Eiko Otake and Wen Hui perform together on stage in front of a black backdrop


What is War

UCLA student on sale: Sep 1, 2024

“Exploration of the female body, the friendship between the two independent women artists, and the body as a vessel for memory.The Catalyst News

Wen Hui (b.1960) is Chinese and currently working in Europe. She grew up in China during the Cultural Revolution. Eiko Otake (b.1952) is Japanese and lives in New York. She grew up in post-war Japan. Both are female performers/choreographers and filmmakers.

In January 2020, Eiko visited Wen Hui in China for a month. The pandemic obliged the artists to continue their dialogue in long distance. In the process of co-creating an award winning, feature length documentary film No Rule Is Our Rule, the artists began examining their personal memories they hold in their bodies. That quest led them to work together physically in the US to co-create a new performance work What Is War commissioned by the Walker Art Center and CAP UCLA.

In this project, accompanied by a projected video, Wen Hui and Eiko Otake perform telling their personal memories related to wars both current and in history. They move on stage, their bodies intimately supporting and absorbing each other’s stories.

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