OzAsia Festival
Nexus Arts . 4 and 5 November

WHEN is a poignant and moving reflection on the effect that the Covid epidemic has had on a number of lives. From the lonely mother living in lockdown, unable to leave China to visit her daughter in Melbourne, the anxious husband caring his wife, who has caught Covid at the hospital where she is a nurse, to the young man who fears being cut off from his friends and normal life while he is in lockdown at home, we are reminded of the human and emotional suffering that so many people have experienced over the last few years.

The stories are conveyed through film on a large screen; scenes from Melbourne, and, in China Lanzhou and Wuhan.There are three distinct chapters: Mother, Do not forget, and Wuhan. Most striking were the scenes of the intricate road system in Wuhan, spaghetti junction and multi-lane roads, with hardly a car in sight. Then there were the streets where people were dressed in protective gear, resembling ghosts; and a lonely woman fearing that she will die alone.

 Mindy Meng Wang composer, performer and musician (Guzheng) was joined by two talented musicians,  Anita Quale (Cello) and Daniel Jenatsch (Electronics) supporting and accompanying the images. At times confronting, at others, compassionate, this music was an essential and effective part of the show. 

Great credit, also, should be given to the film makers Li and Hai Tang, together with film maker and visual operator, Tammy Zhao Yang and Lynne  Qinghua Lin (Documentation). WHEN was devised, produced and presented by a  young and very accomplished team.

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