The Merlion Spouts

By Jerome Kugan Recently, I attended the Singapore Writers Festival (SWF) as an invited writer. Objectivity is very much suspect when one writes about something of which one was a part so you shall not find that here. Asia Truly Exotic In Malaysia, publishers, writers and readers of fictional works are, at best, fictitious. Whether […]

RM309 Million And The Arts

By Fahmi Fadzil The latest edition of our federal government’s proposed annual budget was disclosed 30 Sep 2005. This time around, it seemed like there wasn’t as much fanfare as the year before, which, importantly for the Malaysian arts scene at least, saw the birth of the Ministry of Culture, Arts, and Heritage (MOCAH). That […]

The Year of Tears

By Pang Khee Teik When we received the SMS that morning in April informing us that Krishen Jit was expected to go anytime, my housemate and I rushed to the University Hospital. At the hospital, we grabbed a bun each from the sundry shop – we were starving for breakfast. We spent a few minutes […]

Playing With History

By Beverly Yong As children we are told the names of things – naming is one of the earliest tools we adopt to negotiate our world. We put pictures and sounds and feelings to words, they define people and places near and far. As we grow up things named grow associations, take on deeper and […]

The MPO Winter Collection

By Zalina Lee I spent the first two years of my marriage as a professional mall rat. And I’m here to tell you, young grasshoppers, that if you need a bathroom on a Sunday, and just so happen to be in KLCC at the time, forget about getting close to an empty toilet stall. Just. […]

Majukanlah Rock Untuk Negara

By Nur Hanim Khairuddin Meski menyorot sekelumit dari sejarah sosio-hiburan silam yang berkecamuk dan tercerai-cerai, Rock membawa kita kembali menjengah keberadaan ‘pop culture’ dan ‘pesta muda-mudi’ di dekad 80an. Penuh nostalgia, padat dengan lagak dan imej realistik disulami beberapa babak kelakar, Mamat Khalid memaparkan secebis sahsiah dan siasah popular (asalnya sub-kultural jua) pemuda Melayu generasi […]

Oh Baby, Baby, It’s A Wild World

By Jenny Daneels We thought that the Christmas season would be a good moment to review some children’s books made in Malaysia. Unfortunately we only came to that realisation a few days ago, so this review is terribly late for Christmas. Still, the books are for sale all year round! The first striking fact is […]

Enough Is Enough!

By Revathi Murugappan We’ve heard it before (and will continue to hear it). Man fed up with world full of greedy phony people engrossed by money, property and status; man infuriated with local entertainment scene glorifying commercial aspects and worshipping western values with total disregard for artistic values, pride of race, and aesthetics. Man cannot […]

Fun on the Night Shift

By Lydia Chai Chapter 1: Ikat Batu at Gudang – a warehouse tucked away in suburban Damansara Jaya – was an art event instead of an art exhibition. It lasted only one night (25 November 2005) and had a festive air about it, what with a musical trio, night-long ice-sculpting, and lip-smacking kenduri complete with […]

Murder Most Foul (Can you smell the belacan?)

By Meng Yew Choong This is another whodunit for the big stage. Though it was presented to Singaporeans for the third time (in 1997 and 1998 at the Jubilee Hall of the Raffles Hotel), the difference this time was that it took place within the magnificent confines of the sophisticated Esplanade Theatre. Being my first […]

Our Funny Valentines

By Antares I don’t even like jazz, as a genre, but jazz virtuosos do generate a peculiar fascination. You have to be so goddam good to pass muster as a “jazz great’ the accomplishment in itself is worth applauding and recording. As jazz pianists go, few get any better than Singapore’s mythical Monteiro (Jeremy) and […]

To Dye For

By Dr Zakaria Ali [This paper was first presented at “Batik Paintings – Public Talk by Dr. Zakaria Ali” organised by Galeri PETRONAS, on the 14 December 2005.] This talk is centred on three artists: Yeong Seak Ling, Dr. Mohamed Najib bin Ahmad Dawa, and Abdul Rashid bin Abdul Razak. Through different paths they have […]

Konfrontasi: With Ourselves

By Chuah Siew Eng “If you would understand anything, observe its beginning and its development.” The significance of history, succinctly explained by Aristotle, comes too late for me and generations of schoolchildren for whom history is a jumble of meaningless dates and past happenings with little impact on our everyday lives. Little did we know […]

Beaches Brew

By James Lochhead Lying on the grass, staring up at the crescent moon, the sea breeze gently rustling, and then to hear the cool soprano saxophone sound of Japanese jazz band Jaja thrilling the air – the melodic piano at the back, and then suddenly, out of nowhere, the hendrix-like guitar, lifting the sound and […]

The Taste of Death

By Christina Orow We’ve all heard about the unusual delicacy that is the Shakespeare speech. Breaking through the initial layer of incomprehension is like getting over the initial revulsion to the smell of durian, until we take that first bite that sends us over to the other side. In a moment, all resistance to the […]

Spongy Minds

By Yeah Jin Leng In the last 20 years, this country has seen the rise in the number of art galleries as well as the number of private art institutions. There are many venues provided for art exhibitions, even in hotels and political institutions. To certain people, this augers well as it gives an indication […]

Victory Against Satan

By Zedeck Siew I am sitting in the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre’s main auditorium watching a band of Akademi Seni Kebangsaan students, wearing baju melayu, kurung and kebaya, play cheerful, violin-and-accordian RTM-like music. I am here for the Malaysian chapter of the Universal Peace Federation’s inaugural convocation on Sat 26 Nov 2005. After 20 minutes […]

The Death of Art

By Carmen Nge Art for art’s sake died along Jalan Raja Laut the first Friday of Ramadhan this year. It was laid to rest at the steps of Suhakam, alongside the cadaver of campus democracy. Draped with a Malaysian flag, their shared coffin was bold and black, and their entourage, young and defiant. Traffic and […]