Asia Society Presents! Jen Shyu, "Solo Rites: Seven Breaths"

Jen Shyu. (Steven Schreiber)

“Sounding fierce at times, ruminative at others, displaying tonal precision, and an intuitive rhythmic sense, Shyu is among New York’s most invigorating vocal presences. And perhaps the most enigmatic.” — Larry Blumenfeld, The Wall Street Journal


Jen Shyu’s solo performance — that of a woman living simultaneously in multiple cultures and "projecting her ancestry" through contemporary monologue — reveals a personal journey of loss and redemption made universal through the exploration of losses that plagues our modern world: loss of tradition, habitat, and public spaces. Sonic, visual, and visceral rites and reflections are discovered by pilgrimage through Taiwan, East Timor, Indonesia, Vietnam, and South Korea.

Renowned Indonesian film and stage director Garin Nugroho (Opera Jawa, Under the Tree, Daun di Atas Bantal) directs Solo Rites: Seven Breaths, infusing his distinctive vision for celebrating the exhilarating and sacred into the work.



Meet the Artist: 6:30 pm
Performance: 7:30 pm (followed by a brief Q&A)


About Jen Shyu

Born in Illinois from immigrant parents of Taiwan and East Timor, 2014 Doris Duke Impact Award recipient Jen Shyu is an experimental jazz vocalist, composer, multi-instrumentalist, dancer, and educator, having performed internationally as a solo artist, bandleader, and collaborator. Shyu recently spent nearly two years on a Fulbright scholarship in Indonesia studying Sindhenan (traditional Javanese improvisational singing) as well as the simultaneous song and dance form, Ledhekan. She is also a former Asian Cultural Council and Jerome Foundation grantee. Shyu’s Solo Rites: Seven Breaths had its world premiere in New York in May 2014.


Video: The Background and Making of Solo Rites: Seven Breaths


Related Links

Solo Rites: Seven Breaths Program Information and Translations

Arts+Culture Texas: Five Experimental Performances to Catch this September
Blouin ArtInfo: Jen Shyu Returns Home and Unpacks Her Ancestry
WNYC: Weaving Tradition and Modernity in Song


Lead series support of Asia Society Presents! is provided by Bank of America. Performing arts and cultural programs at Asia Society are also made possible through generous support from the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance, The Clayton Fund, and Mickey Rosenau & Dr. Ellen Gritz, with additional grants from the Cullen Trust for the Performing Arts and the Favrot Fund. Funding is also provided from Friends of Performing Arts & Culture at Asia Society Texas Center. Special funding for Taiwan-related programming is made possible by American First National Bank.


Presenting Sponsor

Bank of America

Performing Arts & Culture Sponsors

City of HoustonHouston Arts Alliance

Taiwan-Related Program Sponsor


Event Details

Fri 26 Sep 2014

1370 Southmore Blvd. Houston, TX 77004 713.496.9901

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Add to Calendar 20140927T003000 20140927T003000 UTC Asia Society: Asia Society Presents! Jen Shyu, "Solo Rites: Seven Breaths" 1370 Southmore Blvd. Houston, TX 77004 713.496.9901
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