“Those who do not move
do not notice their chains.”
My name is Ming Poon and mingapur is my moniker, a reference to my birthplace, Singapore. As an artist, I work with applied choreography, using it as a tool to interrogate, disrupt and re-organise the social and political relationality of the body in time and space. In particular, my interest lies in activating the potential within the body of the weak/peripheral to resist and disrupt hegemonic structures, using strategies of decolonisation, vulnerability, care, queerness and failure. For me, movement refers to the body’s ability to move, take action, and have agency to create change. My works usually take the form of collaborative performances, choreographic interventions and intimate encounters, where the public determines the outcome of their experience. My practice is inspired by Buddhist concept of interdependence and care, Judith Butler’s resistance in vulnerability, Jack Halberstam’s queer art of failure, Augusto Boal’s theatre of the oppressed and Nicolas Bourriaud’s micro-utopias.
I initiated Asian Performing Artists Lab (APAL) in 2020 as a platform for Berlin/Germany-based artists with asian background to connect, share and work together and am a founding member of United Networks, a non-profit organisation that aims to build a nation-wide network of marginalised BIPoC artists, cultural practitioners, activists and community organisers working with performing arts in Germany. I am also part of Urgent Bodies, a collective whose goal is to bring dance and activism together, and manage The Farm, an independent space that combines performance-making with activism and co-living. For 2022-2023, I am a research fellow in the Berlin Artistic Research Programme, where I research on the intersectionality between decolonisation, feminism and queerness, through Nan Dan (男旦), the male-to-female cross-dressing performance form in Chinese opera.
The form is abstracted from the Chinese character of my name, with a reference to the lines in Yi-Jing (English transliteration: I-Ching). The two colours are derived from the composite elements in my name: yellow for sun(日) and silver for moon(月). The squares within the circle represents the individual bodies within a collective body. The difference sizes of the squares refer to the uniqueness of each body, while the unclosed circle stands for the desire to engage with the outside world. The two equally-sized squares on the left side symbolise equality, while the smaller squares placed on top of the big one on the right symbolise supporting the vulnerable among us.