This three-day gathering in Hue, Vietnam of performing arts professionals from Japan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia saw an exchange of opinions on social issues and the role of arts and culture from the triple perspectives of Asia, women and the performing arts. Given that cultural and artistic activities in Vietnam are strictly regulated, venues such as restaurants played host to performances, project presentations and roundtable discussions. There was also a tour for participants to meet and interact with local artists. Despite Vietnam being a country and region where there are no international conferences on performing arts or contemporary art, and it is difficult to freely engage in artistic expression and dialog, the conference was able to create a new model for how artists and specialists in different countries can interact and create a forum for talking about art, and for how artists in the region can be involved.
Ajokai (Asian Women Performing Arts Collective)
In the end of 2012, Shirotama Hitsujiya and Mikuni Yanaihara launched Ajokai. Although it grew from the Conference for Asian Women and Theatre in the 1980s, presided over by the late Koharu Kisaragi and the late Rio Kishida, Ajokai has set its own goal, namely to be collective for ‘Asia,’ ‘Women’ and ‘Performing Arts.’
Ajokai aims to create works of art with women performers in Asia, and by doing so, to draw ‘a map of women’s performing arts in Asia,’ finding out about activeties until now under-publicized. Futhermore, we aim to make opportunities to hear the voices of women involved both in the performing arts and other occupants, and thus to build an organic network to support and encourage them.
Asian Women Performing Arts Collective
Thien Tam, Thien Mu Pagoda, An Hien Garden House, Hue Capital Citadel, New Space Arts Foundation, He Army Pub, An Bang, Dam Chuon Hoi Quan, Hue, Vietnam