Growth of New Asia-Pacific Links and Force for Artistic Mobility


Growth of New Asia-Pacific Links and Force for Artistic Mobility
[Trend] Asian Producers’ Platform (APP)

The Asian Producers’ Platform (APP) is a new long-term public-private partnership initiative driven by The Steering Committee for The Producer (Korea) and the Arts Council of Korea; Open Network for Performing Arts Management (ON-PAM, Japan); Performing Arts Alliance (PAA, Taiwan) and Live Performance Australia (LPA), Performing Lines, Australia Council for the Arts (Australia). Its aim isto create a strong network of Asian producers who can work effectively across regions, sharing and developing artistic works, skills and cultural practices. This long-term collaboration of four nations will witness the rotation of an Asia Producers’ Platform Camp (APP Camp) among participants traveling to South Korea (2014), Taiwan (2015), Japan (2016) and Australia (2017).

The first edition of APP Camp was held from November 30th to December 6th, 2014, in Seoul. A group of 40 producers from the four host countries, as well as Singapore, Malaysia and China (including Shanghai, Hong Kong and Macau) attended this long-awaited gathering of producers, which was a mix of emerging and established producers of diverse cultural backgrounds and artistic disciplines (theatre, dance, music, new media, interdisciplinary). making for great discussions and idea-sharing during the Seoul camp. The event also facilitated potential collaboration among participants.

Discussion programme

Responding to the change of environment for performing arts

Previously, ten delegates from Taiwan, Korea, Japan and Australia discussed the role of producers in their respective country during the open forum of The Producer, a pilot meeting for the APP Camp which took place at Arco Arts Theatre (Seoul) in December 2013.

The discussion revealed similarities among the participants from four different countries. For instance, in Korea, Japan and Taiwan,, producers often take on the responsibility of every aspect of the production process, sometimes acting as manager, market planner, administrator, fundraiser, etc. It’s also very common for artists to take on the role of producer themselves, shedding light on the hierarchical nature of the performing arts management sector in Asia .

However, the world is confronting enormous changes. The ecology of the performing arts scene is influenced such changes, such as economics, cultural policy, audience development, changs in the creative process (production methods), international exchange, market developments, and globalization. In light of such changes, it is important to recognize the role of producers, to upgrade their abilities. Establishing trustworthy partnerships and creative collaborations between producers and artists will help us confront the instability ahead of us and the upcoming challenges in our field.

‘Producer’s Choice’ Group Research

New discussion of Asia

For a while now, Asia has set its focus (culturally, politically) on Europe and the U.S. This has deeply affected cultural policy in Asia, including the progress of the performing arts and international market development.

The idea behind the Asian Producers’ Platform is to redirect that attention back to our own soil. With participation from multiple countries in the APP, we hope to create a new channel for producers to communicate with each other, leading to better career development and international cooperation. At the APP Camp, participants have the opportunity to rethink their cultural roots and rediscover Asia’s diversity. Many ideas, concepts and experiences were shared during the camp. It was a great gateway to learn about the local art environment, a chance for the participants to better understand their own cultureand glimpse how it the contrasts with others. The experience gave everyone a surprising shock throughout the process. We begin to ask what is “Asia”? The Western world has addressed this numerous times, going so far as to say that Asia is the “center of the world” in recent years. However, what does that mean to us? What is going to change in the arts world of Asia? What will be our reaction to such changes? And what can we do to support our artists in spite of such changes?

Vibrant reflects through intercultural encounter

For seven days, 40 producers lived in traditional Korean houses, shared their life experiences with one another, discussed their research, and worked together on various topics every day. It was a rare chance for performing arts professionals to work in such intimate settings. Everyone was open-minded, cheerful, and generous. Although theAPP camp was designed to be a close meeting/workshop for 40 participates, it extends through individual participants into other creative circles in other countries, sparking a broader intercultural connection that goes beyond one’s cultural base. Some producers found inspiration in artists presented by other people in the the program and began further progress on their own creative development. All participants displayed promising connections, which will encourage more exchange between future Asia-Pacific performing arts networks, offering great connections and support for artistic mobility across countries.

As soon as Taiwanese delegates returned from the APP Camp, they joined a series of forums organized by the Performing Arts Alliance to discuss The Producer. They also partook in a sharing session of the Asian Producers’ Platform in Taipei. The feedback we got was confirmed our belief that the APP, as a new international network, is already a powerful influence in the Taiwanese performing arts sector. Both producers and artists have shown support for this international collaborative project, what they believe is a demonstration to change the environment of the arts in Taiwan.

Workshop : ‘EYES ON ASIA’ Closing Dinner

2015 Asian Producers’ Platform Camp in Taiwan

To continue strengthening the domestic professional network is also an important task for those who work in international exchange. Before Taiwan Camp 2015, the PAA is planning a series of pre-events, inviting a larger range of performance arts delegates to join the discussion on developing the market. Other than emphasizing the “local contest” of Taiwan’s arts and culture scenes, the main program of Taiwan camp will procure the idea of private-public partnership. Various performing arts venues, such as the National Performing Arts Center (including the National Theatre & Concert Hall, National Taichung Theatre and National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts) were invited in 2014. The opening of the Taiwan Xiqu Center (2015) and the Taipei Performing Arts Center (2016) will also create opportunities for intercultural collaborations headed by the APP network.

Asian Producers’ Platform is actually the center for a greater concentric network of performing arts. The platform not just connects international partners but also strengthens the connection between local professionals. The APP provides the opportunity for Asian producers to meet and communicate, to appreciate different cultures, and to inspire new ideas. The network is a great force to confront changes in the arts environment. At the same time, it is a medium through which to elevate intercultural creativity and work towards a world for performing arts that goes beyond Asia.

Asian Producers’ Platform Camp – Taiwan 2015 will take place from November 29th to December 5th in Taipei.

ⓒPo-Chieh CHEN


Po-Chieh Chen_National Taichung Theatre, Taiwan
Po-Chieh Chen_National Taichung Theatre, Taiwan
Po-Chieh CHEN received her BA in Dance from Purchase College, State University of New York. CHEN currently serves as Producing Associate at National Taichung Theatre (NTT) of National Performing Arts Center (Taiwan). Before she joined NTT, she was involved in large cultural events and festival planning, and has worked on international development projects since 2004.