Acty Tang performs and choreographs some of the most provocative and cerebral work in the country today.

Born in Hong Kong, Tang completed his master’s degree in drama at Rhodes University, where he now lectures. His connection with Japan, where he went on a school-exchange programme, continues as his work resonates with butoh, the avant-garde performance art that first scandalised the public in post-WWII Japan.

The sense of never really belonging, yet attempting to make a kind of emotional home on foreign soil, is strong in Tang’s creative psyche. From 1999, he performed with the First Physical Theatre Company and in 2003 he was a finalist for a Daimler-Chrysler award. That same year, he suffered an injury and was forced to focus on choreography and directing. He believes the injury was partly psychosomatic and related to his issues with personal identity. Significantly healed, he returned to the performance space during the National Arts Festival in 2005 and, as a Standard Bank Young Artist award-winner, he will create and perform a celebratory piece for the 2007 festival.

Lunch spot: A dim sum restaurant overlooking Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong