Interview with Nelson Chia


By: Hailey Tay

Full Frontal: LIV

LIV is a Singapore Arts Festival 09 commissioned work that Nelson Chia collaborate with A Group Of People. “LIV is an exploration of what it means to be Living or Alive.” Nelson discovered “that one can talk about death in a meaningful way only if (one has) examined the life that had been lived.”

In an interview with ArtZine, Nelson shares that amidst this production he was challenged by the tedious process of rehearsals, workshops, re-writes, edits, structuring and re-structuring to mould the play according to precise desires.

Due to the fragmented nature of the play, the characters’ relationships were of particular focus to him “as they are not clearly delineated in the play’s original text (but were to him) significant invisible lines to hold loosely related texts together.”

As the characters play out, audiences will find haunting similarities with which “the act of living entailed, brings us to the question of personal choices in life” on a day-to-day basis. If you frequently experience trouble sleeping as these four characters do, Nelson translates that it is a reflection of  “not Living well. When you don’t live well, you don’t sleep well and in turn, you don’t dream well.”

One might suspect his insightful understanding of sleep disorders stems from personal experiences? Nelson explains his late night experience in due relation to that.

He tells ArtZine, “I sleep on two different mattresses every night (one on the bed and one on the floor) and that’s because my twin daughters, who are 5 years old, would always come and invade my bed in the middle of the night, and when that happens I just roll myself onto the pre-prepared mattress on the floor.”

More about Nelson:

He is currently lecturing at the Theatre Studies Programme at NUS. He is also the Associate Artistic Director of Toy Factory Productions Ltd, an Associate Artist with The Substation and the founding member of a collaborative ensemble A Group Of People.

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