Pat Toh (Singapore)

14 – 15 January 2015, 8pm

Esplanade Theatre Studio



Biography of Artist


—50 minutes with no intermission

$22 | $19*

*concessions for students, NSF & senior citizens

“Isn’t it extraordinary that since man took his first step, no one has asked himself why he walks, how he walks, if he has ever walked, if he could walk better, what he achieves in walking?”

- Honoré de Balzac

Terra Incognita is a meditation on life through the act of walking. Come enter a world where one discovers that life is defined by every tiny step made and cheated by those not taken. An installation performance inspired by lines, roads and routes, Terra Incognita is an evolvement from Homogeneous, a presentation made in 2012 as part of Esplanade’s The Studios RAW series.


In a city that is constantly on the move, a woman’s life grinds to a halt after seeing her grandfather in hospital. An inevitable bed-ridden future of machines and medication haunts her as she starts to reflect on the fragility of the human body. She embarks on a journey to ponder on her daily act of walking beyond its practical means. With the gradual deterioration of her grandfather, she escapes on a spiritual quest into the wilderness and eventually grapples with the reality of mortality.

“We've always known Pat Toh as a great physical actor, but as it turns out, her talents run deeper than this. Homogenous is a solo performance - self-conceived, -directed and -scripted - inspired by the theme of walking: it's a solitary, natural and non-mechanised approach to the voyage of life…. it is its very simplicity that makes it powerful and elegant.”

- Ng Yi-Sheng, The Flying Inkpot, on Homogenous

Pat Toh is a performer, performance maker and drama educator; her interest lies in working on, with and about the body.


Your body is falling to pieces. You are afraid; it is just a matter of time until you are immobile.


“You need to just get up and try…just take a walk.”


You need to get yourself in some activity that forces your body to move. This body needs a job, your mind is overactive, and your body is on standstill. You have no control of your body, maybe this is the problem.


You look at all my retired friends. You are all going down the drain. The human animal physically peaks around age 20-25, it slowly atrophies until around age 65-80, and we lose the ability to walk. It is not an event, it is a process, and you know you are losing that ability to walk.


You know one more thing, I hate to say it, but you need to find some young people to hang out with, you want to get back on the other side of the hill.


You say, “Please do not tell me to walk, tell me what motivates you to walk?”