Interview with Helena Waldmann (Germany) and Pichet Klunchun (Thailand)
The necessity of classification particularly in labelling identities of people closely tied to their origin, nationality, cultural history or background, seem to be a constant concern to varying degrees in arts and culture even in a hybrid environment like Berlin. More often than not, institutions require specific identity recognition for artists and cultural professionals alike to secure funding for their work and justify affiliations. Fortunately, there are a number of professionals who can identify themselves with one or more cultures. Whether they are from Asia, Europe or another part of the world, as the culture and profession expands its horizons in the global society, individual perspectives nurture positive openings in the mind. I interviewed two prominent figures in the performing arts: one from Asia and one from Europe to discuss their own experiences in working in opposite sides of the world. The idea was to gather perceptions about the culture (in general) of the so-called “other” and how the exposure to the culture other than their own has influenced their works, and their way of approaching and understanding things. Do we really have to be defined or labelled as people coming from a specific background? How do these tags affect or influence someone’s work in the performing arts for example? About the Writer: Vanini Belarmino is the contributor for Performing Arts Asia for culture360.org. She is a Berlin-based producer and curator specialising in interdisciplinary exchange and cross-border collaborations. She is the Founder and Managing Director of Belarmino&Partners, an international project management and promotions consultancy for arts and culture.