Satu Kali International Performance Art Symposium

Satu Kali was an International Performance Art Symposium, curated by Ray Langenbach and Liew Kung Yu that included Malaysian, regional and international artists who were bussed up from Singapore in the week prior to the Future of Imagination Festival there. Following two of the planned three days and nights of performances, discussions and workshops, a police inspector arrived at the venue during the afternoon of the third day. He informed the curators and venue owner that a complaint had been lodged with the police by an anonymous member of the audience. The complaint claimed that there had been actions and discourse offensive to Islam. These included the consumption of pork and alcohol, the smashing of a plate upon which was written Allah, kissing, the exchange of clothing, all as part of the performances. Also mentioned as anti-Islamic were the daily critical discussions held by the curators and artists with the public. Following this afternoon interview and warning to the curators and the owner of the venue to terminate the festival, a contingent of police arrived early that evening while the performers were having dinner. The curators and artists immediately retired to another location without further discussion with the police. There we decided to cancel the third night of performances out of concern for the local and regional artists, as no permits for the event or to bring the foreign artists into Malaysia had been sought by the curators or granted by the government. At the demand of the police, the curators went to the police station the following day for further investigatory interviews. No charges were brought.