Driven by his interest in exploring the conditions of the human body, multi-disciplinary artist Choy Ka Fai focuses his research on choreographic practices in Asia. The wind that cuts the body presents his current investigation into Butoh, which arose in Japan at the end of the 1950s, encompassing a diverse range of techniques from dance, theatre, and movement. Choy traces the legacy of one of the key founders, Tatsumi Hijikata (1928–1986) who sought a new form of physical expression he referred to as ankoku butō (“dance of darkness”), delving into imageries of the grotesque and sickness of the human form. The research presentation will feature a selection of reference materials from the Tatsumi Hijikata Archive in Tokyo and from the artist’s expeditions, interviews, and documentary sketches. In his pursuit, Choy went to the extent of interviewing the spirit of Hijikata through an itako (Japanese shaman) and to speculate on the technological possibilities of dancing with Hijikata again.
The wind that cuts the body is curated by Khim Ong, Deputy Director, Curatorial Programmes.
Choy Ka Fai (b. 1979, Singapore), currently based in Berlin, works freely across the various disciplines of dance, theatre, and visual art. He graduated from the Royal College of Art, London, with an MA in Design Interaction, and was conferred the Young Artist Award by the National Arts Council, Singapore in 2010. Choy was artist resident at NTU CCA Singapore (2017), Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin (2014–2015), and his projects have been presented at major festivals worldwide, including Sadler’s Wells, London, United Kingdom (2016), ImPulsTanz Festival, Vienna, Austria (2015), and Tanz Im August, Berlin, Germany (2013, 2015). He is currently a resident artist at tanzhaus nrw Düsseldorf.
Image credit: Choy Ka Fai, A Pilgrimage, 2016, Kamaitachi Museum, Tashiro, Japan, 2017. Courtesy the artist.