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Preview: XITY by RAW Moves

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RAW Moves opens 2021 with a much anticipated ‘live’ performance, and original work XITY by Matthew Goh under the Research & Development platform. Working with RAW Moves’ overarching theme of Reference, Matthew references two subjects: the city – the place – and the people in that environment, in other words the inhabitants, questioning the relationship between them.

“My research was inspired by the different cities I have encountered in Asia, and each visit was a unique experience. I felt different and behaved differently. This got me intrigued by this phenomenon so I took this platform to delve deeper; exploring questions like why we feel an emotional response to certain infrastructure and how society shapes the urban landscape,” says Matthew.

In the earlier phases of rehearsals, Matthew was working with Chok Si Xuan, a Kinetic Sculptor. They toyed with the idea of how to merge the two elements – body movements and kinetic sculptures, together. Prototypes were created and movement collaborators Han Kyongsu and Kwek Yixuan were tasked to experiment and probe on the embodied and subliminal experiences they have shared of living in different cities in different parts of the world.

Working with these prototypes also allowed Matthew to push the understanding or definition of movement beyond the organic bodies (the human body) and the fabricated bodies (kinetic sculpture). This creative process is intricately documented by Dramaturg Dominic Nah as part of the archival presentation under XITY’s Research Guide.

RAW Moves’ Artistic Director Ricky Sim explains: “XITY can be a reflective thought on Covid-19 since this pandemic has certain influences. During Matthew’s exploration process during this pandemic, artists had a longer homestay which allowed them to generate deeper reflection while being alone at home. The bigger picture of the city they live in, now becomes a small room. That in turn, affected how they think, act and channel their energy in making their art. It all came down to a very metaphysical state.”

As such, through XITY, Matthew invites us to intimately reflect on our relationship with the space we live in. “Hopefully we will be able to gain new perspective and new questions about our living environments after watching this performance,” he says. “And I hope that through XITY, on a bigger level, it will make us wonder how we would want to shape our cities because in turn, it would shape who we are.”

Photo Credit: RAW Moves

XITY runs from 29th to 31st January 2021 at Goodman Arts Centre, Block O, Multi-Purpose Studio 1 & 2. Tickets available from Peatix

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