Soundscape: Garden of Celebration


Photo by Brandon Lin

As the year draws to an end, it’s time to reflect, catch up with forgotten friends, and push half-assed uncompleted New Years’ resolutions (the gym, 5+ a day, “i’ll go to lectures promise!”) to 2k20.

Oscen have been looking back on some of our favourite moments, catching up with events co-ordinator and dancer Cindy Jang a month after Garden of Celebration. The multi-dimensional art show was held in Raynham Park in October, with a strong kaupapa to celebrate artists from marginalised communities. It included workshops with Migrant Zine Collective, visual art and performances in music, dance and spoken word.

In this immersive podcast-meets-audio map of the event, Features Editor Sherry talks to Cindy about the process of creating spaces for artists of colour, pockets of silence and intimacy in gigs, and diversity within the creative arts scene.

About the author
Features Editor
Proudly Asian Theatre Panel

What makes a good story? How do you grip an audience? And what do you do when faced with the daunting abyss of a blank page? 

Photos by John Rata

Proudly Asian Theatre has always existed to fill a void. When budding actors James Roque and Chye-Ling Huang graduated in 2013 from Auckland’s competitive drama school Unitec, they were faced with a specific problem — where was the space, role models or pathway for Asian actors in New Zealand? Taking the future into their own hands, the pair created Pretty Asian Theatre, a name which reflected the in-between invalidation of Asianess they felt as diaspora Asian Kiwis. Years on, the renamed Proudly Asian Theatre (PAT) engine works to create spaces that its founders were seeking as fresh graduates, including mentorship schemes, professional productions and internships. 

In response to the lack of Asian stories in the mainstream, PAT’s provocation for 2019 was to encourage Asian writers to create a slew of new plays. Submitting little more than a page outline, 10 writers were given mentors to create a play — with the exciting deadline of a live playreading to present their works to the public for the first time. To open the third year of this monthly playreading event, ‘Fresh off the Page’, PAT invited a panel of nine women of colour writers across theatre and film to talk about making gold from a blank slate, and the nuances of writing from a marginalised perspective. The lineup consisted of Kathryn Burnett, Shuchi Kothari, Roseanne Liang, Mingjian Cui, Renee Liang, Alice Canton, Chye-Ling Huang with facilitator Nathan Joe and host Marianne Infante.

For those who have never had formal training in writing, and even for those who have but are finding their feet in the real world, the wisdom shared was invaluable.

Read the summaries below:


Find Your Power

Why are more and more millennials into Astrology? From Co–Star to The Pattern to the Astro Poets on Twitter, more people are turning to horoscopes because it gives them more power and freedom than the ‘higher powers’ in set religions can offer. Astrology has become more relatable and is easily developed into memes that people enjoy sharing. People have been looking for alternatives as organised religion has been in decline with our generation due to the constrictions or hate that can be generated from it. Astrology is accepting of everyone and in trying times people can look to it to soothe their souls. People want to create their own power through their own experiences.

Read below to find out how you can discover your power!


Aries (March 21 – April 19):

As the first sign of the zodiac, Aries has strong leadership traits and feels powerful when in control of situations. Be aware that being in control 24/7 is not a realistic goal and, once you learn to accept that, your power within will increase. There may be a situation playing at the back of your mind and now is the time to confront it head on. You will find your power by facing the situation as it will clear your mind for new opportunities and prospects. Embrace your energetic and assertive nature because it will help you in the upcoming months as new challenges arise in the workplace. The best way to enhance your power is to set daily goals that will motivate you and prevent you from overcomplicating things.

Power colour: RED


Taurus (April 20 – May 20):

Taurus, you tend to see the best in everyone which can sometimes get you in trouble. It is important for yourself to set boundaries so you don’t give your power away to others. You are very grounded and sometimes can find yourself getting too caught up in the nitty gritty details; it is crucial for your growth to allow yourself to dream. Your downfall will be spending all your time planning opposed to actually getting out there and doing what you set your mind to. You will find your power when you stand by your guns and put yourself first! You are great at appreciating those around you but don’t forget to appreciate yourself and all the hard work you put into everything you do. Take time out for yourself to rejuvenate and re-energise as you are most powerful when you’ve had time to rest and reflect.

Power colour: GREEN


Gemini (May 21 – June 20)

Now is the time to take that leap of faith that you have been listing reasons not to; you need to listen to your intuition more often. Pro and con lists are helpful but you will soon find that they cannot be used for every situation. Your power is released when you give into your creative or imaginative touch as it allows you to truly be at one with yourself. Try to reach out to people you’ve been thinking about instead of waiting around — relationships require effort from both parties. You can sometimes be stubborn in your ways so try to be more open to other people’s suggestions and you may find yourself enjoying and trying new things. Everyone struggles with criticism especially when it comes from those closest to you; it is crucial to remember you are growing and learning every day. Your power is your resilience, so keep going!

Power colour: YELLOW


Cancer (June 21 – July 22)

 You are in an excellent position to make those changes that you’ve been putting off, dear Cancer. Now is the time to accept change and not fight against it, as a water sign you will thrive through the upcoming changes if you embrace them instead of resisting. The best way to be in touch with your power is through self-expression, whether that be through music, art or dance. Take the time to share your thoughts with those you trust as they will tell you the hard truth even if you don’t want to hear it. Additionally, be aware when developing new relationships as there may be misunderstandings when communicating with those still getting to know you. You may have been feeling like you lost your power recently, but it is important for you to recognise that you had it all along! There is power in everything you put your heart into!

