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Articles

Test_23July2020

By Dr. Wong Oi Min My Calling My Act, My Stage is being marked as a return to the stage of performer and choreographer Loi Chin Yu after a four-year hiatus following his departure from the Nyoba Dance Theatre group over creative differences. It was a period during which Loi gave priority to a practical […]

  • kathyrowland05@gmail.com
    kathyrowland05@gmail.com
  • July 23, 2020

Test Article

By Jane D test test test Test test test First Published: 05.06.2008 on Kakiseni

  • kathyrowland05@gmail.com
    kathyrowland05@gmail.com
  • June 6, 2020

Loi Chin Yu Answers His Calling

By Dr. Wong Oi Min My Calling My Act, My Stage is being marked as a return to the stage of performer and choreographer Loi Chin Yu after a four-year hiatus following his departure from the Nyoba Dance Theatre group over creative differences. It was a period during which Loi gave priority to a practical […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • June 5, 2008

Mega Art on Discount

By Daniel Chong If you were told that a grandmaster of 20th century modern art from France is exhibiting in Malaysia, would you believe it? It’s true! And you read it here first! But which art icon would show in Malaysia and where? Most certainly not at our Balai Seni Lukis Negara! That’s a space […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • February 6, 2008

Hans Issac’s “Cuci”

By Benjamin McKay The directorial debut by leading actor Hans Isaac is more impressive than I had anticipated. For all of its syrupy Malaysia Boleh sentiments, “Cuci” is in fact a fairly well constructed entertainment. One of the pleasures of the film is that it takes the tired cliché of the ubiquitous KL skyline establishing […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • February 5, 2008

A Space For The Other

By Veronica Shunmugam The regular gallery visitor setting foot in Galeri Petronas today will be, first of all, roused into curiosity by the colour of its now jet black walls. It’s never been anything but white, made pearly by genteel lighting. Then again, it’s never quite had a show like “The Independence Project”, now six […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • January 29, 2008

KSFM’s “Malaysian Shorts”

By Benjamin McKay Monday evening’s screening of recent Malaysian short films largely confirmed the talent and richness to be found in the work of some of our leading independent filmmakers. Organised by Kelab Seni Filem Malaysia and hosted by the irrepressibly witty Amir Muhammad, these screenings are now firmly a part of the local film […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • January 24, 2008

Tembak: Mark Tan’s “Jarum Halus”

By Benjamin McKay For a debut feature film, Mark Tan’s “Jarum Halus” proves to be both bold and audacious. With mainstream ambitions and craftily manipulated indie edginess, this present day Malaysian version of Shakespeare’s “Othello” is bound to have the pundits’ tongues wagging. In so many ways, this film should not work but even with […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • January 9, 2008

More Than Just Another Music Festival

By James Lochhead Two years ago, I wrote a gushing review of the 2nd Penang Island Jazz Festival (PIJF). Sitting under the stars at Batu Ferringhi while listening to some great music for two wonderful evenings was such a treat. At the same time, the seriousness of the festival was very apparent in the way […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • December 27, 2007

Success At First Bloom

By Benjamin McKay It takes great skill to make a film about the emotional and material deprivation of young children without resorting to either sentimentality or sermonizing. How, instead, do you make an empathetic, realistic and non-preachy film about the plight of children in need and still manage to fully engage with your audience? Can, […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • December 19, 2007

What’s That Smell?

By Zedeck Siew The shop-lot in Taman Tun Dr Ismail that the theatre companies Dramalab and Five Arts Centre share has a rehearsal space on the ground floor; last Monday, it was occupied by the cast of Ann Lee’s “Tarap Man”, the playwright’s first full-length play in nearly a decade. For a work of such […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • December 5, 2007

Malaysia at First Sight

By Gina Fairley “Selamat Datang ke Malaysia” is a cultural expo of sorts … on one hand playing off the clichés and truisms in how we are asked to present and think of ourselves, and on the other dismantling the structure of such prescriptions to reveal the fault-lines in such a presentation.” Valentine Willie Fine […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • August 20, 2007

The Dreaming

By Benjamin McKay As part of the year-long My.Oz festivities (that celebrate 50 years of friendship between Malaysia and Australia), a selection of recent films from Australia were screened over two days to full houses at Suria KLCC’s Tanjung Golden Village Cinemas. It was Malaysia’s own Australian Film Festival, and I was particularly curious to […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • August 14, 2007

The 60 Second Plug: Teater Ekamatra’s “Madu II”

By Zedeck Siew Fast becoming Singapore’s most important playwright, the strength of Alfian Sa’at oeuvre lies in the wit and verve with which he handles a variety of subjects: Singaporean gay culture in the Asian Boys trilogy – the recently concluded “Happy Endings: Asian Boys Vol 3” had audiences bawling in their seats; the SARS […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • August 8, 2007

The Business of Theatre

By Jenny Daneels In reply to critical comments in an article we published last year on the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (KLPac) and the venue’s anchor tenant The Actors Studio (TAS), co-founder and dramatist-director-actor Joe Hasham agrees to an interview with Kakiseni co-founding editor Jenny Daneels to help put things in perspective. Kakiseni is […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • August 6, 2007

