Accompanied by the gurgling sound of the “Relaxing Fountain” installation, the two elves woke up from their slumber. They played and danced among the “enchanted forests”, leading the audience to explore the secrets. Recently, in Hall 798 of Mumu Art Museum, the immersive drama “Flower” tailored for the exhibition “Austin Lee: Paradise on Earth” was staged. The museum revitalizes and utilizes the night time of the museum, allowing dance, music, drama and other art forms to complement each other in the same space, bringing a variety of audio-visual experiences to the audience.
▶Innovative performing arts
“Zero distance” interaction between actors and audience
At 7:00 p.m. on June 11, heavy rain fell suddenly in Beijing. At this time when most art galleries were closed, a group of spectators arrived at Hall 798 of Mumu Art Museum with umbrellas. After scanning the code to measure the temperature, they put on headphones and walked into the hall, and a voice came from their ears: “In 2068, technology was highly developed, and Dr. Li invented the brain empathy technology, which allows us to go to other people’s memories to find out… …” The audience played the role of elite physicians and entered Dr. Li’s spiritual world together.
In the exhibition hall on the first floor, the first act “Paradise” kicked off. The animal spirits of the magical forest played by the actors danced, leading the audience through the brightly colored and emotional artworks, feeling innocent and carefree. Emotions. When following the elves to the “Flower Room” on the second floor, the audience met the wandering protagonist “Dr. Li”. Through his performance with the other two characters, the audience could explore the heart of “Dr. Li” and experience life. of sorrows and sorrows.
The performance uses modern acousto-optical technology to help the audience enter into different situations. “Dr. Lee” interacts with the audience from time to time. In the chapter “Fear”, when he asked “What have you been afraid of?”, some viewers answered “darkness” and “sickness”, opening up their hearts to express the source of their unease. The other two chapters show the joys and sorrows in the parent-child relationship and intimacy in the form of drama, so that the audience’s emotions can be released. The whole experience lasted about an hour and a half. In the poetry collage creation section at the end of the play, the audience improvised on the exhibition board. Some people added a word after “love is” – “umbrella”, and others added “three meals”. “Four Seasons”, “Sorrowful” and other words.
“It was the first time I watched this kind of performance, and it felt very novel, with a strong sense of interaction, and I was able to feel emotions at close range through the actors’ micro-expressions,” said Mr. Li, an audience member. The audience, Ms. Wang, said that the space where the performance was held made her feel particularly immersed, “because the exhibition hall is very different from the conventional theater, it seems that people jumped out of the real world and came to the space of art and imagination.”
▶Behind the scenes of creation
Dialogue and resonance between exhibitions and performances
“The space of the art museum has a natural artistic magnetic field. It is not a traditional stage, but every corner can become a stage.” Wang Hanyu is the director and screenwriter of “Flower”. This is the first time she has tried the cross between drama and contemporary art. world cooperation. “After seeing the exhibition, I had the inspiration for the script.”
Looking back on the creative process, Wang Hanyu said that this is brand new, and it is also a re-creation based on the works of the exhibition artists. Mumu Art Museum provides a lot of information about the exhibition and the artist. The two parties cooperate to realize the fit between the works and the artist’s concept, and achieve the effect of resonance. “Austin Lee’s artistic creations are full of different emotional expressions. “Flower” reconstructs the artist’s time of isolation and solitude in the way of dramatic interpretation, focusing on the core theme of the exhibition – emotion and growth.”
“In the creation, we need to consider the position of the audience and the relationship between the actors and the audience during the performance.” Wang Hanyu said that the performance in the exhibition hall broke the spatial relationship between the audience and the actors in the traditional drama, and the way the actors performed presented a challenge. “At the beginning, I was a little uncomfortable, and the audience’s answers were sometimes open-minded, requiring us to adapt to the situation, and at the same time play the role of emotional counseling.” Zhang Kangnian, the actor who played Dr. Li, said.
So far, the resident performance has been staged for more than ten times, “Our ticket price is determined according to the price of the small theater performance. In May, the museum will be closed due to the epidemic, and the number of audiences for each performance can reach four before that. There are 50 to 70 to 80 people, including young audiences and family audiences.” Wang Hanyu said that many audiences were new to the performance format, and felt that they had embarked on an interesting fantasy journey with the actors.
▶Cross-border holding hands
Art museums become open literary spaces
How many possibilities are there in an art gallery space? In the exhibition hall of Mumu Art Museum, jazz concerts, improvisational comedy, immersive art therapy, drama, etc. are regularly staged, and even during the closure due to the epidemic, the live broadcast room is used to deliver artistic comfort to the audience. “We hope to use such a venue to bring different choices of cultural and artistic consumption to the audience, so that the museum can become a platform and carrier of urban multiculturalism.” said Lin Han, co-founder of Mumu Art Museum.
Lin Han said that Mumu Art Museum has gradually cooperated with different art groups since the beginning of last year. At the same time, some young art workers are also looking for venues that are not too expensive and attract young audiences. “Cross-border cooperation reduces the venue cost of performance groups and further stimulates the vitality of the museum.”
Wang Hanyu said that “drama + scene” has become a new form of cultural tourism with consumption potential, and drama bars and drama restaurants have emerged in some cities. In art museums, the addition of immersive drama has the effect of guiding the audience, helping them appreciate the content of the exhibition, immersing them in the surreal time and space created by the artwork, and enhancing the viewing experience. (Reporter Wang Guangyan)