Zai Kuning (Singapore)

As an artist, Zai Kuning deliberately complicates convenient categorization, employing a wide range of practices from video to poetry to theatre, dance, performance art, music and installation art. In 1996 he formed Metabolic Theatre Laboratory (MTL) during his residency with The Substation, Home for the Arts. MTL is a dance theatre group led by Zai as director, performer and trainer. Its main objective is to search for physical language and movement deeply rooted in the South East Asian rituals. Most memorable productions of MTL are Prodigal songs, Remnant 2000, Bluemonkish and No Alibi which toured Hong Kong and Korea in 2000. MTL was disbanded 2001. He completed his short film “RIAU”, based on research on the lives of the orang laut (sea gypsies) in the Riau Archipelago and was widely screened in many international film festivals like Rotterdam Film Festival and Busan Film Festival. In 2003 Zai initiated onistudio: a small flexible space (opposite substation which is supported by a Chinese karaoke bar) for performances, talk, exhibition and dialogue. Onistudio motto is to ‘think small’. Onistudio lasted about 8 months. Recently Zai revived onistudio as event organizer. At the moment onistudio focus mainly on sound art and musical experimentation and punk culture.