HAGAY DREAMING
A techno-fantasia guided theater of revival

Between mountain and rain, lost in deep forest
Inside the cave, trans-porting human and spirit
Virtual and Actual, hagay dreaming
With reverence, sharing pleasure and spirits
With blessing, eternal flow among us

Dondon Hounwn fabricated a legend…

The legend has it that long ago, a hunter walked alone into the mountains to hunt. Unexpectedly, he encountered a sudden downpour. The hunter wandering in the forest discovered a giant tree hollow in which he seeked shelter from the heavy rain. The hunter fell asleep while waiting for the rain to stop. Not knowing how long he has slept, the hunter woke up and heard birds chirping and insects buzzing. He walked out from the tree hollow and found himself in a fascinating forest where everything seemed to sparkle. He has lost in the forest where suddenly he came upon a group of naked people who embraced each other in intimate manners. The hunter took a closer look and found that they were all male but look more like gorgeous women. The hunter inquires, “Who are you?” The group of people answered, “We are Hagay.”

The Hagay began to communicate with the hunter, and he learned from them much valuable wisdom concerning rituals, hunting and weaving. The hunter sensed that he was not in the real world and fell asleep again. When he woke up, he found himself back in the tree hollow and the rain had stopped. As he came out of the hollow, it was the forest he had entered. He could not tell whether he was dreaming or if he had been to the spiritual world and back… Back to the tribe, the hunter adopted what Hagay had taught him and continued to share their wisdom. From this time on, when men who also possess female traits are born in the world, people address them as Hagay….

Based on Dondon Hounwn’s fabricated legend, Hagay Dreaming explores technoshamanism and Gaya principle to investigate the natural diversity of gender in a primeval state, as well as the formation and inheritance of tribal cultural knowledge. The work combines chants, hiking-listening, laser lighting, image projection, plant music, dance, gender swapping, history and myth, ancestor spirits and rituals, forming a forest-wandering and dream-awakening techno-fantasia guided theater of revival.

The legend has it that long ago, a hunter walked alone into the mountains to hunt. Unexpectedly, he encountered a sudden downpour. The hunter wandering in the forest discovered a giant tree hollow in which he seeked shelter from the heavy rain. The hunter fell asleep while waiting for the rain to stop. Not knowing how long he has slept, the hunter woke up and heard birds chirping and insects buzzing. He walked out from the tree hollow and found himself in a fascinating forest where everything seemed to sparkle. He has lost in the forest where suddenly he came upon a group of naked people who embraced each other in intimate manners. The hunter took a closer look and found that they were all male but look more like gorgeous women.

The hunter inquires, “Who are you?” The group of people answered, “We are Hagay.”

The Hagay began to communicate with the hunter, and he learned from them much valuable wisdom concerning rituals, hunting and weaving. The hunter sensed that he was not in the real world and fell asleep again. When he woke up, he found himself back in the tree hollow and the rain had stopped. As he came out of the hollow, it was the forest he had entered. He could not tell whether he was dreaming or if he had been to the spiritual world and back… Back to the tribe, the hunter adopted what Hagay had taught him and continued to share their wisdom. From this time on, when men who also possess female traits are born in the world, people address them as Hagay….

Based on Dondon Hounwn’s fabricated legend, Hagay Dreaming explores technoshamanism and Gaya principle to investigate the natural diversity of gender in a primeval state, as well as the formation and inheritance of tribal cultural knowledge. The work combines chants, hiking-listening, laser lighting, image projection, plant music, dance, gender swapping, history and myth, ancestor spirits and rituals, forming a forest-wandering and dream-awakening techno-fantasia guided theater of revival.

The script in 7 ACTS with a prelude

Prelude

Welcome the Spiritual Beings

With the most pious mind, we invite and welcome spirits of the land and ancestors who have lived here before to join this gathering and share the presents. May the spirits offer us equality and love, sharing and peace.

Act I

Storyteller

The storyteller recites her words, moving through time and space. Her texts reveal those ancient stories and modern-day situations, confronting each other in an attempt to strike a balance. Can the opposites be reconciled and the forgotten be retrieved?

Act II

The Hunter’s Dream

Hunting in the deep forest, the hunter enters a tree cave to take shelter from the heavy rain. He falls asleep in the cave and encounters a group of hagay, a group of naked men/women. In his dream, the hunter learns haday’s knowledge and skills from the spiritual world. He wakes up and returns to the real world and tells the villagers about the dream.

