BrisAsia is back, providing a fantastic opportunity to participate and be part of Brisbane’s evolving cultural story.
In its 10th year, the Festival will run from 1-20 February.
While he has been an artist and producer at the Festival over the years, this year, Dr Anthony Garcia, and company, Sounds Across the Sea, is producing the entire 2022 Festival.
“We’ve brought together a team of wonderful Asian-Australian producers to help us. So, after ten years, the Festival has been growing, and I think this will be the biggest one yet. And despite the COVID pandemic, the festival program we’ve put in place is the most diverse and colourful to date.”
“We’re really thrilled and excited about that foundation – we’re setting ourselves up for the future to be able to grow this festival through networks and partnerships so that the festival has a bright future and continues to grow and evolve.”
The Festival promotes Asian and Asian Australian artists and creative practices.
“But we also look to find unique intercultural contexts where people from non-Asian backgrounds can build relationships with other people, learn about different cultures, and participate. It’s that sort of participatory ethos that we’re bringing to this Festival.”
“We will have a number of workshops, experiences for kids, as well as cutting edge, creative residencies, where diverse people can come together and build and create new art together. I think that’s a very special component of this Festival.”
Dr Garcia said the Festival had been organised against the backdrop of COVID.
“Covid has been circling all around us, so we knew there was a likelihood, particularly knowing the state was opening up, that we would be dealing with COVID.”
He said three key elements – digital experiences, outdoor events, and strong partnerships – were part of the strategy to tackle COVID throughout the Festival.
“We have set up a couple of online and digital experiences for people knowing that they can go ahead no matter what happens.”
“It’s the closed indoor events that suffer the most cancellations, so we added more outdoor events to our program. And in addition to that, we built very strong relationships with our venue partners, to ensure we had the strictest protocols in place, following State Government guidelines to ensure people’s safety.”
Dr Garcia thinks we have to find a way to build a cultural and artistic framework into this new pandemic world.
Dr Garcia said it is always difficult to select highlights because he considers all events are special and unique.
“We realised there are types of events, like musical performance experiences, which may be more attractive to older audiences, and we have a strong Asian culture and student youth culture that have different needs.”
“So, we tend to try and create all sorts of different types of events that will attract different communities.”
Dr Garcia thinks a real highlight of the Festival will be the free launch party on Saturday 5 February at the Fortitude Music Hall. The launch will include live performances by renowned Tibetan musician Tenzin Choegyal, Sitar virtuoso Sudha Manian, contemporary artist LALKA, Meow Cosplay, traditional lion dancers, and martial arts displays.
“It brings together all of the different elements of the Festival – traditional music, contemporary traditional fashion, digital displays and lights shows. The launch party is a snapshot of the whole program.”
For the complete BrisAsia Festival program and other events, visit Brisbane City Council and search ‘BrisAsia’ – see HERE.