museums around the world: 35%

3. Cost of the tour, eg. accommodation, transportation for the creative team and artists: 10%

4. Cost of more publicity of the performances, eg. posters, flyers, and house programmes and advertisement, to bring greater public awareness of the performances: 10%

(If you are pledging using bank accounts outside the UK, please use "W1B 5TD" as postcode)

REVIEWS

“The score for Piccadilly Revisited is a shimmering, evocative and jazzy East-West brew”

The Times

作曲新秀陳秀雲與資深導演謝家聲在內的華人藝術家們,今次以全新創作的現代音樂、獨 白及錄像,在《唐人街繁華夢》的光影中重塑黃柳霜的一生,以新世紀觸角,還原一代女 星星光背後的真實生命。透過黑白光影中的百年夢幻,時光也似乎在我們面前的舞台上開 出了不朽的東方之花。

“With freshly composed music, narration and video, up-and-coming composer Ruth Chan and director David Tse recreated, with a contemporary touch, the life behind the silver screen of Anna May Wong in Piccadilly Revisited. A century of dream through light and shadow, time seemed to have ‘blossomed’ right on stage like the eternal flower of the orient.”

Wen Wei Po

唐人街繁華夢》的「默片+音樂+劇場」,嘗試把黃柳霜最負盛名的電影作品《唐人街 繁華夢》摻雜現代舞台的種種元素,包括現場歌聲音樂和旁白的混合,從而藉古今交織產 生微妙的化學作用。 With silent film, music and theatre, Piccadilly Revisited attempts to blend elements of modern theatre such as live vocals and narration with Anna May Wong's most well-known film work Piccadilly, creating a most delicate alchemical effect weaving the past and the present.

CforCulture

This year's Hong Kong Arts Festival presented the New Stage series, featuring a production which brought the 1929 English silent film classic Piccadilly on stage with live music. The performing quality of Piccadilly  Revisited was delightful - not only was the film enlivened by fresh editing, there was also an air of contemporary sensibility under the director's artistic touch.

Ta Kung Pao

QUOTES

I really enjoyed the Project New Moon performance - Adam Puskin, The Place

Great to be part of Project New Moon - Oliver Carruthers, Rich Mix

CAS concept & theme were very strong for Project New Moon... the artists developed unique interpretations - Raidene Carter, The Albany

Passionate, engaging music teacher, Andy Leung; students responded well - Alastair Leung, Youth Worker, Chinese Community Centre

Julia Cheng’s contemporary dance helped children express themselves, creating something from within - Xiaojiu Zhu, Headmistress, London Mandarin School

Good to see people from non-dance backgrounds in Quang Kien Van’s class - Shuang Teng, Office Manager, Confucius Institute

Loved Jay Differ’s class... learnt how to express my thoughts through songwriting & performing - Kieron Bonnick, participant, Albany/MIDI Music

Definitely good to run Andy Leung’s course again! - George Dong, Teacher, London Mandarin School

Huge bonus knowing workshops facilitated by local artist Jay Differ - Raidene Carter, The Albany