Act III

Exchange

Who am I? Am I a man or a woman? Meeting the trans-sphere spiritual beings, what makes you forget your beauty? What makes you assume that you have nothing? The performer takes off the modern clothings and replace it with traditional costumes, blurring the gender representation in an attempt to get back to the primeval state, fighting against the post-colonial gender divide.

Act IV

Walking

The mouth harp is a traditional musical instrument made of bamboo, a medium for expressing emotions in the past. The ritualist leads the participants to walk, to sense their walking feet, to listen to the brook flowing. Accidentally, they step into the sphere of light, the realm of spirits.

Act V

The Path in Light

Where is the path that leads us back to the beautiful land? How should one listen to the voice of the spiritual world and peep into the mysteries of the universe? Please guide us and show us where the path leads us.

Act VI

Beyond the Flowing of Light

The tribal weaving patterns symbolize the guardian power of the ancestral spirits, as well as the spiritual eyes which look after the world. These light spectra create a ritual atmosphere. The ritualist interacts with the light with the traditional prihut xylophone. In the past, the xylophone was an important tool for sending messages, and the head-hunting flute is a ritual instrument. In the light, we summon ancestral spirits, we are in the most beautiful land.

Act VII

The Convergence

The present and the absent, all that exist in nature and all directions, the perfect and the broken, our wounds and glory, history and myth come into balance. With Gaya (the law of the universe), those that are unknown stay. The projected spiritual world, the images, the music of plants, the resonance of human bodies all converge and flow into the sea. Sapuh (medicine), Emsapuh (being healed), Smapuh (embodying the medical power), Dgiyaq (mountains and forests), Mkduyung (family of streams), Dowmung (the Dowmung tribe), Yayung (stream), Phpah (blossoming flower), Qhuni (trees).

Cross bounary creation
Cross boundry dialogue

Dondon Hounwn’s script combines praying, traditional instrument playing, and ancient chanting in his script development, also performs the female self in portraying non-binary Hagay. Based on the script, Shu Lea Cheang eleborates on technological visual impact for the stage version.

The collaboration is joined by the Paiwan writer Ibau who writes elegant proses and lyrics about the burden of tradition; experimental film artist Tzu-An Wu works with digital-analogue filmic imageries, creating phantasmal forest walks and dreaming sequences;

laser artist aka_chang who displays totem with laser light, showing the ancestral spirits’ eyes, transmitting the tribes’ humanity, environment, and landscape. Vocal artist Shan Shan Chen of the Amis Tribe whose enchanting voices resonate with the calling from the spiritual world; music producer Sayun Chang mixes contemporary classical music, indigenous rhythms, improvisatory performances to enrich Truku traditional folk songs. The Say-siyat tribe dancer Shih-Min Szu leads 5 tribal youngsters in choreographing hagay’s encounter with the hunter and the forest dreaming sequences. Shih-Min further interprets the masculinity of Hagay with a solo dance.

A Elug Art Corner theatre work.
Produced by Dimension Plus
Funded by National Culture and Arts Foundation, Ministry of Culture, Taiwan


Producer: Ping Yi Chen
Project initiation and direction: Shu Lea Cheang
Artistic direction/ Direction/ Script: Dondon Hounwn
Choreographer and dancer: Shih-Min Szu
Vocal: Shan Shan Chen
Writer: Ibau
Laser: aka_chang
Experimental film: Tzuan Wu

Music producer: Sayun Chang Audio engineer: Shih Wei Liu Cellist: Jiro Yeh Violinist: Yu Hao Chang
Dancers: Apu’u Yakumangana, Tumun Buru, Umaw Nguzyok, Marang Kuwah, Pilaw Uraw
Costume: Big Book studio
Documentary film: Rngrang Hungul, Thalaelethe Titibu
Photographer: Cheng-Hsuan Weng, Varanuvan Mavaliw
Graphic designer: Chih Ting Cheng
Web designer: Kelvin Hoi
Technical consultation: Escher Tsai

Through editions of presentation in 2022, towards a a techno-fantasia guided theater of revival for 2023 and beyond

2020
Dec.20 -

HAGAY DREAMING (LKL first draft)

C-LAB Art Sapce II 1F Phytopia workstation, Future Vision Lab
Taipei, Taiwan

2022
Jun.24 - Jun.26

HAGAY DREAMING (Dowmung edition)

Dowmung Tribe Ceremony Space
Hualien, Taiwan

2022
Sep.09 - Sep.11

HAGAY DREAMING (STWST48 edition)

Stadtwerkstatt
Linz, Austria

2022
Nov.19 -

HAGAY DREAMING (Research Project)

National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts
Taichung, Taiwan

Coming Soon