New AD challenges preconceived notions of Asian culture and pushes artistic boundaries.

Amongst the dragons, floating lanterns and the noodle bars, under thousands of conical rice hats and below 4km of red rope, Adelaide is experiencing Asian art in ways it has never done before. Old traditions have respectfully given way to a new contemporary culture: Adelaide’s Festival Centre is alive and buzzing with OzAsia.

This vibrancy is exactly what the Festival’s new Artistic Director, Joseph Mitchell, had set out to achieve. Appointed to the role in July last year, he arrived with big plans and a very clear vision: to champion contemporary Asian culture.

Talking amongst all the decor, Mitchell said, “We often hear the phrase, ‘the 21st century is the Asian century,’ but I wondered, has the performing arts across Australia reflected that? For me, the answer was no!

Moon Lantern Festival

“When you think of cities like Shanghai, Tokyo or Jakarta and Seoul, you think about the stunning architecture, the social multimedia, food, contemporary forms of visual arts. And fashion is a huge thing there too. There are young generations across these cities...