#Hanfugirl

Hanfugirls have a Home! (For Now!)

I apologise profusely for MIA the past few months. Truth is, unbeknownst to most, Hanfugirls has finally gotten a physical space (albeit temporarily for now) so we could conduct more activities, workshops, lectures and we are also gearing up for an immersive performance later this year!

January is a non-event month because everyone’s still getting over Christmas and New Year and trying to stay afloat for Chinese New Year. So our public lectures and programmes from fashion to food, entertainment to arts and literature in ancient China (especially the Tang dynasty) would kick off mid Feb!

Thanks to the generous support of the National Arts Council, we managed to secure a physical space at the Stamford Arts Centre for a temporary residency programme! So let’s do it the typical Hanfugirl style, work hard, play hard and feast on~!

SAC-1edited
The space is totally immersive, and decorated in the style of the Tang dynasty China where cultures from Persia, China and India mixed to create this extremely vibrant and dynamic golden era in world cultural history (imho anyway). We’ve packed lots of easter eggs related to history and artefacts in this space too!

A quick overview of the lectures and workshop lined up for February alone:

Talk: Reimagining China through Fashion

Workshop & Lecture: Reliving the ancient Silk Road through Chinese textiles

Talk: Medieval China’s Tang dynasty courtesans, performing arts and women

Talk: How pop culture (mis)represents traditional Chinese garments and artforms

Talk: Food and Feasting in medieval China (Tang dynasty)

And it’s just from 15 to 28 Feb!

When I started planning and researching on this huge research-performance-education project based on medieval Chinese artforms, folk art, cultural practices and fashion, I wasn’t aware that the Stamford Arts Centre with its Japanese-inspired aesthetics would be such a perfect place for what I am about to do. You see, the Japanese adored Tang dynasty and absorbed all its aesthetics and cultural practices with such fervour back in the 8th-10th century that you can still find very obvious traits of Tang Chinese in their aesthetics today.

SAC-4edited
Central Asian incense ball with many Indian and Central Asian influenced vessels against a red-and-white Tang Chinese architectural archetype.

Imagine you are invited into an entertainment house, hosted by the courtesans of ancient China (said to be Geisha and Gisaeng’s predecessors from a thousand years ago). The artforms, music, dance, feasts and drinks and entertainment (masked or shadow puppetry) they indulge in with their visitors and patrons is a treasure trove of fascinating encounters.

Of course, you can’t experience them from the public lectures and workshops just yet, because we’re gearing up for a fully immersive Night of Feasts and ancient Artforms second half of the year where only a handful of “patrons” would get to spend 3 different evenings with our courtesans–each night with a different theme and narrative.

I shall stop before giving too much away. The fun part is always the wait isn’t it? 🙂

SAC-26edited

And here’s a little sneak peek of the space and two of our characters in the upcoming show!

 

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