CosmicWander is an on-going project exploring shamanic dance culture in Asia. In search of the supernatural dancing experience, Choy Ka Fai had filmed extraordinary shamanic rituals and folk traditions that are still prevalent in our contemporary times, intersecting with the broader environmental, technological and political shifts in Asia. 

Starting in 2018, Ka Fai first set out on a 18-month journey across Asia to meet more than 50 spirit mediums in Siberia, Taiwan, Vietnam, Singapore and Indonesia. He returns with encounters in altered states of human consciousness and transforms these experiences on stage. The artist seeks to speculate on the alternative modes of knowing and living, as well as other worlds of reality other than our own.

The CosmicWander project evolves into a series of performances, installations and virtual portals that strive to resurface the alternative and disappearing human culture on dance, trance, and belief systems.


CosmicWander: Expedition is an immersive installation that presents the artist’s perspective on humanity’s attempt to connect, question, perceive, and interact with different states of reality. Stories and images derived from his invigorating encounters with “altered states” interweave with the artist’s speculations to present a choreographic sequence of moving images, texts, and spectacles, inspired by practices observed in Singapore, Indonesia, Siberia, Taiwan and Vietnam.

Exhibition Virtual Tour

"We invite you to commune with us, and to think about our bodies and our spiritual states in these strange times."

Yishun is Burning

Yishun is Burning is a multicultural voguing dance party that transcends the borders of gender, race, and religion. In search of religious ecstasy, we dive into Singapore’s most dystopian suburb, Yishun, where one encounters a hybrid of spiritual practices: feisty spirit mediums who worship both Chinese and Indian goddesses in their fight against evil. Yishun, a kind of antithesis to the glossy clean image of Singapore, generally known as an authoritarian city state where freedom of expression is not essential.

"At the heart of this work is trans-ness – ideas of the trans-national, trans-racial, trans-cultural, trans-gender, trans-worldly. The body is porous and transverses across categories of race and gender and space and time; it does not adhere to the regulated, systematised logic of Singapore’s CMIO racial model, or the organisation of religion across such racial lines. Yishun is Burning is a purifying act, a burning away of categorical identities, replacing it with bodies and souls in space connected through this ritual performance in this moment."

Qiao Lin Tan- Dance Art Journal

Post Colonial Spirits

Post Colonial Spirits is a telepresence performance inspired by the Indonesian folk dance "Dolalak". This 1930s trance dance ritual is created with multi-dimensional origins of traditional Javanese dance movement, imitations of partying Colonial Dutch soldiers, and melodious Islamic verses. Dolalak’s rich heritage opens up a liminal space in which dance transcends beyond the resistance of coloniality, power, and fantasy.

Since 2019, Dutch contemporary dance artist Vincent Riebeek and Dolalak folk dancer Andri Kurniawan had collaborated online and speculated on the concept of telepresence dance making for our post-pandemic world. Andri is one of the last remaining male Dolalak dancers and still transmits the original 1930s dance notation. The reality of Dolalak today is dominated by sexy young female influencers with million of online followers, dancing to the tunes of the Indonesian pop genre Dangdut as their contemporary repertoire. The enigmatic ghosts of Indonesia’s colonial past have evolved across both the spiritual and secular spheres, and retain a critical affect of enchantment in Dolalak today.

Telepresence Studio Documentary

After three years of making, the entire team of Post Colonial Spirits finally gathered in real life at the Indonesia Bertutur festival in 2022. The performance at the world largest Buddhist temple, Borobudur, was a powerful collboration with the TikTok sensation dance group Dolalak Dewi Arum. The performers encapsulated together the possible future of Javanese Trance Culture into the meta-realms of tomorrow.

The Third Prince

Year 2096. In the wake of an entire generation having forgotten how to communicate with their Gods, an Android Shaman was created. Her mission was to collect and decode information to reclaim that lost ability. She wanders the island, seeking a time-capsule containing an ancient mantra so she may use it to contact the Third Prince. The Android Shaman yearns for reconnection with the supernatural realm. She prays to the Gods of Formosa to possess her electronic self.

The Third Prince is a cinematic journey on the island of Formosa, designed as a 3D game inspired by the eponymous playful boy deity Nezha of Taiwan. His various incarnations manifest over a spectrum of bodies and contexts, be it a traditional temple ceremony, a sexy entertainment fair, or the realm of digital democracy in Taiwan today.

The Third Prince was first developed as a stage performance for the Taipei Arts Festival in 2020. The performance explores a kaleidoscope of shamanistic practices inspired by psychic girls, spirit mediums, and pole dancers as they perform for gods on elaborate transformer-style stage trucks. Imagined as a trance ritual party, the performance immerses in the techno-loving and contemporary Taoist worship culture of Taiwan.

Blue Sky Academy

Blue Sky Academy #331C is an online virtual portal to promote Siberian Shamanism as a contemporary form of spiritual practice. The academy proposes a discursive space to re-surface alternative worldview of the shamans and provides a series of supernatural dance experiences with digital shamans, visual documentaries, and rendered worlds.

The Buryats in Siberia have been opressed throughout history. After decades of Soviet reppression, the resilient people have created a narrative in which their ancestral spirits, known as Ongon, make tragic returns, seeking retribution for being abandoned during socialist rule. These tragic spirits are supernatural links to the Buryat people's erasing and misfortune-filled past.

Tragic Spirits Performance

Tragic Spirits is a documentary performance presented as part of the Blue Sky Academy that was inspired by the ancestral spirits of the Siberian, which have their origins in the Buryats people. The performance excavates the vibrations as if the Siberian shamans enter into trance and enact the oppressed ancestral spirit of the Ongon, who embodies the trauma of border and cultural memories from the past.

Lotus Tiger Society

Lotus Tiger Society is a global alliance of the Vietnamese Diaspora community and its folk religion of the Mother Goddess. The Society views contemporary cultural and spiritual heritage as a form of speculative anthropology. Its clan motto is based on the Confucius teaching, “Within Heaven and the Four Seas, We are all Brothers (and Sisters)”. This saying exemplifies the inclusive mindset of the Vietnamese and their compassion, love, and friendship for all sentient beings. The society celebrates the human stories of migration and transcendence.

"The Vietnamese practice of spirit possession may have developed as a respond to disperson or diaspora... it provides an embodied and performative experience of the homeland. The homeland then is not only a physical place but also a concept and a desire— a place to return to through the imagination, through a kind of simultaneous doubling of psychic space— the possibility of living here in body and elsewhere in mind and imagination, or performing a ritual in order to collapse together these doubled spaces, and bring the distant homeland back into the body located overseas"

Janet Alison Hoskins, What is a Refugee Religion? Exile, Exodus, and Emigration in the Vietnamese Diaspora

In the summer of 1957, the revolutionary Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh made a state visit to GDR Germany and spent an afternoon with hundreds of Vietnamese children near the Moritzburg Castle in Dresden. These 350 childrens, affectionately known as the Moritzburgers, were sent to Germany for an experimental educational program and trained to be the future leaders of Vietnam.

Dance Inside Me researches the resonance of the Vietnamese diaspora in Germany through the concept of dance rituals. Dance tradition from the worship of the Mother Goddess embodied information of our social structure, aspiration and history of migration. This video essay surveys across three generations of Vietnamese diaspora and revisits the notion of dance in the homeland and the host-land.