OVERSEAS, close by
performance dates: October 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19, 22, 23, 24 / 19:00
premiere Saturday October 10, 19:30
location: Xicheng District, Huzhu Xiang 8
off Fuyou Street and Guangming Hutong, Beijing [map]

OVERSEAS is a project initiated by
何颖雅 Elaine W. HO (USA/HK)
张秀娥 Monika TRUONG (CH)
张秀芳 Simone TRUONG (CH)

Artists and performers in collaboration
小河 Xiao HE (CN)
李珂 LI Ke (CN)
梁硕 LIANG Shuo (CN)
刘斌 LIU Bin (CN)
刘亚囡 LIU Yanan (CN)
萧薇 XIAO Wei (CN)

Project Consultants
刘鼎 LIU Ding (CN)
卢迎华 Carol LU Yinghua (CN)

Culinary Design
Café Sambal Group

Production Manager
裴延丰 Jam PEI (CN)


陆晓茵 Sylvie LUK (CN)
南景 NAN Jing (CN)
曲一箴 QU Yizhen (CN)

Further collaborators

The OVERSEAS project began in 2008 as a performance arts project by three creators of the Chinese diaspora [何颖雅 Elaine W. HO (USA/HK), 张秀娥 Monika TRUONG (CH) and 张秀芳 Simone TRUONG (CH)], their shared background as the starting point and from whence the overall name OVERSEAS is derived.

The term ‘overseas’ references those of Chinese heritage living outside of China, but rather than any claims to a particular identity, it is how we go beyond it towards relating to one another that remains the focus of our work. Identity can be a daily routine, it can be a performance. But the context, and the strength of the relation, are what enrich the process.

Since 2008 OVERSEAS has developed as a series of workshops, movement research and video explorations between Zürich and Beijing. Investigations have brought the team into the very heart of the old capital, and since August of this year the initiators and a team of local Chinese artists and performers have lived and worked intensively within a traditional courtyard in the center of Beijing, using this site as workspace, living space and point of inspiration for a series of confrontations and exchanges between daily life and representation, language and meaning, the ordinary and the extraordinary. The result is OVERSEAS,CLOSE BY, a multidisciplinary event combining an evening of food and friends with visual arts and performance.

The gate at Huzhu Xiang No.8 opens from the 10th of October for a series of exclusive gatherings involving a visual and theatrical experiment quite different from anything experienced before in Beijing. For one evening, OVERSEAS invites you to drop into the courtyard and explore its spaces as we have—both as a familiarit OVERSEAS, CLOSE BY premieres Saturday, 10 October with performances running through 24 October. Each performance, including fine dining created by the chefs of Cafe Sambal Group, lasts from 19.00 to 21.00, and due to the nature of the event audiences are asked to remain for the full two-hour duration. Places are limited; reservations required.
website by ourwork.is
This project is part of the exchange and cooperation programme “Swiss Chinese Explorations” of Pro Helvetia, the Swiss Arts Council. ph tim bed cafe
何颖雅 Elaine W. HO
Elaine Wing-Ah Ho is a Beijing-based artist and designer whose work uses the premises and vocabulary of design in order to ask questions about how functionality and objecthood intertwine with social relationships and everyday life. Most recently she has started HomeShop, a store space turned sleeping-working-living studio located in the middle of one of Beijing’s old hutongs. She works slowly (MA Media & Communications; European Graduate School, 2009, and BA Art & Art History, Rice University, 1999) and quickly (Parsons School of Design, 2001 and Arnhem Academy of the Arts, 2005), likes drinking coffee and tea mixed together and is a frequent collaborator at: www.iwishicouldescribeittoyoubetter.net.
张秀娥 Monika TRUONG
Monika Truong is a Sinologist educated at the University of Zürich. Interested in historical, cultural and political questions relating to China and its overseas population, she majored in Chinese Literature and is a devotee to Chinese theater. While her research focus is on the transformation of Chinese society and its overseas communities in the 20th and 21st century, her aim is to be a promoter of change in different Chinese lifeworlds. Monika is interested in the question of identity. She finds pleasure in hinting at cultural blind spots and deconstructing clichés by subtly disclosing them or ironically putting them into question. In her past work, personal relationships and individual stories were the main theme. Her goal is to experience, share and produce new perspectives with audiences and performers. Her last interactive theatre project《誰怕刻板印象》Who’s afraid of stereotypes?, was realized in Taipei and actively enabled and encouraged broad intercultural exchange.
张秀芳 Simone TRUONG
Simone Truong is a Zürich-based choreographer/performer. She graduated in 2006 with a BA degree in choreography from the ArtEZ HKA in Arnhem, Netherlands. She has made seven pieces (solo and group) that toured both in Switzerland and international festivals. Cross- and interdisciplinary collaboration is a strong interest of Simone, enabling her to look beyond the borders of dance and herself. Her work walks a thin path between abstraction and narrative, constantly searching for the universal and the shareable amidst life’s micro and macro-systems.
小河 Xiao HE
Third son of TIAN Qiaoyun and HE Pingsuo.
Born in 1975 in Handan.
Band member of Glorious Pharmacy.
Guy alive.


李珂 LI Ke
More commonly known as Xiao Ke, LI Ke is an independent choreographer and dancer who founded her first company, "XK Dance Studio", in 1998. After 12 years in traditional dance, she began to explore contemporary dance and collaborate with a diverse range of artists. In Shanghai in 2005, Xiao Ke co-founded the internationally recognised physical theatre collective ZuHe Niao. She is currently living and working in Beijing with the new conceptual dance studio UGLY. She has been invited to show her work all over China, Europe and Greater Asia, touring from Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, Singapore, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, France, Austria, Norway, Ireland and the United Kingdom. As an independent Chinese artist, she is very interested in cross-cultural creative practices and has established several long-term collaborations with German, Japanese, Swiss and Irish artists.

