Violent Symphonies

By Lisa Ho Listening to Gustav Mahler’s 6th symphony (a.k.a. “Tragic”) performed by the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of maestro Kees Bakels was, for me, a personal confrontation with an old fear that I have battled with on and off for many years. I am more a Wagner enthusiast, and certainly no Mahler […]

Under Exposed

By Gina Fairley When setting out to review the inaugural Kuala Lumpur International Photography Biennale (KLip, 4 June – 9 October 2005) I thought this is going to be great – a power-punch arts event addressing the wider KL audience. What I learnt, attending the KLip launch at the National Art Gallery on 14th July […]

Too Many Awards, Not Enough Movies

By Kakiseni Paparazzi Talk about efficiency. For the entire first half of the 18th Malaysian Film Festival 2005 (FFM18) awards ceremony on Sun 17, July 2005, winners were ushered off the stage as soon as their awards were firmly in hand. We were thus thankfully spared of boring acceptance speeches. But truth be told, we […]

No Silk Purse

By Antares Titiwangsa is a nice lyrical sort of name. The Titiwangsa Range itself conjures a sense of adventure and romance. So when dancer/choreographer Ramli Ibrahim and lighting/set designer Sivarajah Natarajan combined forces with avant-garde composer Valerie Ross to produce a dance spectacular dedicated to the spirit of Titiwangsa Lake, around which a bustling park […]

Back to Africa

By Kakiseni Rey Buono chides me: “If you had told me you were going to do an interview about my opinion on the KL arts scene, I would have said I don’t have the time.” But in spite of his obvious disappointment with the insularity of my tabloid questions, he kindly indulged. Until not long […]

Dematerialise Girl

By Shanon Shah Everyone knows this folklore, so there is no ending to be given away. On the day of her engagement ceremony, just as the ring was about to be slipped onto her finger, Rubiah vanished mysteriously. The end. The character of Rubiah is based on the myth of the “keramat anak dara” which […]

Don’t Rain On My Painting

By Lydia Chai It was a very wet afternoon. Not the ideal time for a visit to the National Art Gallery. My Kiwi husband was in town and I thought I would show him the livelier side of our Balai, dropping by the Laman Seni art fair held every first Saturday of the month. There […]

Renewal – A Short Story

By KS Maniam All I had wanted to do after my retirement was sit in the patio – I had, with foresight, called in a contractor and built it some years before the event- and catch the sunrise and, towards the end of the day, watch the sun go down. The morning sunlight would warm […]

Fine Young Communists

By Kam Raslan As the elderly leader of the now defunct Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) points out in his book, Alias Chin Peng: My Side of History – History (with a capital H) is written by the victors. Chin Peng writes, “History is the written testimony – or interpretations – of events by those […]

Mat Salleh and the Temple of Brown

By Benjamin McKay Getting Lost You may recall that two weeks ago I had the pleasure of reviewing Professor Madya A. Razak Mohaideen’s Lady Boss for Kakiseni. This week I wish to share with readers the tale that surrounds my eventually seeing that film. It is a tale of how I began to at last […]

Artists Without Borders

By Gina Fairley The idea of exchange is an interesting one in today’s world where technology, the internet, cheap air travel and satellite-cams deliver news directly into our Ikea-clad lounge-rooms, remove all sense of borders or isolation. As we meld together in a kind of culture-mash, gradually becoming ‘international’, what is it that remains significant […]

Waiting for the Next Generation

By Rogayah Shahariman Not being a dancer or choreographer herself, Rogayah Shahariman doesn’t want to be known as a “dance expert.” Nevertheless, her keen following of the scene seems unusual. More so in a country where dance, particularly contemporary dance, appears to be one of the least marketable (and fund-able) of the arts. Perhaps she […]