Help the performing arts recover

This series invites you to connect more deeply with the artists and works that were part of Asia TOPA Festival. From conversations about the interplay of art and politics through to explorations of art making, explore the broader issues that shape contemporary daily life in the Asia Pacific region.

Asia TOPA 2020 featured a multi-art form collection of works over the three-month long festival exploring the connections between contemporary Australia, the region in which we live and its growing diaspora.



BYO Lunch Conversations

Speakers: Jamie Smith, Yuhui Ng-Rodriguez, Alisa Tanaka-King, Priya Pavri, Sandra Tan, Shimona Samson

In partnership with MPavillion

Listen back to this conversation facilitated by Singapore-born artist Jamie Lewis, and joined by table hosts from a range of artistic, cultural and professional backgrounds. Our guests deconstruct and prod the boundaries of the multiplicity of the ‘Asian-Australian’ narrative.



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Takeover: The Dynamics of Taste

Speakers: Speakers: Takao Kawaguchi, Linda Sastradipradja and Amaara Raheem in conversation with Dr Philipa Rothfield

In partnership with MPavillion and Dancehouse

Revisit this talk with Takao Kawaguchi, Linda Sastradipradja and Amaara Raheem in conversation with Dr Philipa Rothfield and Dr Priya Srinivasan. This discussion interrogates the politics of taste; in particular the politics of arts ecologies that define questions of aesthetic value and the systems that support them. Our guests question what it means to be a practitioner of “traditional” art forms in a landscape that privileges “the contemporary” and how taste can be thought to be hegemonic.



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Benjamin Law on 'Torch the Place'

Speakers: Benjamin Law, Michelle Lim Davidson and Diana Lin

In partnership with MPavillion and Melbourne Theatre Company

Listen back to Michelle Lim Davidson and Diana Lin in conversation with Benjamin Law exploring his new work Torch the Place, focusing on the representation of Asian-Australian characters on stage.



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Kamila Andini and Adena Jacobs

Speakers: Kamila Andini and Adena Jacobs

In partnership with MPavillion and Performing Lines

Listen back to this talk with director Kamila Andini and dramaturg Adena Jacobs on the intercultural artistic collaboration for The Seen and Unseen. The work presented as part of Asia TOPA explored contemporary Indonesian dance and physical story-telling and was adapted by Kamila from her internationally acclaimed film of the same name.



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The Mysterious Lai Teck: Post Show Q&A

Speakers: Ho Tzu Nyen and Fiona Trigg

In partnership with VCA and ACMI

Listen back to this post-show discussion with film director Ho Tzu Nyen and Fiona Trigg following the premiere of The Mysterious Lai Teck. Ho Tzu Nyen delves into the history of Lai Teck and how his film and theatre works have been influenced by Lai Teck's secret life.

The Mysterious Lai Teck was presented by Victorian College of the Arts and Arts Centre Melbourne as part of Asia TOPA Festival.



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SAIGON: Between Life and History, presented by The Wheeler Centre

Speakers: Benjamin Law and Nguyen Duc Duy moderated by Beverly Wang

In partnership with The Wheeler Center

For Asia TOPA 2020, theatre director Caroline Guiela Nguyen presented SAIGON – a moving family saga tracing the paths of 11 characters across history and space. In this podcast, her translator, Nguyen Duc Duy, joins Australian writer Benjamin Law for a conversation about language, theatre and comedy, and this incredible play that places the art of translation at centre stage. They also explore the intergenerational, intercultural dimensions of their work – treasured by audiences, but largely missing from international stages.


Listen at The Wheeler Centre website


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Arts Equator Festival Review part 1

Speakers: Nabilah Said and Carolyn Oei

In partnership with Arts Equator

Southeast Asian arts media platform Arts Equator enlist Nabilah Said and Carolyn Oei to provide their perspective and insights on works presented as part of Asia TOPA Festival 2020. The performances reviewed in Part 1 include: BLACK TIES, HuRu-hARa, Chinese Square Dancers, The Seen and Unseen, Torch the Place & Metal.

Arts Equator are a Southeast Asian arts media company that values and promotes regional arts practice dedicated to regionally orientated in-depth criticism and analysis.



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Arts Equator Festival Review part 2

Speakers: Nabilah Said and Carolyn Oei

In partnership with Arts Equator

Southeast Asian arts media platform Arts Equator enlist Nabilah Said and Carolyn Oei to provide their perspective and insights on works presented as part of Asia TOPA Festival 2020. The performances reviewed in Part 2 include: Are You Ready To Take The Law Into Your Own Hands, Hades Fading, À Ố Làng Phố & Dragon Ladies Don’t Weep.

Arts Equator are a Southeast Asian arts media company that values and promotes regional arts practice dedicated to regionally orientated in-depth criticism and analysis.



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Meeting Points

Speakers: Sunny Kim, Daniel Wilfred and Sadiah Boonstra

In partnership with the Australian Art Orchestra

Renowned Korean jazz singer Sunny Kim and close collaborator Daniel Wilfred sing together, discuss their shared experience, and how their partnership has changed their lives. This talk preceded their performance in the AAO’s Hand to Earth concert at Arts Centre Melbourne as part of Asia TOPA Festival. The Meeting Points Series is a creative collaboration between the Australian Art Orchestra and Arts Centre Melbourne, bringing together musical styles from across the globe in unexpected collaborations.


Listen at library.mpavilion.org



Asia TOPA Connected

Some of the boldest moments of the 2020 festival are now at your fingertips. Watch archival performances and mini documentaries.

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