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“东来紫气满函关(Big Nothing)”

©the artist

<Winner of Award for Outstanding Show at the Tokyo Festival World Competition 2019>

来紫气函关(Big Nothing

Dai Chenlian (China / Beijing)


Ghost stories and childhood memories, a shadow-puppet theatre piece where dreams and reality intersect… What lies beyond the humor, the madness, and the nonsense ?

Combining childhood memories with “The Miscellaneous Morsels of Youyang”, a collection of stories from the Chinese Tang Dynasty era (9th century), “Big Nothing” is a shadow-puppet theater piece where personal memories and ghost stories, dream and reality cross over.
The 30 volume collection of stories, “The Miscellaneous Morsels of Youyang”, differ from many of the texts written in the period. These stories do not have morals, many seeming nonsensical. Some stories feature a mouth growing out of people’s arm and demanding food, while others are about a man turning into a pagoda. The stories were an important influence to Lu Xun, the father of Chinese modern literature, who cherished the collection and wrote similar strange stories himself, such as one about the spirit of a snake turning into a beautiful woman. Dai Chenlian grew up in Shaoxing city with his grandmother. In the play, the image of his grandmother begins to melt together with that of Lu Xun, who is also from the city of Shaoxing.
Dai Chenlian creates his own shadow puppets, sometimes becoming the resident of his own fictional world ? A world where lighthearted humor can suddenly transform into something uncanny, and where the nonsensical creates new meaning.


Dai Chenlian

Dai Chenlian, born in 1982 in Shaoxing City, China, graduated from the China Academy of Fine Arts in 2004 and began to make art since 2006. He works with the essential elements of theatre art ?story, action, sound, lighting, construction, and gesture? and breaks them into the smallest possible units, in order to reveal the condition, process, and movement of thought in the most direct way. Multiple elements such as space, construction, light, oral record, image, puppetry, poetry reading, musical construction are incorporated in his works. Dai Chenlian brings in stories from the news and of ordinary people that he meets to create his own narration and imagination of the world. He attempts to document unnoticed emotions and events in a time of social transformation, the price that people have to pay to live, and the twists and turns of their destinies. His major works include Qin in Restrospect (2019), Big Nothing (2018), Spring is Splendid Color (2017), Spring River Flowing East IV (2015).


Venue: Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre, Theatre East

Friday, November 6 - Saturday, November 7

①13:00-14:00 / ②16:00-17:00 / ③20:00-21:00

Sunday, November 8

①13:00-14:00 / ②16:00-17:00

* Reception is planned to open 30 minutes before each screening

Please book from here (You will be brought to an external website <Peatix>)


Friday, November 6-Sunday, November 8, 13:00-

*Available until 23:59 on the day (The content is the same as screening)

Please book from here (You will be brought to an external website <e+ Streaming+>)

Streaming Ticket

[Free Streaming]
Lecture Performance "This is our Common Story"
Dai Chenlian

Dai Chenlien, the writer, director and performer of "东来紫气满函关 (Big Nothing)" shares with us how he confronts theatre and society under the pandemic, as well as the reason he continues to perform on stage. He also asks for your contribution for his new work. (Email address for submission: Please enjoy.

*The email address Dai Chenlian reads out in the video is incorrect. This is the correct email address.
Subtitle Translation: Chen Yen-Chun
Translation Cooperation: Masaki Baba, Kohei Ise, Caleb Lee


Written, Directed and Performed by

Dai Chenlian

Set, Lighting and Sound Design

Dai Chenlian


You Mi

Production Manager

Zhang Yuan, Kim Shinu

Commissioned and Produced by

Kim Seonghee

Co-produced by

National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Korea (Seoul) Ming Contemporary Art Museum (Shanghai), SPIELART Festival (München)

Residency Support

Seoul Art Space Mullae

“Tú Amarás (You Shall Love)”

ⓒMarcuse Xaverius 

<Winner of the Audience Award,  the Critics' Choice Award and the Award for Best Performer at the Tokyo Festival World Competition 2019>

“Tú Amarás You Shall Love

Bonobo (Chile / Santiago)

Extraterrestrials have arrived… Doctors thinking about “discrimination” in a conversation full of black humor

Chilean doctors are preparing a panel discussion in an international conference. The theme is “How to overcome discrimination”. In the recent years where extraterrestrial lifeforms known as Amenites have come to Earth as refugees, it is said that discriminatory treatment against these refugees is common among many medical practitioners. What creates violence? Can one love someone that is “other” to them? Questions examined closely through collective creation is posed humorously, ironically, and yet truthfully.


Bonobo is a theatre company founded in 2012 by Pablo Manzi and Andreina Olivari with the aim of bringing new works to the stage that stimulates critical reflection on the spectator. Through a metodology of collective creation with emphasis on research and improvisation, they have become one of the most renowned young groups of Chilean theatre.
To date, they have premiered Amansadura (2012), Donde viven los bárbaros (2015) and Tú Amarás (2018) to great success, taking part in festivals in countries like the Unites States, Sweden, Germany, Belgium The Neatherlands, Spain, Italy, Mexico, Brazil, Peru and Chile.

Andreina Olivari and Pablo Manzi

 Andreina Olivari and Pablo Manzi are the co-directors Bonobo, Chilean theatre company founded in 2013.
Pablo Manzi studied Acting at Academia Club de Teatro, directed by Fernando González. As an actor he was member of the company La Mala Clase. In 2017 he was invited to a residency at the Royal Court Theatre in London, where he wrote the play A Fight Against, which will be premiered by the same institution in 2020.
Andreina Olivari is an actress and teacher; she also studied at Academia Club de Teatro and she also has a Bachelor of Arts in Hispanic Literarture. As an actress she has worked with different groups. She is currently developing Proyecto Aguirre, a theatre reserach project around Chilean playwright Isidora Aguirra, which she directs.


Venue: Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre, Theatre West

Friday, November 6 - Sunday, November 8


* Reception is planned to open 30 minutes before each screening

Please book from here (You will be brought to an external website <Peatix>)

Screening Ticket


Friday, November 6-Sunday, November 8, 17:30-

*Available until 23:59 on the day (The content is the same as screening)

Please book from here (You will be brought to an external website <e+ Streaming+>)

Streaming Ticket


 Written by

Pablo Manzi


Andreina Olivari and Pablo Manzi


Gabriel Cañas, Carlos Donoso, Paulina Giglio, Guilherme Sepúlveda and Gabriel Urzúa


Felipe Olivares and Juan Andrés Rivera

Technical Manager

Raúl Donoso


Horacio Pérez

Surtitle translator

Yuichiro Furuya

Co-produced by

Espacio Checoslovaquia and Fundación Teatro a Mil