Power colour: SILVER


Leo (July 23 – August 22)

You’re feeling a little more sociable than usual which may undercut your productivity in the short term; however, enjoying yourself can also boost your productivity in the long run with the right mindset! Time is testing your prioritising skills at the moment so make sure to pay attention to your needs first before accepting every invitation. You are a great motivational coach for others, just don’t forget to treat yourself with the same courtesy. You stand out very easily among friends and family when you talk about your passions and this is where most of your power stems from. As a Leo, you can sway the room when you speak as you articulate yourself clearly. Use this to your advantage as you have an upcoming situation that will require your voice!

Power colour: GOLD


Virgo (August 23 – September 22) 

You are running around in different social circles which has you feeling a little lost. Find a good balance between your social obligation and work commitments in order to avoid feeling overwhelmed! You feel powerful when you are organised and have a clear schedule and plan. It is crucial to spend some time planning in order for you to be your best self and achieve the tasks ahead. You have a tendency to avoid problems and confrontation however when you deal with a situation from the root it leads to a better outcome in the near future. If there is something playing on your mind now is the time to do something about it! Don’t hold yourself back anymore — keep your mind open, as this will help you gain a better perspective. Your power is within your support system whether that’s your close friends, a good playlist or a new cooking show that helps relax you.

Power Colour: BROWN


Libra (September 23 – October 22)

Libras you are now in a much better position to move forward from past pains! As you spend this time healing make sure to balance out your needs and wants because it can lead to an emotional explosion. You may struggle to feel positive and confident and that is due to the situations you allow yourself to get into. You will find power in letting go of people or the past. It will be hard ,but time will make it easier. You are about to have a huge breakthrough and it is important to learn from this and not fall back into old habits. If you are struggling to find your inner strength, break out of your routine and try something new to stimulate yourself. Those closest to you may be leaning on you more than usual due to your caring nature. Be careful about overextending yourself as you need to help yourself first before you can truly help others. 

Power colour: PINK


Scorpio (October 23 – November 21)

Emotions are swirling right now as you don’t know how to deal with your underlying feelings. The key to finding your power is to be open and honest with yourself and recognise that there are things you have been dismissing. If you keep on ignoring what’s right in front of you, it will do more damage in the long run. You do not need to keep being weighed down by this problem, you are deserving of something better. Use your power to make a healthier choice and the rest will come a little more easily. If you need help do not be afraid to ask for it as you’ve been pushing people away. Communication is a two-way street so start reaching out to the people closest to you and you will start to feel more yourself. As a Scorpio, your feelings are heightened, so when you’re feeling down, take a trip down memory lane of moments that made you ecstatically happy.

 Power colour: BLACK


Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21)

The key to unlocking your power is to look for opportunities where you don’t typically seek them. This is the perfect time to branch out and invest in new avenues that will enhance your growth in regard to personal and professional development. As this massive change occurs it is important to be mindful of how you are letting go of the past. Don’t be too hasty and make any rash decisions as you are sometimes too quick to drop things and never look back. The past is not your enemy — it has helped you grow and develop into the person you are today. It is crucial for you to learn how to appreciate the past without backtracking or completely ignoring it. Dear Sagittarius, checking in with your emotions will unlock a sensitive side to you that will only make you stronger and increase your current power.

Power colour: PURPLE


Capricorn (December 22 – January 19)

You’ve been going through the motions and not really feeling anything, which has resulted in an overwhelming sensation of guilt and grief. It’s time to get in tune with your feelings as you cannot let life pass you by. Capricorns, you want to make the most of this life but find it easy to get caught up in your head too often. When you find that you are out of touch with yourself, then it’s time to find your power again. You are too good at being alone so it will do you some good to surround yourself with people whom you trust and know you like the back of their hand. The experiences you have with them will help you re-centre yourself and bring you back down to earth. The power you have can be unleashed when you gain perspective and do what makes you happy opposed to doing things just for the sake of doing them.

Power Colour: GREY


Aquarius (January 20 – February 18)

The time has come to take a break from your obligations as you are starting to wear thin. You are a people pleaser which can be detrimental to your health. Aquarius, the biggest challenge you have to face concurrently is not being your biggest critic. You will find your power when you celebrate your successes instead of focusing on your downfalls. The world’s weight is not on your shoulders. You can enjoy yourself and treat yourself without feeling guilty. Now is the time to push your comfort zone as it will be a safe space to do so. Once you start to take time off and look after your mental and physical health you will come back with a vengeance as your power will be at an all-time peak. The downtime will provide more opportunities to explore your sensuality.

Power colour: BLUE


Pisces (February 19 – March 20)

 Dear Pisces, you tend to be indecisive, which can hurt the people involved. The key to finding your power is to take time alone to figure out your wants and needs before deciding. You are often a dreamer and in your own world — this is your safe haven and it’s what intrigues people. You need to hear the truth that you’ve been avoiding: in order to love someone else, you need to first love yourself. You are a compassionate and kind soul to the people you surround yourself with. However, you fail to treat yourself with that same kindness. The road ahead is long and twisted but you are stronger than you realise. You have immense strength and power rooted deep within you once you allow yourself time to heal. Take care of yourself and learn to open up more to your loved ones. Don’t give up.

Power colour: LIGHT GREEN

About the author
Bianca D'Souza