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Sounds of Suming

Gapu Ngupan (Chasing the Rainbow) is a special collaboration between Yolŋu artists from North East Arnhem Land with artists of the Paiwan and Amis peoples of Taiwan, a production currently in development as part of Artback NT’s Performing Arts Development and Touring Program.

By Tierney Seccull

Suming Rupi is one of the artists involved in the project, an Amis singer-songwriter, actor, artist, dancer and music festival founder from Taiwan. He’s performed at Darwin Festival, Glastonbury Festival and WOMAD UK, and is in Darwin this month to perform at the inaugural Darwin International Jazz & Arts Festival. In the spirit of sharing and culture, the good folk at Artback NT have arranged a special spin-off gig while he’s in town.

Admired for his huge contribution to the creative scene and his own culture back home, Suming embraces any opportunity to share his Indigenous culture and knowledge with others, and says this sharing is one of the ways to put self-identity and cultural self-interpretation into practice.

“In the past, Indigenous cultures were often told and said from others’ perspective. However, with the advancements of self-determination, democracy, technology, and so on, Indigenous peoples now have more opportunities to express their voices on their own.”

Joining Suming on this special night are various local musicians, offering a relaxed evening of music and culture sharing. Yolŋu artists from the Gapu Ngupan project are also rumoured to be making an appearance, a collaboration the creative from Taiwan says has meant a lot to him.

“I feel quite honoured to have the opportunity to collaborate with the Yolŋu people. It means the connection with both ends of the ocean – despite being separated for so long, we can still bind together through songs, dance, and even cultural stories,” he says.

“The experience of this collaboration helps me to understand Yolŋu culture and the social issues they face in Australia. Through modern forms of artistic expression, such as pop music and contemporary dance, we gradually get to know and understand each other's culture in the process of collaboration.”

Also screening at this spin-off pop up performance is a short film about Gapu Ngupan, as well as an update from the team on where things are at. So for a night of music and sharing, join Suming and his friends in what’s sure to be a very special experience.

An Evening of Music and Sharing of Amis Culture with Suming & Friends

Photos: Rangarang Curimudju

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