While the 2020 OzAsia program has been cancelled due to COVID-19, the festival is looking to the future with the announcement of a new artistic director to take over from Joseph Mitchell.
Annette Shun Wah will take the reigns of the annual festival this year, and deliver her first full program in 2021. An actor, writer and broadcaster, Shun Wah’s recent CV includes a stint as executive producer of Contemporary Asian Australian Performance, where she worked on productions including Yasukichi Murakami – Through a Distant Lens (OzAsia Festival 2014) and The Backstories (Adelaide Festival 2017). Shun Wah will also be a familiar face to Adelaide audiences as a regular MC at WOMADelaide’s Foundation Stage.
“Having enjoyed a long association with OzAsia Festival over many years, I’m thrilled to be joining the team at this critical and dynamic moment in the relationship between Australia and Asia,” she said.
Due to take place from 8 to 14 November, OzAsia Festival was one of many staples of the South Australian arts calendar to be upended following COVID-19 that forced venues like the Adelaide Festival Centre to suspend much of its 2020 program.
In lieu of a 2020 program, Shun Wah will kick off her tenure at the festival with a series of online discussions later in the year. “Although we cannot present a full program in 2020, our online series will be a platform to engage patrons, industry and leading thinkers on exciting and essential ways to explore the connections between Asia and Australia, especially through contemporary Asian Australian artists.”
Walter is a writer and editor living on Kaurna Country.