MY Art Memory Project is an initiative by Five Arts Centre Malaysia. The Pilot Project was funded by a grant from Sime Darby Foundation, Halfmoon Bay Capital Limited, Think City, Jabatan Kebudayaan dan Keseniaan Negara and Five Arts Centre.
We are plagued by absences and institutional amnesia. Without a sense of the past, we are unable to chart a path forward.
There is not a single institution that archives and documents the performing arts history of the country in a comprehensive way. The struggles, philosophies and conflicts, which drove the growth of Malaysian performing arts in its early years are held in the individual memories of art makers. Too often, they are irrevocably lost before they can be recorded.
Artists, programmers, producers, researchers and audiences, few of us have a real sense of the performing arts history of our nation. MY Arts Memory Project provides the raw material, data and critical resources to help us understand the trajectories of development, the competing artistic movements, the experiments of form and the thematic concerns of the practitioners.
MY Arts Memory addresses this problem through a process of research, collection, digitalization and public access:
- We conduct research into arts practice against a wider historical, political and social context
- We collect production ephemera, articles and other documents
- We ‘collect’ memories and knowledge from individuals through recorded interviews
- We digitalize the material collected, preserving archival documents and historically significant voices
- We upload the information, creating a rich archive that is accessible to anyone
Our activities include on-line and off-line projects:
Remember When … is an Oral History Project, comprising a series of one-on-one conversations with pioneering Malaysian theatre practitioners, conducted before a ‘live’ audience. With each voice we hope to capture a reflective, complex and highly personal history of the local stage. The recordings of these conversations will be uploaded as podcasts on MY Arts Memory.
Projected to begin in the second half of 2017.
Programme Archive contains archival images, production information and other significant details of staged works. For the Pilot Project, launched in 2016, we have focused on archiving theatre programs from the 1970s – 1990s only.
Other performing arts genres and content will follow. This is an ongoing documentation and research project.
We acknowledge that many works are multidisciplinary in nature, particularly productions staged from the early 1990s. The conventional division of genres here offers a way to manage the collection and uploading of material. A system of tags will identify works that cross these boundaries.
Article Archive contains scans of actual articles, essays, reviews and interviews.
Censorship Archive is an ongoing chronological list of verified arts censorship in Malaysia, including detailed incident reports, to record and monitor the frequency and shape of arts censorship.
Kathy RowlandLead Researcher
Kathy Rowland is the Managing Editor of ArtsEquator.com, a new site focusing on arts and culture in Southeast Asia, which she co-founded with Jenny Daneels.
She has over 20 years experience as an editor, writer, researcher and producer.
She has edited several volumes of plays by leading playwrights in Malaysia and Singapore and published articles on the politics of culture in Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and the US.
Ivy Nallammah Josiah, a women’s human rights advocate is the former Executive Director of Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO).
She is a member of Five Arts Centre (FAC) and has produced several plays not only for FAC but for other theatre companies.
She is currently authoring a book on the women’s movement in Malaysia, producing for FAC and KiniTV and remains active in civil society in Malaysia.
Fasyali Fadzly is an educator, director, playwright and writer.
He is an MFA graduate from University of Calgary, Canada. He wrote and directed his own play – Teater Juta-Juta which won for Best Director, Best Original Script and Best Ensemble Performance in Boh Cameronian Arts Award 2014, Berani Mati, Kotak Hitam, Kawan-kawan Yang Kita Suka and directed several play from other playwrights such as Oedipus, ‘Art’ and Jebat.
He also writes theatre-related articles and reviews.
Azwan IsmailContent Manager (Bahasa Malaysia & English)
Azwan Ismail is a poet, writer, editor, LGBT rights activist, and an engineer. His work has appeared in various anthologies. He is the co-editor of “Orang Macam Kita” (Matahari Books, 2010), the first LGBT anthology in Malay language.
Recently he was the Project Coordinator for QueerLapis.com – a new website on Malaysian LGBT narratives & resources, and Project Assistant & Social Media Editor with Artsee Networks working on Hepatitis C awareness campaign (#MYXHEPC) for Malaysian AIDS Council.
He is an alumnus of Instant Café Theatre’s FIRSTWoRKS playwriting workshops and is now writing his first play.
Loh Kok ManContent Manager (Mandarin)
Loh Kok Man is Artistic Director of PENTAS PROJECT THEATRE PRODUCTION and an established theatre director, actor, lighting designer, set designer and theatre lecturer. He has won The BOH Cameronian Arts Awards for Best Director, for Best Set Design and for Best Lighting Design multiple times.
Loh founded Pentas Project Theatre Production in 2005 to produce critical and collaborative contemporary theatre. He is known for his unique way of integrating theatrical elements such as visual imagery, lighting, sound, physical movement and dramatic structures while exploring the concept of space and time.
Mervyn Monk has been helping brands, businesses and individuals to tell their stories for over 30 years.
He works with local businesses and global brands across multiple market segments and geographical regions to either bring or keep their narratives alive.
Mervyn is an award-winning creative director that has worked on the global-level with brands such as BP, Diageo, HP and Seagate. He was a member of a HP Tiger Team and the Asia Pacific brand custodian for Seagate.
Hoe Hui TingAdministrator
Hoe Hui Ting graduated from New Era College Drama and Visuals Department in 2011.
Currently the company manager at Five Arts Centre, she has worked with renown theatre companies such as Instant Cafe Theatre, Wild R!ce, Pentas Project, O Puppet Theatre and at the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (KLPac) and Damansara Performing Arts Centre (DPAC) as Stage Manager.
Her performance credits include "The Visit" by Ling Tang, "The Language Forest" by Loh Kok Man, "The 18th Floor" and "3 Children" directed by SP Ho, "Sworfish Then The Concubine" helmed by Loh Kok Man, etc.
Ong TongContent Manager (Nov 2017 - Jun 2018)
Ong Tong has obtained her Bachelor Degree in Performing Arts (with Honours) in Sultan Idris Education University in year 2017 and currently working through her way as a Japanese translator in Creative Industry.
She has stage managed several Five Arts Centre project such as Exchange Theatre and DASH- Lecture Performance. She look forward to be more involve in Art scene in the future.
Jerome KuganContent Manager (Jan - October 2017)
Jerome Kugan has written for various publications including The Star, NST, Kakiseni, Off The Edge, and KLue.
He has co-organised events including KL Sing Song, Seksualiti Merdeka, and Rainbow Rojak. He has contributed to productions by Five Arts Centre, The Actors Studio, and Leigh Warren and Dancers. In 2004, he won the BOH Cameronian Arts Awards for Most Promising Artist and Best Sound Design (Theatre) for “Ops Ophelia”.
He is currently putting together his first solo visual art exhibition and book of poems.