performance ✶ art ✶ circus
CHERYL CHARLI [she/her]
Cheryl is a clown. She specialises in clownery. (Just kidding.)
Hi, I'm Cheryl. You can also call me Charli. I'm a multi-disciplinary artist + theatre and circus practitioner based in Singapore, with a background in performance. I create experiential and experimental works especially inspired by philosophy, astronomy, astrophysics, ecology, and our relationship with the natural world.
I am currently an artist-in-residence with Emergency Stairs, a Singapore-based performance art collective, and a game master in-training with TableMinis, a D&D collective game store.
Current artistic and research projects include: 1) the research and practice of narrative-driven contemporary circus theatre, 2) philosophy – its place in the art world and applications in advocacy for social issues, 3) the ethics and morality of animal liberation, 4) the philosophy and theory of the moving and still image (cinema + photography), and 5) the integration of game design systems in interactive and participatory performance works.
Past projects have explored death, trauma, and the afterlife, Southeast Asian folklore and the supernatural, and Buddhist philosophy on mortality and death, temporality, and impermanence.
Recent works and projects include 'The Curse and Catharsis of a Copper Mind' (2022) as part of the artist collective Ritual Cats, producing Emergency Stairs' 'Offending the Audience' and 'Dream School' (2022), in collaboration with NAFA, managing the Singapore Art Book Library (SGABL22), 'ANAMNESIS' (2021), written, performed, and produced by myself and directed by Isaiah Lee, 'for lack of a better world through the cosmic menagerie', an installation exhibited at Gillman Barracks’ Art Outreach, and 'Rehearsals for Impermanence', a theatre project done as an artist-in-residence for Centre 42’s ‘The Vault: Lite’. I've also illustrated the poetry collection 'Oddballs, Screwballs and Other Eccentrics' (2020), published by Marshall Cavendish. Other theatre credits include 'Anything Can Happen, Something Must Happen' (2019) with W!LDRICE’s ‘Young&W!LD’, directed by Edith Podesta, 'The Moon Is Less Bright' (2018) by The Second Breakfast Company, and 'Without Reason' (2017) directed by Adib Kosnan, commissioned by the M1 Peer Pleasure Youth Theatre Festival. As an arts writer, I've also had the honour to have written critically for various arts and culture sites, such as Arts Equator, Bandwagon Asia, Popspoken.sg, and Plural Art Mag.
Beep me if you want to talk art, nerdery, or games! Thank you for visiting!
THE CURSE & CATHARSIS OF A COPPER MIND
by Ritual Cats
Single-channel performance film
Costume elements used in film
3 short character vignettes films
The rise of contemporary society has brought upon the fall of gods.
This artwork is a collective exploration of the nature of our relationship/s with belief. Premised on observations of the dualities existing within contemporary culture seen in the close proximity of traditional religious practices and various juxtaposing contemporary phenomena such as consumerism and capitalism, this work posits our world as a strange place in a time of liminalities and contrasts, where the boundaries separating spiritual sanctity from urban blight are blurred.
In liminal spaces whose vacancy parallels temples removed of spiritual or religious significance, this piece embodies a personal inner vacancy that twists worship into a dance of yearning. In this sanctified but shadowy place where the distance between where you are and what you long for gives rise to new desires and transactional modes of glorifying a god, the human heart surrenders and wills itself to do anything to bridge that distance and traverse the void.
At the heart of contemporary culture is a timeless amalgamation of yearning: yearning disguised as worship manifesting in different forms, sometimes offered to archetypal gods of tradition – religious deities and ancestors – but increasingly so to gods of modernity – fortune, status, and consumerism.
These are gods that we place at the far end of the horizon and find ourselves drawing an unfollowable map towards finding. These are gods whose presence is made manifest by the very acts of worship offered to them by the street’s vendors, tourists, frequenters, and inhabitants.
Our world today is a place where gods are made and homed in transient sites where worship turns transaction and genuinity falls into shadow. Amidst its frivolous facades, in the hearts of non-believers, skeptics, and people simply passing through, the places we know so well transition into a strange, liminal planes where true religion is rendered archaic – a place where gods go to die.
Koh Kai Ting
Ong Soo Nee