24–25 April 2017
Delighted to host a very rare two-day residency from the FEN quartet of Otomo Yoshihide, Ryu Hankil and Yuen Chee Wai – their first OTO shows together since 2010!
FEN (Far East Network) is an improvised music project group made up of musicians from different parts of Asia. The quartet comprises Otomo Yoshihide (Japan), Ryu Hankil (Korea), Yan Jun (China) and Yuen Chee Wai (Singapore). FEN was started by globally renowned musician Otomo Yoshihide and it made its debut 2008 at MIMI Festival in Marseilles, France. Following its debut, FEN has performed extensively throughout Europe and all across Asia.
Each member is an artist who works individually in experimental music scene in his respective country. Each has been supporting each other's activities by organising concerts in his own country, and this relationship became the motivation to form FEN.
FEN pursues 'performing together by improvisation' as a method and 'music without ends' as an outcome. While FEN is a improvisational music group it is at the same time an idea or concept which hopes to maintain unique aesthetics and sustainable relationships in diverse Asian cultures. FEN's activities explore aesthetic possibilities in new forms of music which are different from the Western world. FEN's goals are to become a foundation and to organise diverse meetings to support other sustainable networks and cultural exchanges among many other experimental musicians and artists in and throughout Asia. FEN further hopes to work with musicians and artists of other disciplines (traditional and contemporary) from all across Asia.
Otomo Yoshihide moves between free jazz, noise, improvisation, composition and the unclassifiable with a generosity that opens up the possibilities for expression in all of the constellations with which he's involved. He spent his teenage years in Fukushima, about 300 kilometers north of Tokyo. Influenced by his father, an engineer, Otomo began making electrical devices such as a radio and an electronic oscillator. In junior high school, his hobby was making sound collages using open-reel tape recorders. This was his first experience creating music. Soon after entering high school he formed a band which played rock and jazz, with Otomo on guitar. It wasn't long, however, before he became a free jazz aficionado, listening to artists like Ornette Coleman, Erick Dolphy and Derek Bailey; and hearing music, both on disk and at concerts, by Japanese free jazz artists. Especially influenced by alto sax player Kaoru Abe and guitarist Masayuki Takayanagi, Otomo decided to play free jazz.
In 1990, Otomo started what was to become Ground Zero. Until it disbanded in March 1998, the band was at the core of his musical creativity, while it underwent several changes in style and membership. Since Ground Zero, Otomo has embraced minimal improvisation, film music and the jazz/big band conceptions of his New Jazz Quartet/Quintet/Orchestra.
Hankil RYU is a musician from Seoul, born in 1975. He has organised a monthly event called RELAY since 2005 and established his own publishing office called The Manual. He is interested in finding an alternative musical structure possessed by abandoned objects like clockworks, typewriters and telephones. After discovering the instrumental possibilities of a typewriter, he started to collaboration project called 'A.Typist' with writers lo wie and Taeyong KIM. The collaboration's results were released by The Manual and Mediabus as three CD+Book sets. He is member of FEN(Far East Network) since 2008 and start digital beats project called called 'pilot Ryu' since 2015. it is opposite approach from his past works.
Yan Jun is musician and poet based in Beijing, who currently lives in Berlin for an artist residency (daad).
He is working on improvised music, experimental music, field recording, organizing and writing. alongside of at venues, he goes to audience's home to play with the environment and what else available in the room (Living Room Tour project).
Also amplifying body movements or other performative elements in a simple manner.
He is member of FEN, Tea Rockers Quintet and Impro Committee. and founder of the guerrilla label Sub Jam.
Yuen Chee Wai is a musician and artist working primarily with sound. He is known for his improvised sound and noise explorations as well as his drone / ambient / field recording approaches to music making, and using a myriad of electronic instruments. Chee Wai’s strong interest in Philosophy, Literature, Film and Cultural Studies often finds him incorporating textual ideas and concepts in his sound work, with themes like memory, loss and invisibility as main thought trajectories. In 2008, together with Otomo Yoshihide (Japan), Ryu Hankil (Korea) and Yan Jun (China), they formed FEN - Far East Network, and made their debut at the Mimi Festival in Marseilles. FEN has subsequently presented in many countries and festival around Europe and Asia. FEN is an experimental and improvised music quartet that aims to work predominantly with musicians and artists from all disciplines across Asia. Chee Wai also plays synth and electronics in the avant / experimental rock band, The Observatory (Singapore). He has performed and exhibited extensively locally and internationally. He has also designed and composed sound for installation, dance, film and TV / radio.