We are saksi bisou (Bahasa: silent witness) – As an artistic collective, we are curious in exploring the universal experience of journey and exile. We are influenced by lived experiences as migrant people of colour, our work often investigates memory, isolation, oppression, exile and what it means to preserve our humanity.
As part of our R&D of Prayers for a Hungry Ghost, we are also hosting two other events, click through to find out more and to join us:
Life Drawing Class: The Realm of the Hungry Ghosts
with Yi Wei Xu
Online Meditative Exploration: Our Bodies Know
with Anna Lau
Elisabeth Gunawan 吳金栵 (Writer/Co-Director/BIG SISTER) is a Chinese-Indonesian artist who works in the mode of stories, poetry and performance. She is a critically-acclaimed and multi award-winning theatremaker and actor. With Created a Monster, she wrote and performed Unforgettable Girl, which won the OFFFest award at VOILA! Festival, Best Performer in a Play in The Stage Debut Awards 2022 and is a finalist for the LET Award 2023. Leading Saksi Bisou, she is also currently developing Promised Land (Electric Dreams Online 2020/Bloomsbury Festival 2022). As an actor-maker, she is working with Ad Infinitum on their new piece ‘If You Fall’ (Bristol Old Vic/Manchester HOME), and with Flabbergast Theatre co-devising and performing Macbeth (Edinburgh Assembly Festival 2022, Southwark Playhouse 2023). In 2021, she was a recipient of Arts Council England’s Developing Your Creative Practice fund to begin her ‘Myths, Stories and Worlds’ research (née ‘Mythical Storytelling’), which continues to be the backbone of her practice today. For the period of 2021-2022, she was a resident artist at the Grotowski Institute, where she continued this exploration.
Jasmine Chiu (LITTLE SISTER/DOCTOR) is a Hong Kong-Canadian dance artist, actor, and maker. She tells stories which explore diasporic identity through movement, puppetry, sound, and evocative text. Her solo work ‘At Broken Bridge’ has been presented by Camden People’s Theatre, Pegasus Theatre, and Tate Britain. As a performer she’s worked with choreographers Wayne McGregor, Akram Khan, and artist Anthea Hamilton. Credits include: My Neighbour Totoro (Royal Shakespeare Company) Dragon Spring Phoenix Rise (The Shed, NYC), Wild (Unicorn Theatre), The Squash (Tate Britain), Primetime (Hayward Gallery), VORTEX (Epidemic, Paris), Jurassic World Dominion (Universal Pictures). www.jasminechiu.com
Daniel York Loh (FATHER/DOCTOR) is a performer, writer, filmmaker, musician and co-founder of Moongate Productions. He has worked at the Royal Shakespeare Company, National Theatre, Royal Court and most recently in Dr. Semmelweis (Bristol Old Vic), No Particular Order (Theatre 503), Dmitry (Marylebone Theatre) and Caceroleo (Vault Festival) as well as extensively in Singapore. He is one of 21 ‘writers of colour’ in the best-selling essay collection The Good Immigrant. His dramatic writing includes The Fu Manchu Complex (Ovalhouse), Forgotten 遗忘 (Arcola/Plymouth Theatre Royal) and every dollar is a soldier/with money you’re a dragon (Winner – 2021 Arts Council Digital Culture Award) for Kakilang where he is Associate Artistic Director and whose biannual festival begins in London on February 21st https://www.kakilang.org.uk/festival-2023 He is one-third of alt-folk-punk trio Wondermare.
Matej Matejka (Movement Director/Co-Director) is a multi-award winning movement and theatre practitioner who specializes in opening up the creative potentials of the body, and this comes out in his teaching and directing. Most recently, he was movement director for Flabbergast Theatre’s Macbeth (Assembly Roxy – Edinburgh Fringe) and directed Saksi Bisou’s Promised Land (Bloomsbury Festival). Born and raised in Czecho-Slovakia, curently living in Poland, he was an actor and movement co-trainer with Farm in the Cave studio in Prague from 2000-2005 and Teatr ZAR, Wroclaw, Poland from 2005-2018, where he performed in Dark Love Sonnets, SCLAVI: Song of an Emigrant, Anhelli: The Calling and Caesarean Section: Essays on Suicide, winnning Herald Angel and Total Theatre awards in Edinburgh in 2006 and 2012. He is the founder and leader of Studio Matejka, a performance research studio and company under the auspices of the Grotowski Institute, in which he directed and created multiple theatre productions, short films and interactive performances among others Awkward Happiness or Everything I Don’t Remember About Meeting You, Charmolypi, site-specific projects including Angry Man: Variations in Defense of Anger’nominated for The Best OFF 2018/2019 in Poland. Matej directed seven short films, including Pearadise, which won the Best Foreign Film award at the Los Angeles International Underground Film Festival in 2013 and Conflict of Apathy in NUDANCE Festival, Bratislava 2014. www.matejmatejka.com
Erin Guan (Designer) is a London-based scenographer and interactive installation artist from China. She has a strong interest in interdisciplinary theatre and performance making and she works
across installations, plays, musicals, dance, digital theatre, devised theatre. Her work spans across intercultural performances and minority voices. Her digital artwork specialises in Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality experiences. Her VR installation Chamber404 is exhibited in Ars Electronica 2020 x Interactive Architecture Lab, Camden People’s Theatre and Vault Festival 2022 and VA Lab Taipei. Her recent theatre projects include school touring Pressure Drop (Immediate Theatre), The Apology (New Earth Theatre x Arcola Theatre), A Gig for Ghost (Forty Five North x Soho Theatre Upstairs), immersive technology promenade performance Unchain Me (Dreamthinkspeak x Brighton Festival), Symbiont (Caged Bird Theatre x The Vault), Foxes (Defibrillator Theatre x Theatre 503), touring musical Tokyo Rose (Burnt Lemon Theatre), both immersive game theatre Talk and The House Never
Wins (Kill The Cat Theatre), Freedom Hi, Asian Pirate Musical (PaperGang Theatre), and web design for audio tour The Letters Project (Gate Theatre).
