Viewing entries tagged
Asian creative

Grimshaw Sargeson Fellowship announced - Chye-Ling Huang for two new drafts

“The next logical step, if you’re not seeing the work that you believe is valuable in the world, is to just make it yourself.”

Congratulation to PAT co-founder Chye-Ling Huang for receiving the 2019 Grimshaw Sargeson Fellowship

This distinguished literary fellowship allows Chye-Ling and fellow recipient Chloe Honum to share an annual stipend of $20,000 and a four-month tenure each at the Sargeson Centre in Auckland.

Chye-Ling Huang directing Fresh off the Page. Photo: John Rata

Chye-Ling Huang directing Fresh off the Page. Photo: John Rata

"There are a number of Asian playwrights making incredible work, but there’s so few of us you can never be fully satisfied with the narratives you see. I’m hungry to see the kind of work that represents myself and people like me. The next logical step, if you’re not seeing the work that you believe is valuable in the world, is to just make it yourself,” says Chye-Ling.

“The work I do with my theatre company, Proudly Asian Theatre, is essentially to dismantle stereotypes by providing platforms which accurately represent Asian people in New Zealand. A natural part of that is creating works that show the nuances of the Asian experience, with the end goal of making our industry much more inclusive while also changing people’s mindsets.”

She aims to complete the final draft of her play Black Tree Bridge – which was shown at the 2016 Auckland Arts festival RAW season, and start the first draft of a new play titled The New Temple, which will be based on queer Asian experiences.

Read the NZBC’s write up here!

Mother tongues - Nikita Tu-Bryant's take on a bilingual upbringing

“How do you cross barriers, when words don’t exist in the other tongue?”

Artist, performer and first time director Nikita Tu-Bryant shares her story ahead of her debut non-dialogue show, Tide Waits For No man.


Mandarin-Chinese was my mother tongue, and soon after English followed.
Growing up in a Taiwanese/Pakeha household, I witnessed the constant frustrations of trying to communicate clearly though English and Chinese translations.

It is hard enough communicating well with a common language. How do you cross barriers, when words don’t exist in the other tongue?

Recent years have seen me collaborate with many non-english speaking Asian Artists in Japan. There, we would have month-long workshops to create a full-length theatre piece, with our different Artistic skills combined - and no words.

This experience instilled hope in me, that despite cultural and language barriers, if given the space and time, we can all learn to communicate and connect with one another.


Before captions for TV or film existed, I have memories of stop-starting English films and explaining the storyline to my mother. A decade later she is using words I don’t even know existed, but my habit of explaining storylines have remained - much to the annoyance of those who watch films with me.

My mother is the compass I have followed making this show. And though her English is well-beyond now, this is dedicated to all the mothers who are just beginning that journey.

Photos by Ankita Singh

Tide Waits For No Man performs at BATS Dec 4th - 8th.

Book here

“I realised our differences are to be celebrated. And where you come from, your culture and its history, are incredibly important." Nikita Tu-Bryant talks to STUFF

Embracing the ‘uncool’ - Nikita Tu-Bryant is taking back her roots through performance

Following the launch of Tide Waits for No Man, creative and theatre maker Nikita Tu-Bryant talks to STUFF about her musical journey as a Taiwanese kiwi.

Read the full interview below or follow the link here!

Nikita performing in her band FLITE.

Nikita performing in her band FLITE.

'Made in Taiwan' may be a label attached to most electronics but it's also a phrase one Wellington performing artist proudly associates with.

Nikita Tu-Bryant's melodious voice has a haunting timbre akin to Kiwi chart topper Bic Runga and acoustics which have heads swaying . She's heading south for three intimate shows, including a stop in Golden Bay with Christchurch based singer-songwriter, Monique Aiken.

Tu-Bryant's main aim with her music is to make people "feel", she said.

"People will interpret your music through whatever lens or experience that are going through at the time.  A song about travelling, could be interpreted as a break-up song.  I believe feeling all feelings are important, be it sadness or joy."

Tu-Bryant's most recent single release was with her band 'Flite', producing music she described as an "atmospheric-funk/electro-pop hybrid". She has also released an album and EP with folk band, Spooky, while producing music as a solo artist.

Born in Taiwan and raised in Auckland by her Kiwi dad and Taiwanese mum, Tu-Bryant has been immersed in everything music since she was five-years-old when she began playing the violin. She said being a "little Asian kid wanting to fit in", she couldn't relate to the violin's classical music. 

"It was, to me at the time, very uncool."

At 12-years-old, her father bought her a guitar which brought with it the inspiration to write songs.

Nikita performing with FLITE.

Nikita performing with FLITE.

"It was the cool thing I got to do growing up in a pretty strict environment."

From there, her thirst for performing grew. The guitar allowed her to play in shows and at 16, she was playing in bars, followed closely behind by her parents. It later led her to study music in Wellington. Tu-Bryant struggled with her cultural diversity growing up, wanting to be more like her "white friends", but she said, now she embraced her oriental background.

"It wasn't until my twenties that I started using my Mandarin-Chinese name in my performing life (雅涵 - pronounced Ya-Han), and it wasn't until then that I started to show interest in music from the Orient.

"I realised our differences are to be celebrated. And where you come from, your culture and its history, are incredibly important." 

Tu-Bryant is taking her music back on the road after a four-year break, but those years weren't spent far from her passion - collaborating and performing with other artists while travelling overseas.

This time her travels are taking her closer to home and with one of her biggest inspirations and supporters in tow - her dad. 

"He's responsible for all the good music I used to listen to as a teen."

She said people who go to her shows should expect an "intimate event" and talking between songs. And when she's not performing her music, she's taking her talents to the theatre. Tu-Bryant has an upcoming debut show which she wrote, directed and is acting in called, Tide Waits for No Man: Episode Grace. 

"I call myself a performing artist because I tend to do everything. I write music, I write stories, I write poetry, I act, I paint ..."

And in between her creative projects, she takes to the sea to surf.

Get tickets to Tide Waits for no Man here:

"Orientation is a hugely significant work: sexy, smart, and not putting up with your shit." - New reviews!

"This play could not have cared less about perfectly crafted impeccable representations. On the contrary, the use of cultural symbols is trivial and bleak, seeking to blow mono-dimensional representations into pieces.” - Hainamana


Thanks to Theatrescenes, Hainamana and Appetite for the Arts for their sizzling reviews of Orientation. Check em out below!



Appetite for the Arts

Orientation is on for two more nights at Q Theatre. Don’t miss it!