Photograph taken by Crispian Chan

Provenance was performed 26 – 27 October 2018 at the Drama Centre Black Box in Singapore, National Library Building, 100 Victoria St, Singapore 188064.

“What stories can an assemblage of objects tell, all these “nameless, shapeless things?” Rarely has an invisible landscape felt so visible, so tangible to me.”

“There was something so precise about the way the interlocking stories of these three women were pieced together, almost as if you were sculpting your own object, chiselling it out of the darkness and out of our collective imaginations. At first I mistook this choreographed precision for detachment, but then I realised you were excavating something incredibly fragile and tender from underneath it all, the way a surgeon might cut through a sheath of skin to get to that quivering, wet-slicked organ beneath.”

Corrie Tan,

“The performance itself was tightly wrought and snappily delivered right from the opening scene”.

Marc Nair,

”Well-paced, succinct and performed with strength and clarity both in body and enunciation, Provenance is a remarkable first outing for Autopoetics that hits all the right notes and marks this collective as one to continue looking out for.”


Provenance explores the value we give to things and the connection between art, beauty, relationships, and commerce. If a piece of art is beautiful or desirable, should that change be dependent on where it comes from? How does where we come from as people shape the way we live in the world? What happens if the balance in our relationships with people and with things tilts too far in one direction?

Provenance is also an experiment in devising techniques, based the idea of a “(play)box,” a creation born from the processes of devising. Carefully curated with pieces of original text, props, objects, prompts, and devising provocations, a (play)box is literally a box of stuff – a material provocation to make a play that takes the place of a traditional script.

This production is made possible through the generosity of the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and the Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple Fellowship.

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