BrisAsia Festival is in its sixth year and is bigger and better than ever with more than 80 events. The festival showcases traditional and contemporary Asian arts, food tours and cultural events. It is held over three weeks from Friday 9 February to Sunday 4 March 2018 at various venues across our beautiful City of Brisbane. I have selected a few of my favourite FREE BrisAsia activities and events for you and your family. They include literature, movies, children's activities, singing and dancing - something for all tastes and ages.
Performers in Traditional Asian Costumes (image from BCC website)
1. The Kite Wishes Project At the Kite Wishes Project, each day children have the opportunity to colour-in and make traditional Chinese kites and tying secret wishes to them. Visit the Dome Lounge in Museum of Brisbane at Brisbane City Hall during the Mao's Last Dancer Exhibition and design your own kite or be inspired by the koinobori (carp streamer windsock) fish template created by Brisbane artist Elysha Rei. It is being held until 29 April, daily, from 10am to 5pm and 10am to 7pm on Fridays and it is free.
Kite making at Museum of Brisbane (image by May Cross)
Return to the Museum of Brisbane at City Hall on 24 February 2018 and celebrate by sending your wishes flying high as part of a giant kite procession. It leaves from King George Square at 4pm and travels to BrisAsia's Kisaragi Sai Festival at the Roma Street Parkland. Fly your kite with friends and family across Brisbane in this colourful procession. The Kite Wishes Project is a collaboration between Museum of Brisbane and BrisAsia Festival.
Li Cunxin and Kite Wish Project (image by May Cross)
3. Kisaragi Sai Festival
BrisAsia's Kisaragi Sai Festival at the Roma Street Parkland explores the many faces of Japanese culture. Discover the crafts of origami (intricate paper folding), ikebana (elegant floral arrangement) and bonsai (growing dwarf trees in shallow pots). Taste delish authentic Japanese food at food trucks and stalls from some of Brisbane's best known Japanese restaurants. Celebrate contemporary and traditional culture with music (including Taiko drumming), dancing (join in the Bon-Orodi dance), martial arts displays, children's activities and a film (screening at 8:30 to 10pm). There will be kimono displays and fashion stalls, so come dressed in your kimono or yukata to get in the spirit of this colourful festival. Kisaragi Sai is on Saturday 24 February, with FREE entry, from 5 to 8:30pm (sandwiched between the kite procession at 4pm and the movie at 8:30pm).
Drumming at Kisaragi Sai Festival (image from BCC website)
4. BrisAsia Anime Films From Friday 9 February to Friday 2 March, Brisbane City Council is hosting Anime Film nights on Fridays at Brisbane Square Library in the CBD. Although the screenings are free, bookings are essential as places are limited. Please phone 07-34034166 to reserve your seat(s).
In This Corner of the World
This Japanese Anime film is based on Fumiyo Kona's Manga series and is set in Hiroshima during the Second world War. The award winning story depicts Suzu and her family when they deal with the tragic results of the bomb which flattened the city. It is on Friday 9 February from 5.30 to 8pm.
"Tea Pets" are traditional Chinese clay figurines used by tea drinkers as good luck charms. These cute pets come to life and head off on a journey to the future to find a Mandarin Mystic. It is showing on Friday 23 February from 5.30 to 7pm.
A Silent Voice
This film is based on the Japanese Manga by Yoshitoki Oima. It follows the story of Shouya who bullied Shouko, his deaf classmate at school. His peers shun him for his bullying and he seeks forgiveness by befriending his victim years later. Screening is Friday 2 March from 5.30 to 8pm.
Beautiful amime film - In This corner of the World (image from BCC website)
5. South Bank Allstars The South Bank Allstars, are a band of TAFE migrant and refugee students and their staff, who will perform LIVE in the Library, songs for you from around the world. The group plays different musical traditions using traditional instruments, including drums and percussion. They celebrate multicultural Australia through an all-singing/all-dancing gathering in a FREE exciting live performance. During BrisAsia, the Allstars will portray their Asian songs, including songs from China, Indonesia, Japan, Tibet, Korea and Thailand. Music is the international language - come and celebrate it with the Allstars. This event is on at Brisbane Square Library on Friday 23 February from 4:30 to 5:30pm. If music be the food of love, play on. For more details about the Allstars Show click here.
South Bank All Stars (image from BCC website)
6. Discover The World of Asian-Australian Writing The last book I read by an Asian-Australian author (or what my Australian Born Chinese friends calls "ABC") was the wonderful Gaysia by Brisbane writer, Benjamin Law (of the TV series The Family Law fame). Local writers Mirandi Riwoe and Yen-Rong Wong are going to share their favourite Asian-Australian writers with you to start (or continue) on your reading journey. You'll hear their top picks from emerging authors to well known literary names and everything in-between. They will be at the Brisbane Square Library on Sunday 25 February from 11am to 12 noon. Although this is another free event, bookings are essential to secure your place as it is going to be very popular. Phone 07-34034166.
Asian-Australian Author Benjamin Law (image by May Cross)
For further information on BCC BrisAsia events and the full schedule, visit the website here.