Pat Toh on walking, losing mobility and death

Pat Toh, the young performer whose directorial debut Pretty Things, was nominated for Production of the Year and Best Director at the Straits Times Life! Theatre Awards 2013 is now at work on a new installation, Terra Incognita. Set to feature at the upcoming M1 Fringe Festival 2015, it explores life through walking. We chatted with her about life and death and her favorite local acts.

What was your thought process behind Terra Incognita?
I enjoy walking and a friend recommended a book, A History of Walking by Rebecca Solnit. The rich tapestry she weaved for this daily act inspired me. I started to think about the way I walk and the paths I choose both physically and metaphorically. I began to notice my habits and routines and questioned what happens if I take a different route.

Your work touches on mortality. What have you learned about yourself in the process?
I created this project as a way to confront my fear of losing mobility and of death. In the process I was researching and sitting alone in my room, and I thought, “What am I doing, I need to get out and live a little.” I learned I am not as brave and adventurous as I imagine myself to be.

Who are some local artists you’d like to collaborate with?
Everyone is so unique and special. I am quite a fan of local band The Observatory, their music have been good company. I admire Ho Tzu Nyen for his expansive take on visual arts and performance.

What’s your motto in life?
Go everywhere; try everything.

M1 Fringe Festival 2015 takes place from Jan 14-25. For more of our top picks, go here