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Art Down Under 2020: OzAsia Talks begins tonight with a livestream from Her Majesty’s Theatre

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ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA – Adelaide Festival Centre’s OzAsia Festival will put a spotlight on cultural engagement between Australia and Asia during tonight’s opening event for its innovative new online series, OzAsia Talks. OzAsia Talks will feature critical conversations between contemporary artists and arts professionals from across Asia. Programmed and hosted by recently appointed OzAsia Festival Artistic Director Annette Shun Wah, the series includes panel discussions, artist profiles and poetry performances.

Shun Wah will take to the stage for OzAsia Talks (Live) at the redeveloped Her Majesty’s Theatre in Adelaide tonight, when she will welcome an invited audience and viewers from all over the world thanks to a livestream running on OzAsia Festival’s Facebook page.

The live panel discussion will also feature Art Gallery of South Australia Director Rhana Devenport ONZM and international guests via video link – Indonesian art curator Sadiah Boonstra and Kee Hong Low, Director of Programs for Hong Kong’s West Kowloon Cultural District Authority.

OzAsia Talks will continue until November 3 and includes two In Conversation interviews with Helpmann award-winning playwright S. Shakthidharan and renowned Singaporean theatre director Ong Keng Sen.

The series concludes with Drop the Mic – a collection of poetry readings curated by the team behind the iconic Jaipur Literature Festival, who normally present the three-day satellite event JLF Adelaide at OzAsia Festival.

OzAsia Festival Artistic Director Annette Shun Wah: “In a year when so much has happened to shift the way in which individuals and communities connect with each other, the cultural engagement of Australia and Asia could not be more crucial. The arts play a vital role in deepening this engagement, but the pandemic has had far-reaching impacts on artistic practice and thinking. OzAsia Talks is an opportunity to share experiences and new ideas from artists and arts leaders in our region.”

While OzAsia Festival is unable to present a full program this year, one of its regular attractions – outdoor food and entertainment hub Lucky Dumpling Market – will pop up in Adelaide’s Elder Park from 30th October to 15th November For family audiences and fans of the ever-popular Moon Lantern Parade, OzAsia Festival will present an online lantern making workshop from 23rd October thanks to the Confucius Institute at the University of Adelaide.

Other OzAsia Festival 2020 activities include Indian dance workshops with Mudra Dance Academy for local school students later this month. Presented by Adelaide Festival Centre’s centrED program, the workshops were made possible thanks to the work of the Adelaide Festival Centre Foundation and with the generous support of the James and Diana Ramsay Foundation.

Adelaide Festival Centre CEO & Artistic Director Douglas Gautier AM: “OzAsia Festival is such a vital celebration of cultural diversity and artistic excellence, so it was very important to us that we find new ways to engage with our audiences despite the ongoing challenges we face as a result of COVID-19.”

“It’s very exciting to be reaching a worldwide audience and supporting contemporary artists with our OzAsia Talks series. These conversations are sure to be both inspiring and timely as the international arts community works together to overcome the various threats posed by the ongoing restrictions on live performances. Adelaide Festival Centre will keep the OzAsia Festival spirit alive in 2020 through this digital re-imagining of Australia’s leading contemporary arts festival engaging with Asia.”

OzAsia Talks run from 20th October to 3rd November 2020, and can be viewed on their Facebook  and on the OzAsia Festival website, where the full program of events is also available.

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