梁硕 LIANG Shuo
Born in 1976, LIANG Shuo is a graduate of the sculpture department at theChina Central Academy of Fine Arts. His experience led him to be interested in the uncertainty of art and the origins of life. From 2005 to 2006, he attended the renowned Rijksakademie in the Netherlands, and during those two years, his work led him to attempt a wide range of methods for artistic creatio. His work focused on how to express the transformations between art and reality. After returning back to China, he has grown more interested in means of linking himself to social issues and the surroundings. LIANG Shuo's most recent work investigates temporary "perfect fittings" between everyday objects.
刘斌 LIU Bin
Born 1980 in Shanxi province, LIU Bin graduated from Beijing Dance Academy and now works as a freelance contemporary dancer and choreographer. Winner of the Chinese Ministry of Culture's esteemed "Peaches and Plums Cup" 2nd place dance award, in 2002 he joined Beijing Modern Dance Company and the LDTX Contemporary Dance Company. His work has taken him around the world as far as France, Italy and Canada. Selected tours include participation in the Los Angeles Summer Music series, the Japan Cultural Exchange programme, Brazil's "Sensing China" Cultural Exchange Festival as well as the Singapore Overseas Arts Festival. Within China, LIU Bin has participated regularly in the Guangdong Contemporary Dance Week series. His major pieces include: "Teasing You", "The Direction of the Heart", "Endless", "Doll", "Snail", "See You Later, Snail", "October", "Fortune Telling" and "Sky".
刘亚囡 LIU Yanan
"Nan nan" was born in 1982 in Shanghai and currently works as an independent dancer and choreographer. She began to dance at a very young age, culminating her education at Fudan University. Along with Xiao Ke, she and other artists co-founded the Zuhe Niao group, also known as the “Niao” collective. Their main works “Tongue’s Memory of Home” and “Left Cheek” have been invited to festivals in Europe. As an independent choreographer and dancer, she often collaborates with artists from music, installation art, video and photography. In addition, her experiences has included emceeing a children’s TV programme and several plays for children. Kids love her!
Aloun MARCHAL is a performer and choreographer based in Paris. Born in 1983, he mainly does whatever he wants, but he also works collaboratively. He is interested in the process of building meaning out of the experiences of time and space.
萧薇 XIAO Wei
XIAO Wei lives in Beijing and graduated with bachelor and Master degrees in Film Direction and Film Making, as well as a PhD in Theater Direction from the Central Academy of Drama. She has been involved in several TV, theatre and commercial productions in addition to directing two short films and one full-length documentary. Her performances include four stage productions for theatre, and her interests include film production, feminist and contemporary experimental theatre, issues of female identity, existence, self-realization and self-cognition. XIAO Wei devotes herself to broadening her understanding of performance and direction and looks to film and theatre direction as a means of understanding the particular and the universal.
裴延丰 Jam PEI
Jam PEI (1978) hails from Changle Town, Pinglu County in Shanxi Province, which in simplified form can be translated as "normal person". While he is a long-term resident of Beijing, his official ID lists him as a "farmer who plants grains". He also sometimes goes by "cultural broker", "producer" or "businessman", and his work spans the fields of music, dance, film/television and theatre. His favorite foods are really really spicy ones and he is known for his enormous appetite.
Further collaborators

Camera (workshop 何颖雅 Elaine W. HO)
任杰 REN Jie

Workshop participants (何颖雅 Elaine W. HO)
小白 Xiao BAI, 陈延娜 CHEN Yanna, 邓利 DENG Li, 高向昱 GAO Xiangyu, 谷福英 GU Fuying, 贾永明 GU Yongming, 恒道福 HENG Daofu, 柯玉德 KE Yude, 利相亭 LI Xiangting, 刘瑛 LIU Ying, 王美林 WANG Meilin, 王硕 WANG Shuo, 王旭 WANG Xu, 汪洋 WANG Yang, 徐华 XU Hua, 杨鸽 YANG GE, 杨哓梅 YANG Xiaomei

Sign language translation
崔琳 CUI Lin, 高向昱 GAO Xiangyu, 李相亭 LI Xiangting, 杨哓梅 YANG Xiaomei

Interview participants (张秀娥 Monika TRUONG)
Jenny and Teeny
老太太 old lady
高鹤 GAO He
易文真 YI Wenzhen

Co-coordinator, Workshop ZHdK

Spatial Design

Endless gratitude
Peter von BARTHELD, David BAUMGARTNER, Jurriaan COOIMAN, Caroline EKTANDER, 何雨繁 HE Yufan, Jessica HUBER, Instant Hutong (Stefano AVESANI and Marcella CAMPA), 李建军 LI Jianjun, 梁吟 LIANG Yin, 美子 Meizi, Thom REINHARD, Alessandro ROLANDI, Olivier ROOS, Katharina SCHNEIDER-ROOS, Elaine TAN, 掏醉 Claude TAO, 天梅 TIAN Mei, Mr. TONG and his family, 张秀萍 Binh TRUONG, 张秀玲 Linh TRUONG, 汪建伟 WANG Jianwei, 王翔 WANG Chong, 杨哓梅 YANG Xiaomei, 叶珊珊 YE Shanshan, our next door neighbours and our parents!
overseas background