I Swallowed a Moon Made of Iron

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Introduction

 

A requiem for our digital age - Chinese poet Xu Lizhi writes about life making electronic parts on an assembly line in Shenzhen, China. Powerful, haunting and gut wrenching, Xu’s words give voice to millions of workers around the globe whose existence is often forgotten. The Korean premiere of this multimedia song cycle by former music director of La La La Human Steps and the composer of Mr. Shi and His Lover and Picnic in the Cemetery pays tribute to Xu Lizhi and countless others whose unseen struggles provide the amenities of our digital lives.

 
 
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“The great richness of this theatrical concert is the power of the music,

which varies from simple melodies to richly dramatic harmonies

to clashing jangles, depending on the poem. “

- The Whole Note

 
 

Creator’s Note

In 2010, fourteen workers committed suicide at the Shenzhen complex of Foxconn, a major contract manufacturer of electronics for many of our digital devices. In 2014, 24 year old Xu Lizhi, working at the same plant, did the same. At the time of his death, Xu was one of the most promising young poets in China’s worker-poet literary movement comprised of young labourers writing about the working class.

With straightforward language, nuanced poetic sensibility and astounding imagination, Xu gave us a vivid glimpse of life on the assembly line and reminds us how global and inter-connected our lives are. Whether near or far, there are innumerous people, unseen, unheard and forgotten, that contribute to ourday-to-day comforts.

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Njo Kong Kie 楊光奇

Composer/ Performer

A picnic and ping pong enthusiast, Kong Kie is also a composer for dance, opera and theatre. Works include concert-theatre Picnic in the Cemetery (Canadian Stage, Ansan Street Arts Festival) and music theatre Mr. Shi and His Lover (National Arts Centre, Canada; Cervantino Festival, Mexico; Theatre Athénée, France). Kong Kie has created soundtrack for contemporary dance production worldwide (Nederlands Dans Theater, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago) and was the long-serving music director of La La La Human Steps. Upcoming: The Year of the Cello, a play with solo cello music set in Hong Kong in the 1920s and The Futures Market, an opera exploring the complex moral dimensions of the trade in human organs.


XU Lizhi 許立志 (1990-2014)

Poet

was born in the rural area of Guangdong province. After high school, like millions of other young people, Xu went to the cities to look for work. At age twenty, Xu landed a job in the assembly line of Foxconn in Shenzhen, making electronic parts for digital devices. In a span of four years, Xu wrote close to 200 poems, many of them about the life of migrant factory workers. Xu gained recognition as one of the best in China’s worker-poet literary movement.

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Photo by Dahlia Katz

Production Team

Poet   XU Lizi

Poet

XU Lizi

Composer / Director / Performer / Co-producer   NJO Kong Kie

Composer / Director / Performer / Co-producer

NJO Kong Kie

Set and Lighting Designer   FUNG Kwok Kee Gabriel

Set and Lighting Designer

FUNG Kwok Kee Gabriel

Photographer / Filmmaker   AO IEONG Weng Fong

Photographer / Filmmaker

AO IEONG Weng Fong

Sound Designer and Engineer   Ryan MCNABB

Sound Designer and Engineer

Ryan MCNABB

Video Designer (Text)   Nicholas YEE

Video Designer (Text)

Nicholas YEE

Vocal Coach   Stacie DUNLOP

Vocal Coach

Stacie DUNLOP

Movement Coach   William YONG

Movement Coach

William YONG

Drama Coach/ English Translator   Derek KWAN

Drama Coach/ English Translator

Derek KWAN

Korean Translator   Minju CHO

Korean Translator

Minju CHO

Stage Manager (Premiere)   Echo ZHOU

Stage Manager (Premiere)

Echo ZHOU

Associate Producer (Premiere)   Kevin Matthew WONG

Associate Producer (Premiere)

Kevin Matthew WONG

Production Manager / Projection Coordinator / Co-producer   Erik KUONG

Production Manager / Projection Coordinator / Co-producer

Erik KUONG

 

Reviews

 

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

“Njo's score is a marvel”
“Excavation of the unseen labour which underpins our modern existence, told with exquisite beauty and brutality”

- The List, Edinburgh


 

“Everything about this show is thoughtful, measured, and well pitched. It celebrates and mourns Xu and destabilizes viewers in important and timely ways. You’ll not look at your cellphone the same way again.”

– TORONTO STAR


“Not your run-of-the-mill Fringe experience.”

- The Scotsman

“A beautiful ode to the late poet Xu Lizhi, I Swallowed a Moon Made of Iron gives a voice to migrant workers, expressing the hidden lives and hardships of those working in grim factories in Shenzhen, China.”

– Mooney on Theatre


“poetic and poignant”

– NOW Magazine

“The great richness of this theatrical concert is the power of the music, which varies from simple melodies to richly dramatic harmonies to clashing jangles, depending on the poem. “

- The Whole Note


“heart-breakingly beautiful”

– barczablog

Seoul, Korea

2019.10.4 (FRI) - 10.11 (FRI)

Weekday 8pm, Saturdau 7pm, Sunday 3pm (Monday Off)

STUDIO 76

99 Ihwajang-gil, Ihwa-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea

 
 
 

This is a exclusive research presentation for people who are
interesting on global worker environment issue and
China's worker-poet literary movement.

Free admission

(Advance reservation required)

Enquiry: 010-6836-5201