PROJECT MEN | by Neo Hai Bin & Chong Woon Yong


Project Men (working title) is a new work exploration that came out of a collaboration between two independent artists Neo Hai Bin and Chong Woon Yong. This work explores the Singaporean male identity, using the National Service as a premise, and discover how we deal with the many possibilities (good and bad) that the human nature encompass inherently.

During the development process, they explore a series of questions: What makes us the way we are? What determines how we behave? Why do we become who we are? Where do our set of beliefs and value systems come from? Why do we sometimes act against our beliefs and value systems? How do we reconcile with the many faces in our very beings?

The project undergoes incubation from January to September 2016, which will comprise research, writing and works-in-progress showcases at each milestone to collect critique and feedback. The duo aim to have a ready play-reading shown to invited audience before deciding on the production direction.


In May, the duo held their first closed-door sharing session with invited audience from the theatre community. They presented a read of their draft script, followed by a detailed discussion with the audience on the writing, the frame of the narrative, the devices used and the development of the characters in the play. Thereafter, the duo embarked on the next phase of rewrites and performance-rehearsals.

On 10 & 11 September, they presented dramatised readings of the revised script. The updated title of the play is 《招》 When The Cold Wind Blows.

View the programme booklet put together for the dramatised reading, featuring the collaborators that were involved in the making of this work.



《招》 When The Cold Wind Blows was developed in residence at Centre 42’s Basement Workshop.
Follow the creation process.

  • Read about Hai Bin’s reflections early on in the journey of starting this creation here.
  • View this series of video interviews with independent artists Neo Hai Bin and Chong Woon Yong following their creation development period in the Basement Workshop.

BW Project Men Interview_1




Interview 1, 12 April 2016 – Phase 1 (January to May 2016)
This interview documents Hai Bin’s and Woon Yong’s collective research journey in Phase 1 which concluded as a dramatised reading of the first draft of the script.

00:34 What is “Project Men” about?
02:32 How was “Project Men” conceived?
04:44 What challenges have you faced so far?
09:18 What research have you been conducting?
13:08 How does “Project Men” compare with other local plays using National Service as a context?
14:37 What sort of work did you do in Phase 1?
16:09 Have you been writing in Chinese or English?


BW Project Men Interview_2




Interview 2, 1 June 2016 – Phase 2 (May to September 2016)
This interview documents Hai Bin’s and Woon Yong’s responses to their work and feedback received in Phase 1. They embark on Phase 2 focusing on refining the script and workshopping in the capacity of performers towards a work-in-progress showing in September.

00:35 How did you use your research from Phase 1?
02:26 How did you develop and refine the ideas in “Project Men”?
05:26 How did the two of you write the play?
08:29 How was the feedback session at the first dramatised reading of “Project Men” in May?
13:18 What feedback did you receive?
15:08 What is happening in Phase 2?
18:26 Do you have any reflections on your creative journey so far?




Interview 3, 11 September 2016 – End of Phase 2 (September 2016)
This interview rounds up Hai Bin’s and Woon Yong’s Basement Workshop journey at Centre 42. The pair discuss refining their script, which is now titled 《招》”When the Cold Wind Blows”, and preparing for the showcases. They also reflect on their eight months at Centre 42 creating the play from scratch, and the plans they have after the showcases.

00:34 You changed the title of the play from “Project Men” to 《招》”When the Cold Wind Blows”, Why?
02:31 What was it like working with a dramaturg (Alvin Lim)?
04:20 How did you revise the play from the first reading in May?
06:54 How did you prepare for the showcase?
08:51 How did you feel about the feedback from the first showcase last night?
10:29 How do you feel about your Basement Workshop journey?
12:59 What are your plans after these two showcases?