“Elisabeth Gunawan captivates… Her ability to shepherd the audience is matched only in the delicious way she leaves them stranded…”
-Angelo Irving, The Stage
b. 1993 Jakarta, Indonesia
New York University. BA Postcolonial Discourse. 2011-14.
Google Singapore. 2014-2019.
Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. MA Theatre Lab. 2019-20.
& The International School of the Hard Knocks™
Elisabeth Gunawan 吳金栵 is a Chinese-Indonesian artist who works in the mode of stories, poetry and performance. A critically-acclaimed and award-winning theatremaker and actor, her work uses stories, human bodies and images to simultaneously capture the audience in the moment of presence and into their imaginations.
Gunawan is the founder of the artistic collective Saksi Bisou, a migrant-led company that seeks to express the often inexpressible psychological landscapes of exile and migration. With Saksi Bisou, she recently presented a new headphone piece Promised Land (Bloomsbury Festival 2022), and is currently developing a new piece Prayers for a Hungry Ghost as part of Barbican Center’s Open Lab Programme.
With Created a Monster, she wrote and performed Unforgettable Girl, which won the OFFFest award at VOILA! Festival. For her performance, she also won Best Performer in a Play in The Stage Debut Awards 2022. She has worked as an actor, performer and deviser with Ad Infinitum, Flabbergast Theatre, and the David Glass Ensemble. She has collaborated with with Jasmine Chiu x Ellandar Productions on the piece At Broken Bridge and on multiple films with the artist Eelyn Lee.
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 is a resident artist at the Grotowski Institute, where she continued this exploration.
As a creative producer, she is passionate about the cultivation of historically marginalized genres and artists, collaborating with the traditional Indonesian dance company Lila Bhawa, and the music platform eavesdropping.
Represented by Sally Hope Associates
108 Leonard Street, London EC2A4XS
All paintings by Caroline Wong. Clockwise from left:
BETTY (2022), MARIGOLD ORANGE (BETTY) (2022), BETTY (2021)
Photo by Chris Mann