More Than a Festival

By Antares It gets harder and harder to review the Rainforest World Music Festival without sounding like someone who’s had a lobotomy and can’t stop grinning like an imbecile – especially when this was the 10th anniversary reunion well-worn partiers like me have been anticipating since the end of last year’s bash. So I’ll start […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • July 25, 2007

Investigating Circulations: The Folly of [Art] Bottom-lines and Number-crunching

By Eileen Legaspi-Ramirez The relatively cent ruckus over how the latest Social Weather Station (SWS) figures indicate that Filipinos still feel far from jubilant – even as the Arroyo government trumpets the peso’s gaining on the dollar alongside the country’s rosy credit upgrade – merely underscores how numbers are as much abstractions of the truth […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • July 18, 2007

Wayang Nakal

By Zedeck Siew At a crucial point in “Dua, Tiga Dalang Berlari”, an informal-by-form check-up on Wayang Kulit, performer Wong Tay Sy exits stage left, bowed, expression tired and supplicant, rear thrust up in the air. The play’s three actors have just performed a dramatisation of an interview with the dalang and Seniman Negara Pak […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • July 8, 2007

Regional Survey

By Fahmi Fadzil Regional Survey Jogjakarta, Penang, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Chiang Dao: a diary of food, art, and lanterns Fahmi Fadzil In November 2005, nearly 70 arts practitioners from around the Asian region assembled in Kuala Lumpur. They were here for the Asian Youth Artsmall (AYA) programme: more than a week’s worth of workshops, […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • June 22, 2007

Shadow Runners

by Tengku Amalia Over a year ago, my classmates and I watched a Wayang Kulit performance as part of our Traditional Asian Theatre course, alongside a seven-day crash course on Mak Yong. Despite being half-Kelantanese (as my father reminds me from time to time), I found myself unable to comprehend most of the text, due […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • May 23, 2007

Strange Bedfellows

By Benjamin McKay Two very varied feature films opened recently, the first two parts of a planned trilogy on love by acclaimed indie filmmaker James Lee. James has had a productive career, to date, and critical analysis of his work has often focused on stylistic comparisons with Taiwanese New Wave stalwarts like Tsai Ming-Liang (who, […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • May 22, 2007

Tembak: Wed 9 – Wed 16, May 2007

By Kakiseni Opera Pinocchio Sat 12, May 2007 Once upon a time there was an old carpenter, Geppetto, who wanted a son. A fairy heard the man’s wish, and – as Geppetto lay asleep – granted the gift of life to a wooden puppet. This was how Pinocchio was born. However, the fairy neglected one […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • May 16, 2007

Metaphors Be With You

By Antares The moment you start focusing your attention on them, metaphors wriggle right out of the woodwork, springing from the ground beneath your feet like mushrooms. Back in 2000 – that pivotal year in which the Earth’s axis was realigned by the crowning of Neocon Emperor George Bush – I gave up on romance, […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • May 14, 2007

Quiet Please

By Bernice Chauly One of the most intriguing guests at the 2nd Kuala Lumpur International Literary Festival, held between March 28th to April 1st, 2007, was the Czech writer Eda Kriseova. We clung to her every word. Born in 1940, the daughter of an architect and a sculptress, Eda studied journalism at Prague’s Charles University […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • May 1, 2007

Making Spirits

By Gabrielle Low A long, straight and well-paved road leads you into Pulau Carey. Along either side of the road are oil palm trees, row after row — a monotony broken only by the occasional oil mill or processing plant, and the residences of plantation employees. There are guarded roadblocks for vehicles entering into prohibited […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • April 13, 2007

Best Intentions

By Jess C I don’t pretend to be an opera buff, but I have seen enough productions to know what to expect. However, watching the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre’s latest music production, Mozart’s The Magic Flute (subtitled ‘Selected Excerpts in Concert’) was a totally new experience for me. According to its press release, Mozart’s […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • March 30, 2007

The Red Army on the Russian Steppes

By Antares Since returning from England in the late 1980s, Kam Raslan has carved a niche for himself as a freelance writer and some-time magazine editor (most infamously at the 1990s incarnation of Men’s Review). He is currently a scriptwriter for the Instant Café Theatre Company, a part-time commercial and television drama director, and a […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • March 15, 2007

Rabbits’ Eyes and Seascapes

By Gabrielle Low On January 28th, 2007, the art world’s luminaries and big-spenders converged on the Kuang estate of the architect Hijjas Kasturi and his wife Angela Hijjas. They were there to view and appraise the work of two young artists, the past year’s Rimbun Dahan artists-in-residence. The Rimbun Dahan residency programme provides its artists […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • February 7, 2007

Other Than Angkor – Pt. 2

By Gabrielle Low Among the lesser-known temples at Angkor is a pyramidal mass of hewn stone blocks called Baphuon, completed in the 11th century as a representation of the mythical Hindu Mount Meru. Partly due to its size, the temple was also structurally unstable. By the time the French explorer Henri Mouhot stumbled upon Angkor […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • January 25, 2007

