NAME: JOE LUI // ROLE: DIRECTOR & LIGHTING/SOUND DESIGNER // SHOW: SELKIE
What was your first experience with theatre?
My first real experience in professional theatre was the Black Swan State Theatre Company production of The Odyssey. Previously I had seen theatre in Singapore and Australia growing up but nothing that really made an impact.
I think Humphrey and Sally, who are two frequent collaborators and mentors of mine now – were both involved in the project. I loved the f*ck out of it. It made me understand the scope of my dreaming.
What kind of works/performances are you most drawn to?
Post-dramatic and avant-garde work. I like shows in which I have to work. I like shows that want to make me uncomfortable. I want to exit a show damaged and on my hands and knees, not having a polite conversation and wondering what to get at the bar.
What advice would you give someone who wants to get into theatre?
What excites you about Perth? What are some must-see places you would recommend?
I like that the work I make contributes to the cultural milleu. It has given me ridiculously good opportunities. I love that I have a home here.
I recommend: Side Door Barbeque, Monggo Restaurant, Hawker’s Cuisine, Old Faithful.
How would you describe your artistic practice?
The sanctity of freedom and the universal brother and sisterhood of humanity. All my work has on some level interacted with these two ideas, much of my work specifically examines various aspects of this central thesis.
I keep returning to this because it is a question that burns inside me. It is the central point upon which all my creative energies and political ideology revolves. I also think that from such simple ideas the most interesting debates and questions abound.
Does “freedom and a universal sense of humanity” mean that we should see everyone as equals regardless of race, creed or religion, OR does it mean that we should take into account the political and historical contexts of people of various race, creed and religion, and even out the playing field with those considerations? There are no easy answers to the questions that stem from such a seemingly innocuous proposition, and I love that difficulty of the debate.
And I love the ability of putting these wonderfully complex propositions and questions into a creative and visual framework.
Find out more about Renegade Productions’ Selkie here.
Image by Daniel James Grant. Background image by Jarrad Seng.