#HelloTFP is a series of anecdotes where we introduce and share more about the members of the TFP family; from core team members to office interns. In this first feature, we asked Daniel Sim, one of our core team members about how his interest in objects in performance came about, and why he chose to do a thesis on objects.
“In my junior college days, I chose an individual skill “Puppetry” when I studied Theatre Studies. When I first started working, I did props and worked closely with TFP, thus further sealing my interest in them. It was at NUS though that I gained the knowledge of how to articulate my practice and to examine other practices around me.
Over the four years of university studies, my projects and work with various professors continued to drive my want to inquire about objects in performance. There was a point when I realized that most scholarship taught and discussed was centered on themes around direction, script-writing, acting or dramaturgy. This kind of drove me into a rebellion of sorts where I would do my best to write essays focusing on design and objects. That ultimately culminated in a thesis on objects.”
“When I was interviewing other practitioners about objects, many of them, including Oliver (another core team member of TFP), talked about their obsession with chairs – objects that are powerfully anthropomorphic and things that maintain a presence on stage just by being there. Another starting point in my research was the discovery of a first set of 100 chairs made for the production of 100 Years in Waiting (2001).
This first set of chairs was rejected and another set of chairs made for the final show. Interestingly, the rejected chairs were then divided amongst many theatre companies and re-emerged in subsequent productions. Hence, the thought that tracing the journey of these chairs can shed light on the histories and interactions of Singapore theatre drove me to write my thesis.”
Daniel’s interest in puppetry began since his junior college days. He started out volunteering with TFP after one of his seniors introduced him to the team. Back then, he also helped as general crew and sound operator for some of TFP’s school shows and arts education programmes.
Officially joining us last year as a member of TFP’s core team, Daniel is currently involved in several of TFP’s projects – e.g. puppetry & mask designer and maker for OIWA – The Ghost of Yotsuya, Programme Manager for The Maker’s Lab. He will also be leading the inaugural session of The Maker’s Assembly which is happening on 1 Aug 2020.
The Maker’s Assembly is a series of short and casual sessions running in tandem with “The Maker’s Lab”, a 9-month research and development laboratory for makers and designers. Each of the sessions are led by one of TFP’s core team artists, with the final session led by an invited guest. Click on the link below to find out more and spread the word so we can continue growing this community of like-minded makers and designers!