[@ABRONS SERIES] SU HUI-YU: THE WHITE WATERS

For the Performa 19 Biennial, artist Su Hui-Yu will create his first live theatrical work to explore the spirit of Tian Qiyuan, Taiwan’s first openly gay and HIV-positive student, and co-founder of the experimental theater group Critical Point Theatre Phenomenon in the 1980s. Tian’s work White Water (1993) references The Legend of the White Snake, one of the four classic Chinese folk tales written in the Ming Dynasty, set on the idyllic lakes of Hangzhou, capital of the Southern Song Dynasty. The legend reflects the philosophical influences that shaped Chinese society—including Daoist themes of immortality and Yin and Yang, alongside Confucian and Buddhist influences—to tell a magical tale of transformation, underpinned by universal questions of ethics and morality. Su will re-imagine the legend to explore queer histories and play with gender and sexuality, alongside addressing the politics of this history in Taiwan and more globally.