Jasmine conducted research towards creating an interactive solo performance piece for a single audience member using haptic and wearable gesture tracking technology. Collaborating with interdisciplinary opera director Aria Umezawa, the research is connected them with leading academics, practitioners, and researchers in Toronto and Montreal.
This will be the first time I’m using technology to broaden my artistic undertakings. I’m excited about experimenting with new tools to deepen my investigation into human connection, communication and intimacy. In past work, I’ve used storytelling, singing, poetry and games to create empathic bridges between performers and the audience. Haptic technology is a medium that stretches my imagination and challenges me to forge a new form of storytelling.
I’m honing in on a notion I’ve been working out via my project The Gateway Language Exchange Gameshow. That notion is: through play, strangers can meet and create bonds that ignite compassion, diminish difference and facilitate greater understanding. Jasmine Chen
Research conducted during this residency inspired Jasmine to explore the creation of a touring installation centreing on themes of neighbourhood, community, and connection across distance. This new work, entitled Infinity Café, has supplanted the original idea. Jasmine and Aria developed the piece toward an open-house, work-in-progress test of the projection in December 2022. Audience members/participants joined an online community via Gather.town.
Collaborators on the project included:
Elena Anciro (Treaty 1/Winnipeg) – Theatre artist, access advocate, relaxed performance/audio description trainer;
Ryan McDonald (NFLD) – Counter-tenor, opera artist;
Mike Fan (T’karonto) – Tenor, opera artist; and
Laurel Green (Lekwungen/Victoria) and Rebecca Ballarin (Whitehorse) – Gather.town consultants and builders.
Jasmine’s creation residency was generously funded by the Ontario Arts Council and we are grateful for their support.
Jasmine Chen is a second-generation Chinese immigrant and multidisciplinary artist based in the unceded lands of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations and T’karonto (The Dish with One Spoon Territory). She makes and supports multilingual interdisciplinary work that pushes for linguistic and formal diversity. Jasmine creates collaboratively and uses play, empathy, intersectionality, and curiosity as her guiding constellation.
Jasmine’s work as a director, performer, educator and creator has engaged with communities across Canada in repertory festivals, independent theatres, regional and outdoor theatres. At the core of her work is her dedication to community building and facilitating connection.
Jasmine is a recipient of the Gina Wilkinson Award, Stratford Festival Jean Gascon Award, and is a Dora Award Nominee.
She is the Artistic and Community Producer at Gateway Theatre in Richmond, BC. She has been featured in the Richmond News, OMNI TV, Intermission Magazine, Fete Chinoise Magazine, the Vancouver Sun, and CBC Arts.
Read more at msjasminechen.com.