‘Tween the cup and lip


If interactive art is your cup of tea, then Flinders Station is where you need to be this September. Performance group Kwality Chai, led by Melbourne-based artist Sapna Chandu, premiers an interactive and immersive live art performance this September at the Melbourne Fringe Festival.
Mid-September Kwality Chai will install a unique golden chai cart at Melbourne’s iconic Flinders Street station. “The dynamic public performance presents an animated ‘chai-wallah (specialist Indian tea maker) who theatrically “pulls” spicy tea for commuters and passersby,” says Chandu. From here, the alternate reality unfolds as the audience interact with a team of talented performers (playing waiters who speak in an invented Indian-Australian language), an immersive soundscape, a specially published newspaper (Kwality Times), and a “New World” radio station playing news, stories and beats.
“I grew up in Melbourne in a small Indian community and am interested in the effect of mass migration on collective culture – how this creates a new language of communication and social exchange,” says Chandu.
This provocative new work presents an uncanny intervention into the every-day, drawing in an unsuspecting public as audience to experience Australia’s cross cultural identity, with the offer of tantalizing Indian Chai.
Chandu, an Australian-Indian artist, works with site-specific installations and has a special interest in cross-cultural stories. Chandu hopes to stimulate the audience’s imagination and senses beyond fears of an enemy invasion, to value the “unique and playful exploration of the legacy of cultural imperialism in a distinctly Australian context. She intends to offer a space for contemplation and participation in a setting where the
human spirit embraces change in creative and enterprising ways.
Kwality Chai’s creative team includes producer and drama director Shash Lall, newspaper co-editor Dr Kevin Murray, Byron Scullin on sound design as well as a talented lineup of cross-cultural performers.

Kwality Chai
Flinders Street Station
Westend entrance to Platform 1, Opposite Degraves Street
Melbourne, VIC 3040
DATES: 18 Sept 4pm – 8pm (launch) and 19 Sept – 5 Oct
TIME: 10.00am-2.00pm
Free entry
TO BOOK visit melbournefringe.com.au or call (03) 9660 9666

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