“Those who do not move
do not notice their chains.”
I am Ming Poon and 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 choreographic strategies that involve 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 are designed as choreographic interventions and social experiments, created using ethnographic methods and experimental design. The idea is to invite the public to exercise their agency to create change, so that their actions determine the outcome and experience of the works. As such, my works are interactive and collaborative, and usually take the form of collaborative performances, public interventions and intimate encounters.
I initiated Asian Performing Artists Lab (APAL) in 2020 as a platform for artists with asian background to meet, share and work together and am a founding member of Urgent Bodies, a collective whose goal is to bring dance and activism together. I also manage The Farm, an independent space that combines performance-making with activism and co-living. For 2022-2023, I am a fellow of the Berlin Artistic Research Programme, where I research on the intersectionality between decolonisation, feminism and queerness. Through these projects, I want to bring my choreographic practice beyond the question of how I want to make work, and ask how I can make community instead.
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.
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.