Adelaide Festival Centre launches 2018 OzAsia Festival Program

Posted by Adelaide Festival Centre on Tuesday 14 August 2018.

Five world premieres, 20 Australian premieres and 22 events exclusive to South Australia are en route to Adelaide as OzAsia Festival launches its most impressive line-up of contemporary arts from Asia to date.

Running from 25 October to 11 November, Adelaide Festival Centre’s 12th annual OzAsia Festival will feature work from 817 artists with 20 countries represented. 

This year’s festival will showcase 439 activities, including more than 250 scheduled performances, 55 talk events, 34 film screenings, eight exhibitions and 66 workshops. Approximately 200,000 people are expected to attend over the 18 days.

OzAsia Festival Artistic Director Joseph Mitchell said: “With our most expansive and diverse program to date, OzAsia Festival continues to lead the way as Australia’s major arts festival engaging with Asia. This year’s program shows the breadth of boundary pushing contemporary arts from across Asia and explores Australia-Asia collaboration. There is something for everyone in this year’s free and ticketed program. Alongside many large-scale international works, we are also programming a range of new collaborations which showcase how Australian artists are expanding their horizons through innovative collaborations and international partnerships. OzAsia Festival is the place to be to experience the best of contemporary arts and culture from across Asia.”     

Award winning choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui returns to OzAsia Festival with his iconic acrobatic masterpiece Sutra, featuring Cherkaoui himself in the principal role along with a troupe of 19 Shaolin Monks, while internationally acclaimed Syrian production While I Was Waiting will give audiences a glimpse into the everyday lives of a family living in war-ravaged Syria.

After the international acclaim of his first unconventional play White Rabbit, Red Rabbit, Nassim Soleimanpour returns with the Adelaide premiere of his newest work, Nassim, featuring a new actor each night who does not see the script until stepping onto the stage. Eko Supriyanto also returns to Adelaide with his internationally acclaimed solo work Salt.

Other festival headliners include the Australian premieres of Korea’s international hit Dancing Grandmothers and legendary Chinese playwright and director Stan Lai’s beloved modern classic Secret Love in Peach Blossom Land.

South Australian artists feature prominently in the program in a series of international collaboration debuts. Alison Currie collaborates with Singapore’s RAW Moves to create Close Company, an intimate dance performance. Paulo Castro will direct Hello My Name Is… a powerful one-man performance featuring Timor Leste actor Jose Da Costa.

Adelaide Composer David Kotlowy’s world premiere Patina features local artists Ade Suharto, Gamelan In Situ along with Japanese dancer Shin Sakuma. OzAsia Festival favourites, Tutti Arts present a three-way international co-production, Say No More, examining different perspectives on marriage by artists with and without disability from Australia, Indonesia and Malaysia.

For younger audiences, Cerita Anak (Childs Story) is an immersive theatre experience bustling with all the life of the ocean combining puppetry, song, shadow imagery and sound.

Visual art connoisseurs will love the array of exhibitions including Korea’s JeeYoung Lee, Malaysia’s Yee I-Ann, Thailand’s Kawita Vatanajyankur and Cambodia’s Anida Yoeu Ali.

In a massive coup for Adelaide, OzAsia Festival builds to a spectacular final weekend with the Jaipur Literature Festival showcasing the artistic, literary and culinary heritage of South Asia and the world with books, ideas, food, music, dialogue and debate from Friday 9 November to Sunday 11 November.

More than 50 authors, journalists, thinkers and activists will descend on Adelaide from Friday 9 November to Sunday 11 November for the completely free JLF in Adelaide, including mega-star Indian author Shobhaa De, Singaporean spoken word poet Pooja Nansit, multi-award winning writer and comedian Sami Shah and the festival’s Artistic Directors and celebrated writers William Dalrymple and Namita Gokhale.

Forging stronger links between the Australian and Southeast Asian arts and cultural sectors, OzAsia Festival will also host Borak Arts Series, the major annual arts conference for Southeast Asia featuring a program of keynote speakers, panels, round table discussions, networking events and performance showcases. This is the first time the conference will be held outside of Malaysia.

The Moon Lantern Parade, is back bigger and better this year, taking over Elder Park with an explosion of colour and lights on Saturday 27 October from 3pm to 9pm. With the largest venue capacity to date, this year’s event will give festivalgoers more vantage points to view the parade than ever before. Australia’s biggest lantern parade will feature more than 40 different handmade lanterns including nine brand new giant lanterns, community and roving performances, an impressive fireworks display and plenty of amenities and food trucks.

Outdoor hub, Lucky Dumpling Market will dish up the flavours of Asia with a smorgasbord of food trucks, plus free entertainment from local and international artists including Australia’s Gold Fields and Sophie Koh, Malaysia’s Nading Rhapsody and The Philippines’ Joey Ayala. 

Adelaide Festival Centre CEO & Artistic Director Douglas Gautier AM said: This years OzAsia Festival line-up is our most extensive and impressive yet, with some incredible world and Australian premieres. We are particularly excited to be welcoming the Jaipur Literature Festival to the OzAsia Festival program. The completely free JLF program will give audiences the opportunity to surround themselves with some of the best literary minds from around the world and discover more about South Asian perspectives.

His Excellency the Honourable Hieu Van Le AC, Governor of South Australia and Patron of OzAsia Festival, said it was exciting to watch the festival continue to advance. For more than a decade, OzAsia Festival has been at the forefront of artistic excellence and celebrating cultural diversity in our state. There is nothing else like OzAsia Festival in Australia so I encourage everyone to gather with their families and friends and immerse themselves in what this year’s festival has to offer. This includes six world premiere performances, the famous Jaipur Literature Festival, the always-popular Moon Lantern Parade, the Lucky Dumpling Market and a range of cultural experiences around every corner.

The full OzAsia Festival program will be available online at 7pm 14 August:

Adelaide Festival Centre’s OzAsia Festival 2018 is supported by the Government of South Australia through Arts South Australia.

Executive Festival Partner – The City of Adelaide and Hong Kong Economic Trade Office, Sydney

Festival Partners – Playking Foundation, National Arts Council, Singapore, ANZ, Adelaide Casino, Adelaide Airport and Wilson Parking

Program Partners – Artwave, Taiwan, The Australian Government through the Department for Communication and the Arts, The Council for Australian-Arab Relations and the Australia-Japan Foundation of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Confucius Institute at The University of Adelaide, Australia Council for the Arts, Flinders University, Jembatan and Birdlife Australia

Official Airline – Singapore Airlines

Accommodation Partner – Stamford Plaza Adelaide

Vehicle Partner – Jarvis Subaru

Wine Partner - O’Leary Walker Wines

Media Partners –  The Advertiser,SBS, iAge Media, CityMag and ABC Radio Adelaide

Program Supporters – CENDANA (Cultural Economy Development Agency, Malaysia), BEKRAF (Indonesian Agency for Creative Economy), West Java Provincial Government, Special Region of Yogyakarta, Department of Tourism, Philippines and CultureLink, Singapore


Full program, images and media kits can be downloaded here:

Interviews available upon request.

MEDIA CONTACT AJ Tucker | 08 8216 8507 |