The Producers’ Network Meeting & Forum is a growing network of independent producers in the Asia Pacific region that aims to develop new forms of cooperation and create and broaden the basis for contemporary performing arts. European and more specifically Flemish developments are a source of inspiration for their own current strategies in Asia.
The performing arts sector in Asia is growing fast. A lot of new theatres, not seldom -projects by starchitects (Zaha Hadid, Toyo Ito, Rem Koolhaas), have recently opened their doors or are in the pipeline. In addition, several government initiatives straddle the border between contemporary art and the creative industries, such as the Asian Arts Theatre in Gwangju (KR) or the West Kowloon Culture District (HK). Many theatres follow a purely commercial logic.
How can we better understand these developments? How sustainable are these initiatives? What work is being shown, and to what type of audience? What possibilities are there for producers and venues to set to work with these new players? Indeed, these types of questions are not only being addressed to us, but also to producers who are primarily active in Asia. There are more and more of them. And they are joining forces: together they are exploring new possibilities to enable the work of their artists and to make the work more broadly visible.
Joris Janssens reports on the second edition of the 2016 Producers’ Network Meeting and Forum (PNMF) in Hong Kong, an ideal event from which to gauge the latest trends in terms of the production and presentation of performing arts in the Chinese-speaking region.