verb (Japanese)
To touch or feel (with hands).

Sawaru is a meditation on circular forms. Used as a theme in the exhibition, these circles refer to emptiness– the point from which all things emerged, the creation of something from nothing. Across a range of cultures, circles are dualistic in their representational variation. They reference notions of containment but also the infinite. Circles embody pure enlightenment, the universe and the void. In sanskrit circles are used for spiritual guidance, enhancing meditation and focus.

Sawaru is a multi-sensory experience inspired by ideas of emptiness, intimacy and sleep– a permeable curtain that defines a space where people draw near to each other. Set against a privately experienced score composed by producer Jian Liew (Kyson), Sawaru is a contemplative reflection on infinity and nothingness.

This project was supported by Arts South Australia. 



    “To touch can be to give life,” said Michelangelo

From decades of touch research, we know that touch activates the brain’s orbitofrontal cortex, which is linked to feelings of reward and compassion. There are studies showing that touch signals safety and trust. It soothes. Basic warm touch calms cardiovascular stress. It activates the body’s vagus nerve, which is intimately involved with our compassionate response, and a simple touch can trigger release of oxytocin, aka “the love hormone.”

Notions of touch and contact are critically important in music and sound-making generally. ‘She has a nice touch’ is a comment that may be made about a pianist whose performance has moved us. As a field of study, somatic psychology has been defined as: 'the study of the mind/body interface, the relationship between our physical matter and our energy, the interaction of our body structures with our thoughts and actions. The primary relationship addressed in somatic psychology is the person's relation to and empathy with their own felt body. It is based on a belief, from the principles of vitalism; bringing sufficient awareness will cause healing.

Developed in Residency at PAF (St.Erme, France) and with ilDance: ilYoung 2016 (Sweden)