FEN (Far East Network)
Yuen Chee Wai
FEN (Far East Network) is a group project made up of musicians from Singapore, Japan, China, and Korea who play improvised music. It was first started on the suggestion of globally renowned musician Otomo Yoshihide. Each member is an artist who works individually on the experimental music scene in his respective country. They have been supporting each other's activities by organizing concerts in their own countries, and this relationship became the motivation to form FEN.
From their activities, they realized that unlike artists in Europe, those in Asian countries had difficulty communicating due to differences in their cultures, languages, and historical backgrounds. FEN originated from their thinking about not only practical and productive but also aesthetic ways to solve this problem. They soon found out that working as organizer and as invited artist didn't help them to sustain their relationship. Certainly, a relationship between collaborators with common interests and concerns was more productive than one arising merely from invitation and acquaintance. The following are common interests and issues that FEN cares about.
As an answer to these questions, they pursue "performing together through improvisation" as a method and "music without end" as an outcome. FEN is a musical group and at the same time it is a form that maintains unique aesthetics and sustainable relationships in diverse Asian cultures. Also through FEN's activity they explore the aesthetic possibilities of a new form of music which is different from music in the Western world. FEN's goals are to become a foundation and to organize diverse meetings to support other sustainable networks and cultural exchanges among many experimental musicians in Asia.
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