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Chor Guan NG (m)
Composer in Residence

Herkunftsland: Malaysia
KKA-Residency: 2016
Webseite: http://www.toccatastudio.com

Portrait Chor Guan NG
Portrait Chor Guan NG
©Chor Guan NG
Ng Chor Guan is a Malaysian composer, sound designer, active thereminist, improviser, educator, and co-founder of the singular contemporary arts collective, Toccata Studio. A familiar face in many international arts festivals across the continents, Guan is a prolific artist whose diverse body of work is rooted in the contemporaneous currents of technology and yet proves to transcend categories in the performing arts.

The arts collective Toccata Studio is his dedication to creating collaborative and multidisciplinary works: they are responsible for a new, progressive wave of contemporary arts in Malaysia that aims to reach and cross global boundaries of culture and tradition. An advocate of research and development in the arts, Toccata Studio produces ground-breaking, poignant work and also runs regular improvisational sessions within music and between music and dance. In 2015, Toccata Studio has joined forces with community venue, Space. Toccata and utilizes the space provided by the venue to run experimental, multidisciplinary ventures. His ongoing experimental series, New Music Series and Dance=Music Series, both improvisational and cross-cultural in many senses, are Guan’s efforts in cultivating a new artistic, cultural language for Malaysia that unites the diverse media, musical disciplines and traditions available in the region.

Ng Chor Guan is demonstrative in his belief of the arts as a world-changing force: his work is often interactive and engages his audience in participation via literal means and artistic renditions. His interactive work, Mobile Phone Orchestra (MPO) is emblematic of the ease with which he introduces groundbreaking concepts via his art. In Mobile Phone Orchestra, the audience plays an active role in the performance in which they play from their phones, music tracks that are disseminated pre-performance, in accordance to the light signals during the performance. In Malaysia, MPO has been brought to the George Town Festival and the Melaka Art and Performance Festival. In 2012, Guan was invited to perform MPO at the Playable City Sprint at Bristol, United Kingdom, which was organized by the British Council and Pervasive Media Centre. He was one of five Asian artists to have been invited to represent the diverse continent. In September of the same year, he was invited to South Korea to perform MPO at the opening ceremony of the 7th Global RCE Conference, organized by UNICEF.

An artist with a scientific bend, Ng Chor Guan’s work has always culminated in a contemporary blend of art and science. Among his many compositions, a multidisciplinary piece centering on music, visuals, and science: ‘Space Age’, is a work that demonstrates the transformative capabilities of art both literally and figuratively. Structured in eight parts, this project features five musical instruments from each of the families in Western classical music: the viola (strings), the flute (woodwind), the French horn (brass) the piano (percussion) and the theremin, hailing from the new family, the electronic. Space Age is the realization of a space journey: first created in 2010, and later staged twice, this extraordinary space journey is twofold; the venue in which Space Age is staged, transforms, via the performance into a spaceship in which the audience, its passengers, are taken to outer space and back.

His most recent project with Toccata Studio, titled ‘2020’, is a project five years long: a multidisciplinary performance powered by the concepts of multiple futures and time travel, 2020 is both a meditation on the future and an active progression into the future. The plot of clones reuniting as ‘twins’ offers a performance that involves not simply scientific concepts but also science itself with the inclusion of arts arisen from science and technology. In using an open interpretation narrative of the paths taken by clones across times – ‘past’, ‘present’, and ‘future’ – 2020 offers its audience a new way of accessing experience and moves the audience towards a better future in ways real and imagined. In 2016, 2020 expands to include roundtable talk sessions in which people from all walks of life come together to discuss change and the future.

As an internationally acclaimed composer and artist, Guan’s film music was awarded the Grand Prize in both the Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival in France (2009) and the Art Film Fest in Slovakia (2010). The following year, 2011, Guan was awarded a Goethe Institut Scholarship in Bonn, Germany. 2015 proves to be a fairly rewarding year: in the first half of 2015, he was selected from 2000 participants hailing from around the world to participate in the Berlinale Talents, a program conducted in conjunction with the Berlin International Film Festival. In the second half of 2015, Ng Chor Guan was invited as musical director of Dancenorth Australia’s 30th anniversary production, Twilight, which was staged in Townsville, Australia. In the same year, Guan was selected and then participated in OneBeat, a program organized by the federal government of the United States, and is now officially a OneBeat fellow.

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