LI YI LEI (Music and Sound) is a Chinese artist and composer working and living in London. Li’s body of work sought to reflect on the tacitness and transience of existential occurrences. Investigating alternative modes of listening and ways of perception through multidisciplinary practices. Li has been releasing music, composing for theatres and films since 2017. Their work has been showcased and performed at The Barbican Centre, OCAT Contemporary Art Terminal, UCCA Centre of Contemporary art, ESEA contemporary, Cafe Oto, Hundred Years Gallery, Aranya Church, Mayfest Festival, MAO museum of oriental arts and more. Their work has been featured and reviewed on various platforms such as BBC radios, The Guardian, DAZED magazine, The Wire magazine, CRACK magazine, The Telegraph and more.
Aya Nakamura (Puppetry) is a London based theatre-maker, puppeteer and puppet maker originally from Japan. For the last 15 years she has worked on many children’s and adult puppet productions for a variety of theatre companies including Improbable, The Old Trout Puppet Workshop (Canada), Polka Theatre, Handbendi Brúðuleikhús (Iceland), Horse and Bamboo, Norwich Puppet Theatre, Oily Cart, Unicorn Theatre and Wattle&Daub Figure Theatre. Aya also runs the award-winning company Rouge28 Theatre, which has toured productions nationally and internationally. Recently she was performing in Famous Puppet Death Scenes which sold-out at the Barbican Pit Theatre during the London International Mime Festival. More information can be found at www.ayanakamura.com
Mona Camille (Design Consultant) is a set designer with a background in architecture. Mona’s recent work and collaborations include designs for Theatre503, Saksi Bisou at the Bloomsbury Festival 2022, Studio Goodluck Film productions, the Chinese Arts Now Festival London as well as working as an associate designer with Moi Tran on productions at the Hampstead Theatre and the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. Mona is also a multidisciplinary artist with recent artwork exhibited at the Seychelles Biennale of Contemporary Art 2022 and the Seychelles National Museum for the 2022 Festival Kreol, in her home country.
Ezra Barnard (Costume Designer) is a multi-talented designer and maker of costumes and props with a BA in Fine Art from Chelsea School of Art and Design. Starting out by designing garments and fashion accessories for friends and artists such as Jay Jay Revlon and other members of the ballroom community. They have now expanded their repertoire into theatre and the performing arts. They have made costumes for shows such as Tokyo Rose (Burnt Lemon Theatre, 2022) costume designed for Tempest (Wildcard Theatre Company, wardrobe supervisor, 2022) and the west end debut of A Sherlock Carol (DEM Productions, wardrobe assistant, 2022-2023)
Ailin Conant (Artistic Collaborator) is a Japanese-American director based in the UK. As a freelance director, she has worked for the RSC, The Royal Court, Bush Theatre, New Earth, Theatre503, Kansas City Rep (USA), Ayyam Al-Masrah (Gaza), Clown Me In (Lebanon), and The Catalyst (Switzerland). Most recently she worked as a director for the Royal Court’s New Plays: Japan, and as the associate director on My Neighbour Totoro with the RSC and Improbable. Ailin is also the founding artistic director of Theatre Témoin, a company creating visually compelling and socially urgent works of new theatre. With Témoin, she has directed commissions from The Lowry, The Everyman Cheltenham, Without Walls, and others, as well as productions in Rwanda, Israel, Kashmir, Lebanon, France, and the USA. As a twice-migrant and dual-heritage nomad, Ailin is passionate about cross-cultural and intercultural creative exchange.
Yael Elisheva (Artistic Collaborator) is a performer, theatre-maker, director and teaching artist. UK performance credits include; In This Smoking Chaos at Queens Theatre Hornchurch, Schlepping a work-in-progressat The Coronet Theatre, and Dinner at RADA Studios. Yael is a drag and cabaret artist and performs regularly at various venues throughout London. Yael was the assistant director for The Ministry of lesbian Affairs at Soho Theatre. As a teaching artist, they have a background in facilitating drama and improv to incarcerated and court-involved young people.
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