Photo Credit: NIU Chun-Chiang

Baboo Liao

“How Long is Now?” The show poster in Paris.
“How Long is Now?” in Paris.
The installation artwork by Japanese artist Shiota Chiharu
The exhibition of Palais de Tokyo.
The exhibition of Palais de Tokyo.

Baboo Liao

Location France / Paris
Residency Cité Internationale des Arts
Year of the Grant 2018
Baboo Liao holds an MFA in Theatre Directing from the Taipei National University of the Arts. He was an artist in residency at National Theater and Concert Hall, Taipei, in 2017. He was an artist in residence at the Watermill Center hosted by Robert Wilson in 2008, 2014, and 2017. Baboo has been frequently invited to international exchange programs and performances, and as a prolific young director, he continues to maintain high visibility, receiving much attention from various fields.

Since his theatre directing debut in 1997, Baboo has directed some thirty productions, two of which have earned him the awards for the Taishin Arts Awards for Annual Top 10 Performing Arts. Recent works include Chroma: A Derek Jarman Project, Corona Villa(2020), Am Königsweg, Mythology Upon the Table(2019), God Knows(2018), Caged Time, Common Tragedies(2017), How Long is Now?(Taipei Arts Festival), Serenade, One Hundred Years of Solitude(2016).

Artist Statement:
In 2018, I joined the artist in residency program at Cité Internationale des Arts for 6 months. I divided my residency project into two parts, one part is "observing the displacement of concept" of the performing arts in Europe. For this topic, I aimed to discover the artist's strategies and modules when visual arts and performing arts blend into each other. Therefore, I started my research journey from France to other European countries. I have visited 6 art organizations and festivals, plus 10 visual-art background theater directors, such as French choreographer Jérôme Bel and theater director Philippe Quesne. I either observed their works or interviewed them to understand their artistic approaches and methods.

In order to develop my project further, I went to 10 non-traditional performances, including "Sex," a site-specific production by German artist Anne Imhof, which performed in Tate Modern; Belgium director Jan Fabre, he made a 24-hour non-stop performance "Mount Olympus," which tried to push the limitation of people both on/off stage; and "Nachlass" by German documentary theater Rimini Protokoll. This production not only redefined but reformed the relationship between performer and viewer. It also made me realize how powerful documentary theater can be.

The second part of my residency project is "visual arts and performance." My directing production, "How Long is Now?" was invited by Musee du Quai Branly in Paris. The performance was highly appreciated by the media and was broadcasting on the major European culture channel "ARTE TV." I was thrilled to know that my work was the first Taiwanese performing arts production on that channel.

My multiple residency experience and connections with international artists allow me to think more about being an Asian artist. Therefore, I started the "Asian Modern Mythology" series to gather the Asian artists I met during my residency and to create a moveable, organic, cooperative, and equal circle. It is a platform that our artworks are cross-cultural and Asian artists would be able to meet and reconcile with each other. In order to achieve this goal, I will continue to deepen my connections on international networking and resources of all kinds and develop opportunities for my creation.