Telling the Story of Generations: Cynthia Lam’s Debut


Should you begin making an attempt to type out your loved ones historical past, you may by no means know the place you may find yourself—or what you’ll discover.

Hong Kong-born playwright and doctoral scholar Cynthia Lam is aware of this effectively—she’s spent an excellent a part of her PhD in artistic writing engaged on her first play, known as Memoirs of a Single Girl. I (love, mom), Which is able to premiere on 16 September on the Auckland Fringe.

I (love, mom) Tells the story of three generations of Lam’s household – from his two grandmothers (Ah Mah and Por Pori, Her mom and her household, who lived in Hong Kong, traveled to New Zealand within the Nineties, and at last Lam, whose personal travels took her to Hong Kong and again once more.

Hong Kong-born playwright and artistic writing doctoral scholar Cynthia Lam is bringing her autobiographical play to the stage for the Auckland Fringe. Picture: Provides

story behind writing I (love, mom) The start got here when she got here again to New Zealand seven years in the past and started pursuing writing. Since she was a toddler within the Nineties, she moved forwards and backwards between New Zealand and Hong Kong, nevertheless it was her final stint in Hong Kong the place she reached a turning level in her life.

She had an excellent job and was married however she was not glad. She left her life and husband and returned to New Zealand, which she thought of a “second probability at life”.

Lamm says, “Once I write, it is as a result of I attempt to make sense of issues or issues like my very own private experiences, why was it that made me really feel so unhappy? Why that Was that I used to be feeling unhappy?”

She pursued her ardour for writing – first by taking writing and literature courses, earlier than beginning her PhD in artistic writing at Massey College, and all through all of it, she was at all times drawn to autobiographical writing. He started to write down about himself, about his mom, about his grandmother.

It helped type the premise of her PhD :hEr doctoral analysis focuses on matrilineal narratives and feminine autoethnography, the place, by means of self-reflection and writing, “you place your self inside sure social and cultural frameworks.”

Lam wrote the play in brief, sharp bursts, creating a set of particular person vignettes. He took them and organized them to create a non-linear play that doesn’t conform to extra conventional storytelling strategies.

“slightly than [it] respects the method and interconnectedness of recollections, emotions and relationships and all of the completely different items that make up our lives,” she says.

The story is informed over 70 minutes and consists of a number of completely different media – together with 2D and 3D animations by artist Celine Chan – together with Tai Chi and Chinese language martial arts and Cantonese songs.

By following the story of her mom and the tales of her two grandmothers, Lam weaves collectively her household historical past, in addition to her private journey with despair and the cultural and social pressures of residing in Hong Kong.

“As I used to be writing concerning the experiences of my two grandmothers and my mom, I noticed that we’re merchandise of our time and I feel that typically that creates rigidity. Rising up, my mom and I However writing the play helped me perceive the place she was coming from.”

“It was fascinating [this play] introduced me and my mom nearer.”

Her artistic course of attracted her wider household as effectively, as Lam tried to uncover the reality behind the assorted household tales and pull her narrative collectively: she hung out following the threads—an aunt from her father. Close to, to an uncle – to search out somebody who remembered how the occasions actually occurred.

Lam says that the method of writing the play introduced him and his household nearer. Picture: Provides

It did not cease there: Her mom helped her file a Cantonese pop tune for her efficiency, whereas Lam’s aunt wrote some Chinese language calligraphy for use on set. Lam’s brother has additionally come, partly to assist with advertising and marketing, and partly to assist construct a set.

In the end, Lam needs individuals watching her performs to go on the identical journey she went on – “I would like an viewers [to] Begin enthusiastic about their maternal figures—their mom, their grandmother, and their household historical past, after which it actually begins a dialogue between individuals.”

(Love, Mum), starring Cynthia Lamm and directed by Kanta Kocher-Lindgren, will probably be carried out on the Herald Theater in Auckland on 16 and 17 September. 17 September performing additionally vidzing.television . on-line streaming on

– Asia Media Heart


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