Hello Asia

Multi media art project in search of common ground in East and West

New Heroes presents Hello Asia:
A journey to meet young professional creators in East Asia,
Establishing a new connection between East and West
In search of social innovation driven by our common creativity
A cross-discipline media art project

There’s no denying: The 21st century belongs to Asia. The explosive economic rise of China, Japan and the four Little Tigers Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan & South Korea presents the upcoming European generation with a rapidly changing world order, in which the West no longer leads global civilization. While we struggle to find our shared identity in a weakening Europe, we need to look to our Asian peers to shape our collective future.

Simultaneously, East Asian millenials have been catapulted from traditionally Confucian societies into a world with a distinctively modern Western Enlightenment mentality. Hyper-capitalism brought them financial freedom and personal independence. And with it came the huge responsibility to do better: to learn from Europe’s mistakes and lead the world in developing innovative ways to build a global community with a strong civil society and addressing issues from democracy to climate change, from urbanization and social inequality to identity and world-peace.

Despite a shared history of colonialism then and our age of globalization now, East and West don’t really know each other. In our understanding of each other we have replaced historical oriental en occidental clichés with modern ones. West struggling to see beyond ‘the invasion of rich Asian tourists with massive cameras flooding our capitols or buying up city centers’ or East sighing at ‘smug Europeans unceasingly policing the world based on their humanist moral principles’.

But in order to tackle our shared global issues, our upcoming generations of European and Asian leaders need to find each other and collaborate to find creative and innovative solution. It’s imperative they meet and find common ground to grow from together.

Now, 400 years after the European East India trading companies first set sail to “the Orient”, New Heroes presents a comprehensive international cross-discipline media art project connecting young innovative creators of Asia and Europe. In Hello Asia we are going to look beyond the clichés and really meet the upcoming generation. We aim to explore the shared quest that challenges our under 40’s: where do we go from here in our global village? And how can social innovation driven by creative industries create new global common ground?

Journey of discovery | documentary series |theatre performances | video portraits | exchange project

Hello Asia starts with a research journey to East Asia: Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Taipei, Seoul, Tokyo..

The explorers are New Heroes artistic director Lucas De Man (Ghent/Amsterdam), theatre maker Hyunsin Kim (Berlin/Seoul) and a camera team. Together they’ll meet with historians to understand our past. They’ll meet with innovative creators to discuss our future. And they will meet with storytellers to finds ways to shape our common ground.

Meeting the historians
The team will follow the historic trade routes where freshly Enlightened West met old Confucian East in 17th century. European values of liberty, equality, fraternity, human rights and rule of law seem to be in fundamental disagreement with Confucian ethics with its emphasis on humanity, rightness, propriety, wisdom, filial piety and loyalty. With the help of several experts on history we aim to understand the social and cultural impact of this exchange between Asia and Europe then and what it means today.

Meeting the innovative creators
In each of the countries we visit in Asia we plan to find and interview visionary creators. These creators are young professionals under 40 from all types of disciplines, ranging from creative industry to arts, from science and technology to journalism. They have a vision on society and projects in which they apply their innovative ideas. We want to understand how these change makers see our global village, our collective future, and how, if there are any, gaps between Western modernity and modern Confucianism could be bridged? How could creators together help shape our societies in transition?

Meeting the storytellers
We aim to meet and learn from local artists and performers. How are their approaches to and narratives in performance art different from Western storytelling? What and how do they create work for traditional and avant-garde audiences? What new art forms or new types of artists are emerging in the high-tech, digital megacities?  How can they help us build a story of commons?

Hello Asia productions
The journey through Asia is research for several productions to be developed in 2018 and 2019. The camera team will document the journey and the interviews with historical experts and visionary creators. (The main language of communication for the entire project is English.) With this rough material New Heroes will produce several audiovisual productions for international, European and Asian audiences:

  • an online documentary series showcasing the projects of the creators we interviewed along the way.
  • video portraits of the historians interviewed on the journey
  • two theatre shows in which Lucas and Hyunsin share their initial insights soon after completing the journey in 2018. The performances will be flexible in that they can be presented in theatres as well as auditoriums or other types of venues, in Asia and Europe.
  • a production for Asian visitors to Amsterdam, made in collaboration with the Asian artists encountered on our journey: a dramatic encounter that goes beyond the traditional Kodak moments and shopping trips, touches on a personal level and acts as a catalyst for intercultural dialogue.

Join our voyage of discovery & help us connect the global change makers. Interested producers, sponsors, cultural/art organizations, creators or friends, please contact Kimberly Major kimberly@companynewheroes.com. Check our vacancy for a Film & Multimedia director here: Hello Asia Film & Multimedia director

Hello Asia is produced by company New Heroes in collaboration with Pakhuis de Zwijger, Het Zuidelijk Toneel, Leiden Asia Center, Performing Arts Fund NL and other amazing European and Asian partners.
New Heroes is an international movement of artists that create multi-disciplined art projects and urban actions. In all our projects New Heroes strives to connect, amaze, distract, surprise, confuse and through all this creates spaces for true encounters with yourself, the other and the world.

A snapshot of our previous adventure?
In 2015/2016 New Heroes produced the In Search of Europe project in which we found the upcoming generation of creators in Europe. The project started with a 30-day journey through 17 cities in 8 countries, interviewing over 20 creators. Visit our website to see the In Search of Europe productions:
Theatre show De Man in Europe (nominated Best Show of 2015 by TheaterFestival)
Documentary Meeting Modern Visionaries.

For more information see www.companynewheroes.com and/or contact amber@companynewheroes.com