_ao_ao_ing ensemble: A Grand Synastry of _ao_ao_ing

2023.02.25 Saturday 19:00


2F, The Cloister Apartments, 62 West Fuxing Road, Shanghai

Performar:_ao_ao_ing ensemble

Time:2023/2/25 19:00-20:30

In this era when faith bankrupts, reality collapses, and the Other dissolves, a young team is haunted by a lingering question about their subsistence—some consider them a "group," others casually refer to them as a "theater company," jokingly a "gang", on exhibition tags an "artistic collective," while they called themselves an "ensemble"—"_ao_ao_ing ensemble", or "_ao_ao_ing" for short. Over the past five years, _ao_ao_ing has been trying and struggling with the method of "collective creation," resulting in quite a few diverse works and events under the framework of "performance" in a broad sense. Up to now, it is difficult to tell what they have become. After five years' entangled co-living and co-working, the six members have their heart's fluttering superposed with the uncertain waves in the outside world. They all want to know how the ensemble should continue, where this thing will go (and when it will hit big).

Therefore, when _ao_ao_ing received the invitation from the Cloister Project, they decided to seize this opportunity to employ the most scientific means and techniques that point straight to the heart, in order to dissect their past and presence profoundly and seek enlightenment for their future, under the witness of all the salon guests.

About the Performer

_ao_ao_ing ensemble (老妖精) is an evolving artists collective that uses contemporary theatre and cross-media performance as creative mediums. Their works move through art museums, black boxes and everyday scenes, in search of a site more unique than the conventional theatre stage. Based in Shanghai, _ao_ao_ing has six core members who work collaboratively in conceptualizing, devising, producing and performing all their projects. They thrive in the the blurry zone where theatricality borders with real-life, making each performance an unrepeatable occurrence.

Past projects include Annata, Not A Real Drag Show (2019-), audio walk Here They Wu-er (2018-), and participatory performances Murder of a Promagranate (2019), Dragon for the Village: A Future Festival (Qingshan Village, 2020-), Hi! Hi! Hi! (for  “Shanghai Waves: Historical Archives and Works of Shanghai Biennale", 2020), as well as long-term interdisciplinary project Weaver Girl Project (2020-).

About the Guest in the Post-Performance Talk

Jia-yue Ding (b.1998) was born and raised in Hangzhou, China. She received her bachelor degrees of sociology and art history from UCLA. Jia currently lives in Shanghai, exploring the psychic potential of art making, turning herself into a vessel, and connecting the individuals into the whole. She uses mystic narrative as a counter-discourse against the made-believe truth of authority. Her past works include videos, photography, performance, writings, public project etc. Her photography were published by Jiazazhi. Her other works had been shown in TANK Shanghai, Beijing Riverside Art Museum, Shanghai Himalaya Museum, Vice China, Graphite Journal, Adolescent Content etc.


Tian He is a poet and academic worker who currently lives in Shanghai. She is interested in non-binary philosophy and ecological philosophy. She is very familiar with Jung’s theory of 8 personality types, and she often strongly recommends her friends to take the MBTI test, which she considers as a friendly practice. She is currently learning Zi Wei Dou Shu.


Wang facilitates divorces by practicing divination, and Wang is one with little romance and the slimmest chance of marriage. However, this does not prevent Wang from being a peaceful and gentle person who always wishes best for others.

Xu Qin is a therapist. She studies the Book of Changes, and is dedicated to learning the Eight-Character fortune telling. She explores the spirituality of the body and the mind, and she is always curious. Life goes on, and her studies of the Book of Changes continues.

About the Vortex

Vortex is a long-term project. We will update the content of performance lectures by artists and talks by experts both on- and offline. Following the fundamental approach of connecting local practice, theories, and context, we hope that this nonstandard art venue will become a place of torrents, flux, and confluence.

The Macalline Center of Art (MACA) is a non-profit art institution located in the 798 Art District of Beijing and officially inaugurated its space on January 15, 2022. Occupying a two-story building with a total area of 900 square meters, MACA unites artists, curators, and other art and cultural practitioners from around the world. Through its diverse, ongoing, and collaborative approaches, the Center establishes a new site on the contemporary art scene. Guided by the “work of artists” and backed by interdisciplinary research, the Center aims to bring together a community passionate about art and devoted to the “contemporary” moment so as to respond proactively to our rapidly evolving times.