Queen Zomia traces the histories of opium through the figure of Olive Yang, the bisexual, cross-dressing warlord who controlled the illicit opium and heroin trade in the Golden Triangle. Collaborating with Kuomintang soldiers left over from the Chinese revolution or the CIA, she deeply influenced South East Asia from her private state within Burma for decades.
The performance uses expanded media based strategies to communicate the labyrinth-like narratives of intertwining national histories intersecting in the Asian opium trade. The dream-like, opium-infused narration, slithers in and out of a holographic pyramid in which the performer stands.
Text & Direction Royce Ng / Performer Royce Ng / Sound Design John Bartley / Animation Zheng Mahler Studio / Technical Direction Michele Piazzi
Co-produced by National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (Seoul, KR), New Vision Arts Festival (Hong Kong), Kampnagel (Hamburg, DE) & Zürcher Theaterspektakel (Zürich, CH). The piece was developed over 2017 and 2018 in Hong Kong, at Ne’na Contemporary artists residency program (Chiangmai, TH) and at Piazzi Studio’s (Berlin, DE). Thanks: Rampad Kothkeow and Shukit Pangmongkol, Ne’na Contemporary Artspace, Chiangmai, Thailand.