640-maya.rouvelle-wovenflickr set

This video is from the first performance at the Mercedes-Benz arena and was recorded and edited by Shanghai Television

This video is from the second performance at the Shanghai Theater Academy and was recorded and mastered by Grammy nominated recording engineer Matthias Erb.

Conceptualized by maya+rouvelle, with a composition by Weilu Ge, Woven was created for the Shanghai New Art Festival 2017, whose theme was “East/West, Scenery in a Mirror”.

The piece was performed twice in Shanghai at the Mercedes Benz arena and twice at the Shanghai Theater Academy in October, 2017.

Scored for Glass instruments, Bass, Percussion, and Pipa. The staged version included an actress and live video.


Throughout the performance the actress is accumulating wearable artifacts that embody the binaries of past/present, male/female, east/west. These artifacts are arranged in specific groupings at different locations on stage. Each group of artifacts embodies a different mix of binaries and the performer is tasked with integrating the materials and their concepts into her evolving character throughout the performance.

The audience is understood by the performer as a mirror upon which she tries to organize and understand her multilayered persona.

At the conclusion of the piece the actress joins the audience, takes a seat, and photographs the scene that she has recently departed.

Program note from the festival:

We change as we adapt to our environments, and through that process we become amalgamations of each other. If we allow ourselves to see and be seen as these unusual reflections across space, time, and cultures we allow ourselves to learn through empathy, and cultivate wisdom. There is an essential human force that connects past and present, male and female, East and West, the known and the unfamiliar. Its goal is to weave us together into a stability of change.

Our project is about this energy. Spanning binaries, it is a force that builds social cohesion as it fosters individuality.

But we must do our part, to both weave and to allow ourselves to be woven, to permit the process to live within and around us. Without it things unravel, and we become lost in a pile of tangled threads.

The ensemble:
Actress, Ni Yingying (Mercedes-Benz Arena)
Actress, Wenling Zhao (Shanghai Theater Academy)
Pipa, Yiming Feng
Glass Instruments, James Rouvelle
Electric Bass, Jiawei Zhang
Percussion, Tianyi Zhang
Live video/PTZ Camera, Lili Maya
Electronics, composer, Weilu Ge
Recording Engineer, Matthias Erb
Concept, Maya+Rouvelle
Composition, Weilu Ge