Jennifer ShyuUnited States
Grants Awarded2013 | Music | Indonesia
ACC provided support to Jennifer Shyu to travel to Surakarta, Indonesia to develop creative, collaborative projects with local artists.2009 | Music | China
to collaborate with contemporary musician and former ACC grantee Na Wu in Beijing2007 | Music | Taiwan
to research indigenous music in Taiwan
The experimental jazz vocalist Jen Shyu, whose parents are immigrants from Taiwan and East Timor, established a new type of identity drawing unrestrained inspiration from her research into folklore music of five Asian countries/regions — from the remote mountains of East Timor to the river communities of East Kalimantan, Indonesia. Directed by the renowned Indonesian filmmaker Garin Nugroho, this solo music drama invites audience to the musical pilgrimage in six languages through East Timor, Indonesia, Taiwan, Vietnam and South Korea of the artist named “one of the most creative vocalists in contemporary improvised music” by The Nation.
Jen Shyu received ACC Fellowships in 2007 and 2013 to research music in Taiwan and Indonesia.
Asia TOPA: Asia-Pacific Triennial of Performing Arts is an artistic celebration of Australia's relationship with contemporary Asia. Vital, fresh and always unpredictable, Asia TOPA offers a city-wide window onto the creative imaginations fuelling the many cultures of the region.
The Asia Triennial of Performing Arts features numerous dance works from all over the region. China’s avant-garde Tao Dance Theatre performs two pieces from Tao Ye’s Straight Line Trilogy; in Eko Supriyanto’s Balabala, women combine dance with martial arts while his Cry Jailolo is a paean to endangered nature; Javanese music duo Senyawa together with Dancenorth and Lucy Guerin Inc present Attractor, a “trance-noise odyssey”; and in Dancing with Death, Thai choreographer Pichet Klunchun creates a space between life and afterlife inspired by the Phi Ta Khon ghost festival; and and the world premier of Wang Chong's "Little Emperors." Jen Shyu will have a solo recital on February 18.
ACC grantee Jen Shyu, the acclaimed avant-garde vocalist, composer, multi-instrumentalist, dancer, producer, 2016 Doris Duke Artist and Fulbright scholar premieres "Nine Doors," a solo ritual music drama, in eight languages. "Nine Doors" is a work that promises to evoke at levels both personal and global. Nine was inspired by the loss of Shyu’s friend Sri Joko Raharjo “Cilik,” a master of Javanese shadow puppetry who died with his wife and infant son in an automobile accident at the age of 30. His 6-year-old daughter, who survived the crash, is the central character.
Time stops as she encounters powerful female legends—from the Wehali Kingdom of Timor to the Korean folkloric myth of Baridegi, the mother of all shamans—who become her guides. Sung in Indonesian, Javanese, Taiwanese, Mandarin, Tetum, Korean, Japanese, and English, the work reflects the parallels that exist between life and death, different cultures, and the importance of empathy over destructive assumptions that divide humanity.