a little video of me explaining my personal relationship with the puppets, relating to my late grandpa.
Lastly, on the 2nd of November, the festival finished with a beautiful finale event at the Proud Archivist. I was commissioned to create a Kratong making workshop, linking to the floating lantern ritual during the festival of lights. As this year also marks the 100th anniversary of the World War 1, the kratongs were also used to remember the Southeast Asian soldiers who took part in the war. As we couldn't get permission to float the kratong on the river, I decided to ask the participants to instead write down what they want to 'let go' with their kratong. During a performance, I selected a few of these and read them out. Some were funny, some were very sad, but they were all brilliant. For me, it proved the fact that, art is always more powerful if you let it in the hands of the people. I was very touched.
Apart from my own work, the highlight of the festival for me was to see the Khon masters from Thailand performing the traditional Nang Yai, or the grand shadow puppets. The masters dont usually perform unless it's a grand ceremony in Thailand, so having them over in London (thanks to Tourism Authority of Thailand) and having the chance to witness their amazing ability was such a priviledge. Each and every moment were on point. The beauty and grace of their performance really drove me to tears. Overall, it was a very meanngful series of event this year at SEA Art Fest. Although, it might be small compare to other arts festival, it was a great start for SEA arts to be acknowledged and get the recognition it deserved here in UK.