About | The space in between

The space in between

for two Beiguan musicians and electronics

A work created around the text「The Space in Between」by Taiwanese writer/multi-disciplinary artist Autumn Tsai 蔡昀庭, which retraces the story of Wang Zhaojun 昭君和番 through literary collage and temporal reorientation.

Introduction by Autumn Tsai

Over hundreds of years, “Zhaojun Departing for the Frontier” — the plot of which describes the Han Palace’s beautiful peace token Wang Zhaojun, who is married off to the foreign lands with a Pipa elegy — has been interpreted and reinterpreted in many forms. Her figure remains silent, a fictional character readily seen in the words of another authority who paints her in his surmises. With my own story interwoven into a stream of historical references in dialogue with contemporary Taiwanese female writers, I become both Ma Zhiyuan’s collaborator studying the historical context of Wang Zhaojun, and an extension of Lin Daiyu from A Dream of the Red Chamber, who sighs at the fate of the Four Beauties. As Zhaojun’s story unfolds once again as a Beiguan piece, the story-teller’s story is left to be retold, shifting and obscuring the boundaries between these realities. And it is in moving across space and time that Wang Zhaojun’s story begins to be unraveled…

Year of Composition



2020 Kuandu Arts Festival, Opening Concert
Taipei, Taiwan

First Performers

Ensemble Water-Stage
Liu Yu-Hsiu 劉育秀, percussion/voice
Li Chi-Chien 李季謙, sanxian/voice


Autumn’s script can be read in full here.
Joint interview with the Hannoversche Gesellschaft für Neue Musik here.