The dark nights gave me my dark eyes;
I, however, use them to look for light.
(written by Gu Cheng, translated by Gordon T. Osing and De-An Wu Swihart)
Founded by Hung Hung, who is a poet, a director, a curator, as well as a critic, Dark Eyes Performance Lab merges diverse theatrical creativity with artistic experiments, challenging contemporary issues and taboos to provoke thinking. Since its founding year 2009, Dark Eyes Performance Lab has actively introduced cutting-edge plays and produced original works that are innovative in theme and form, grasping the ever-changing spirit of time. We not only produce works of director Hung Hung, but also provide a platform for young artists, creating and promoting interdisciplinary art together.
Notable works include The Ugly One, Jump! BIG Girl! and Winnie the Boob, which all challenge modern culture’s emphasis on outer appearances; while the documentary theatre piece Taiwan 365 — Eternity of a Day is politically and socially critical, Blackbird and Alive and Kicking delve into the judgment of immoral behavior. Dark Eyes has also produced environmental theatre work “The Poetry of Gods” which unifies the past and present, A Tribute to Modern Theatre Revisited in which young creators show their talents, as well as curatorial projects Das Zauberhaus, Faaaaat Festival and In-yer-face Festival. In the project Der Ring des Nibelungen: A Revolution Unarmed , Dark Eyes collaborated with local theatre groups and received sponsorship of the National Culture and Arts Foundation under the “Pursuit of Excellence Project for the Performing Arts.”
Our works have been invited by renowned art festivals: Picnic on the Battlefield was invited by Asia Theatre Directors’ Festival TOGA, Japan, Bananaiana invited by Taipei Arts Festival and Les fourberies de Myriam invited by International Theatre Festival of the National Theatre. They are cross-cultural and cross-music-genre works. Félicité, Play-reading of Japanese Contemporary Plays, and two works by artist-in-residence YU Yen-Fang: Something has been changed silently by Time──projectmuomuo2017, and Propositions on Disappearance III, are the major achievements of our platform for cultivating both young and mid-career artists. On the 10th anniversary of Dark Eyes Performance Lab, we held the art festival Play Arts (2018), which assembled the artistic talents nationwide; we also challenged ourselves with a VR -immersive-theatre piece: Too Many Dreams in One Night, which merges the thinking of history and human rights into art. Later, Propositions on Disappearance III was honored to be shortlisted for the 18th Taishin Arts Award (2019). In 2020, we invite artists who just became parents to step into children’s theatre, presenting our new work Demo of the Wind in 2020 Taipei Children’s Arts Festival. In 2021, our director Hung Hung was invited by the National Taichung Theater to direct Tannhäuser for Grand Tour with Theater Titan (2022 encore), expanding the horizon of Dark Eyes to the opera field.
Dark Eyes recent Notable works include: And the Ship Sails On (2020, directed by CHOU Yi-cheng), A Century’s Dark Journey (directed by CHOU Yi-cheng) for 2021 NTCH IDEAS Lab (postponed to early 2022 due to the epidemic), Super Mom’s Club (originated, choreographed and directed by artist-in-residence YU Yen-Fang) for 2021 Artquake In Autumn.
Since 2010, Dark Eyes Performance Lab has been sponsored enduringly by the National Culture and Arts Foundation (NCAF) as one of the TAIWAN TOP performing arts groups. In 2014, we received the “art space” sponsorship of Taipei Department of Cultural Affairs and has since resided in Linsen 59 with other arts groups, forming a solid basis for our creativity. In the future, Dark Eyes Performance Lab will hold on to its principle to make a creator-friendly environment, in hope to open a dark eye on Asia, a window to the world.