Potty 趴地 by ZOBO Company

Masthead Image
Masthead Image
Work-in-Progress (WIP) Showcase
22 October 2022 | 3:00pm
Black Box, 42 Waterloo Street

To register for an invite to the WIP Showcase, please write in to residence@centre42.sg


Our arts collective ZOBO Company is made up of a group of young artists (Ella Wee, Teoh Jieyu, Vanessa Poh, Wang Ying Bei, Chng Yikai, Lim Ci Xuan) who are interested in having conversations about social issues with movement, visuals and non-conventional staging. The collective came together in Sept 2021 for the first phase of this joint project, marking a beginning of another journey after the graduation of ARTivate Batch 3, a three year youth training program by Drama Box, which most of our members have been part of. We believe in the importance of continued training and workshopping with our bodies, so we arranged a 8 x 3 hour sessions of movement workshop with Lim Chin Huat.

Having completed our ideation phase earlier this year, we arrived at two concepts we wish to discuss: Idleness and Ugly feelings. These topics are very pertinent to millennials, but we find that the existing conversations tend to be limited to the generation in question, and end up being fairly monolithic, excluding the voices of the older generation. We wish to bridge this divide and include perspectives from the older generation, in terms of both the ideas discussed and the process of creation. In Singapore, when artists of different generations collaborate, most place the older and more experienced artists at the helm of the artistic processes, commissioning and directing the younger artists to perform in their pieces. Our project differs in that young artists are leading the process, with the older generation offering their perspectives and guidance. In this sense, the perspectives and artistic processes of both generations are explored, giving ample opportunity to generate fresh insights into the topics of our piece(s).

1) Idleness

There is so much to care about in the world; there is so much to do in the world. The exhaustion of constantly having to feel, to care, to think and to work is exhausting. How then can we justify the act of doing nothing when there is so much to be done? Stripped away from the negative connotations of what idleness means, I am interested in investigating the value of doing nothing in its purest form. This curiosity stems from the observation that when someone is resting / taking breaks or not doing what society deems as productive work, there is a pressure from the external (pressures to have to do something as a young person instead of ‘wasting your prime age away’) and within (‘critical feelings towards the self when we are not functional’) that something is wrong. What are we, the young people to today, trying to run away from in a place where we can’t seem to stop moving and doing? Can we allow ourselves to do nothing and not judge ourselves for it?


2) Ugly Feelings

Ugly Feelings is a term loosely borrowed from Sienne Ngai. To call a feeling “ugly” is very much an act of self-hatred and perhaps even self-mutilation. It is experiencing an emotion, a feeling, an affect, and thinking, “I hate this, I hate myself when I am like this”. It is a foreign entity that grows inside, made up of your own flesh. Feelings turn ugly when you reject it, when you think that you shouldn’t feel this way, you cannot feel this way. This particular feeling exposes parts of you that you hate, that you want to kill. Perhaps it is tied to self-worth. How then, do we sit with these ugly feelings? How do we sit with the discomfort, the disgust, and find a form of comfort. How do we soothe this side of us?

Development Milestones

September 2021
Movement Workshops
led by Chin Huat
25 June 2022
In-Residence at Creation Residency
by Centre 42
22 October 2022, 3pm
Work-in-Progress Showcase
at Black Box, Centre 42


27 March 2023
Photo Essay
by ZOBO Company

ZOBO Company documents the rehearsal process leading up to their work-in-progress showcase in pictures. 

An image of five members of ZOBO Company sprawled out across a beige leather sofa.

Weekly movement training and body condition with Chin Huat’s own 抹地 (mopping floor) sequence variations.

A black and white photo of the members of ZOBO Company seated and sprawled across the studio in discussion.

From August 2022, the writers and their mentors had weekly sessions to plunge deep into the devising and conceptualising process to build the world and characters of POTTY 趴地.

An image of Chng Yi Kai crouched under a large green cloth surrounded by white chairs in disarray.

(Photo 1) Making sense of what idleness and ugly feelings mean to us - a group of young people living in a productivity driven world. Ft. Yi Kai’s character devising work!

An image of Ella Wee standing atop a white chair, arms raised and holding an upturned transparent umbrella on her head.

(Photo 2) Making sense of what idleness and ugly feelings mean to us - a group of young people living in a productivity driven world. Ft. Ella’s character devising work!

A black and white photo of the members of ZOBO Company in various seating and standing positions spaced out in the studio.

Gearing up for our work-in-progress showcase after 2 months of devising with ZOBO members.

An image of members of ZOBO Company in the Black Box some seated on different chairs, one laying on the floor.

Our world starts off in a toilet cubicle! What idleness looks like in everyday life.

An image of ZOBO Company in a dimly lit Black Box, silhouettes of them laid across the floor and chairs.

POTTY 趴地 work-in-progress was on 22 October 2022 where we had a mini showcase for invited audience from the creative arts industry to witness our exploration.

An image of ZOBO Company members in the Black Box, four seated in chairs in various positions, one standing in front with hands on their ears, head turned to the back.

5 characters with 5 different desires, fears, wants and feelings, living in 5 parallel spaces.

Members of ZOBO Company forming a tableaux where they are stacked on top of one another.

POTTY 趴地  is a text-based movement piece exploring the themes of idleness and ugly feelings amongst young people in today’s world.

An image of the Black Box with members of ZOBO Company and audience for the work-in-progress showcase seated in a square.

We had an enriching post-show discussion in an intimate setting with over 30 audience members of a diverse age range, exploring our creative processes and the themes of idleness and ugly feelings.

A group photo with ZOBO Company and their mentors.

ZOBO Company younger artists mentored by experienced Theatre practitioners in the industry: Lim Chin Huat, Neo Hai Bin, Liew Jia Yi, Liu Yong Huay.