A graduation production in Taipei National University of the Arts .
Directing Jin-Wei Zhuang
Scenography Yi-Ju Chou
Light John Lee
Costume Wei-Shan Jiang
Performing Ng Chi Wai & Helen Kao
Premiere 01.12.2017. TNUA
A physical theater whose plot derives from director Hirokazu Kore-eda’s “Air Doll.”
The background of this production is altered from Japan to modern-day Taiwan. The original story is rearranged, making the relationship between the sex doll and her purchaser the focus of this production.
There are three main focuses in my scenography.
The first is how to convey the existence of the outside world. In the original movie, there are several scenes that help to establish the relationship between the sex doll and the modern society, but in this play this relationship needs to be expressed through visual design elements. Therefore, I chose to make use of the realism of the space and the model scenery outside the window in hopes of creating a vibe that’s realistic a little unusual at the same time.
The second focus is how the stage space tells the story following the development of the plot. The story starts from the man’s pain and loneliness to the ignition of his desire, goes on to reveal the birth of the sex doll’s soul, then depicts her curiosity towards the world as well as the interwoven emotion and desire between the two. After having experienced the impulsive love and hate of human nature, the characters finally reach the freedom of the soul.
The alteration of the stage space reflects the sex doll’s shift of visual focus (the TV-> the window -> the closet -> the hole) resulting from her decision to make a change. Therefore, when she wakes up and starts to look for things, she unconsciously opens the hole that connects the man’s room and the mysterious space.
The third focus is on the space between realism and fantasy. I believe that in a dance production that applies both physical form and lyrical narration, putting characters in a realistic box-like space can highlight the fragility of their lives. The realistic space and the box are, in a sense, designed to manifest the limitation of the real world, representing areas that the characters cannot break through. The hole (the mysterious passage) echoes the scene in the real world (e.g. bathroom window – the model window leading to the world outside, TV - the hole in the poster).
They seem to be the links between the mysterious world and the virtual world, but in fact they do not lead to the so-called hope and freedom.