Five Actions of Wu KongOct. 18th, 2015  Shanghai Grand Theatre

Wu Kong, the most famous Chinese character, is actually an ideal complex of ambivalence. On one hand, as a monkey born from a rock, it is one-of-a-kind creature doesn’t belong to human being, holy or evil spirits, but meanwhile bears characteristics of these three categories of spirits. On the other hand, when the monkey was given the Buddhist name “Wu Kong” (means “to realize the void senses” it was caged by its fate), which is to struggle and fight for its freedom all its life, by accomplishing the tests preset by Buddha. Wu Cheng’en (1501-82, the author of Journey To the West, one of the four Chinese novel classics) didn’t let Wu Kong to think about its own fate in the novel, leaving the space to interpret on our own. Isn’t it true that there lives a creature like Wu Kong deep in the soul of each human being? Isn’t it true that each of us is fighting for the freedom defined by oneself all one’s life? Five Actions of Wu Kongreflects on the inner complexity of ambivalence. The five actions are constructed with a Chinese theatrical approach to tension and relaxation. All means are taken to realize this oriental linear development:

Lento – the Purple Forest of Spirits

Presto – “There is a young lady on the road ahead!”

Andate-Monolog in the Moonlight

Largo – “Wear this, then you will be free”

Allegro – Eternal Battle