Other Than Angkor – Pt. 1

By Gabrielle Low ‘Stung Treng 216 km’ flashed on the blue signboard as our bus sped along the highway. I was only a third of the way through the journey from Phnom Penh to Cambodia’s northern outpost of Stung Treng — the name of both the province and its capital — near its border with […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • January 17, 2007

Polymathic Spree

By Benjamin McKay A celebrated photographer, filmmaker, writer, and actor (for stage and screen), multi-talented Bernice Chauly is also an activist and educator. She took time out of her busy rehearsal schedule – Bernice appears in James Lee’s production of Harold Pinter’s Betrayal at the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre – to chat about how […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • January 10, 2007

Telltale Lovebites

By Benjamin McKay It has been an important year for independent Malaysian cinema. Triumph on the international festival circuit, success with releases on the screens of major cinemas, both here and overseas – it is cause for celebration that we end the year with another landmark feature. You’ve heard this by now: made with the […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • December 20, 2006

X Marks the G-Spot

By Ann Lee When can you call yourself a playwright? After a three-act play? After one or two drinks? When you have an agent? When you’ve made theatre for years, but never sat down to scribble something solo? When you become the Prime Minister of Czechoslovakia? These questions came to my mind as I signed […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • December 13, 2006

Bootlegging

By Benjamin McKay It would take a very hard-hearted person to not admire the gumption of Khairil M Bahar, who produced, wrote, directed and edited his feature film debut, Ciplak, with the paltry sum of RM10,000 – and managed to get it released in Golden Screen Cinemas, one of the nation’s leading chains. He is […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • December 5, 2006

Crossing the River

By Benjamin McKay An emerging visual artist whose work has been exhibited both in Malaysia and abroad, Yap Sau Bin represents an emerging generation of artist who attempt to fuse their local experience with a broader global understanding of contemporary visual arts practice. Having studied at the Birmingham Institute of Arts and Design at the […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • November 30, 2006

Anugerah Seni Negara

By Juliet Jacobs and Kathy Rowland While most people spent Sunday evening huddled at home, awed by the almighty storm that unleashed itself on the Klang Valley, some of our braver folk made their way to the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre for the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage’s Anugerah Seni Negara 2006 awards ceremony. […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • November 23, 2006

Shining Through The Rain

By Benjamin McKay Some filmmakers use film as a tool to tell narratives and build worlds. Other filmmakers, a rare few, inhabit film as if it were already a tangible world – a world in need only of some simple shaping and orchestration to produce fine semblances of life. Ho Yuhang’s Sanctuary (2004), a simple […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • October 24, 2006

Drawing Water

By Gabrielle Low An Indonesian artist once pointed out to me the pervasiveness of visual clichés. He said that Indonesian schoolchildren, whether from Aceh or Irian Jaya, always draw the same landscape in art class: A rectangular sheet of paper, divided lengthwise by a horizon line. Rising from this horizon are two green hills, roughly […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • October 11, 2006

Race and Place

By Benjamin McKay One should applaud the release of another Malaysian independent feature on local screens – on that count, therefore, you can add the sound of my two hands, clapping. In his debut feature film, Arivind Abraham’s S’kali (Malaysia, 2006; in English and Malay; Perantauan Pictures) explores the uneasy terrain inhabited by a group […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • October 3, 2006

Hiking Out of Ipoh

By Benjamin McKay Coming of age stories, especially those that take us on a physical journey, can be problematic films to craft well – the narratives are often loaded with detail, and when resolutions are sought there is a tendency to mire them under the weight of sentimentality. Goodbye Boys (Malaysia, 2006; English with Malay […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • September 21, 2006

Questioning Mark

By Benjamin McKay In an attempt to uncover the mysteries of creative practice in Malaysia, and discern what makes Malaysian artists unique to their time and place, I plan to interview an array of local cultural practitioners over the next year. I begin this enquiry with a conversation with Mark Teh. Mark, 25, has been […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • September 14, 2006

The Freedom to Remember

By Benjamin McKay In remembering the late Tan Sri Azizan Zainul Abidin, former chairman of Petronas and well respected public servant, writer Farish Noor observed that, “great nations are made not by rhetoric and empty promises, but painstakingly built upon the labours of quiet patriots whose greatness lie in their humility.” The capacity for such […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • August 18, 2006

Talk Is Action

By Benjamin McKay There will be some among you who believe that talking about problems, about crises and about rights is a passive act. All talk, no action. I disagree with those sentiments. Talk, conversation, dialogue, argument and general discourse ARE actions. Identifying problems and the responses to those problems are important diagnostic activities too. […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • June 15, 2006

Janganlah Stress, It’s Only Cameronian

By Benjamin McKay These awards have in the past received criticism from some bitter and twisted quarters – allegations of nepotism, cronyism, corruption, lavish waste – and accusations of being nothing more than a back slapping, back stabbing orgy of arts industry indulgence. So I thought perhaps I should start my review of the evening […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • May 11, 2006

Silencing the Lambs

By Benjamin McKay The media here of late have been reporting and commenting upon a number of issues to do with perceived moral shortcomings and the manner in which those perceived shortcomings are addressed by the moral guardians of the nation. Indeed the media has in some cases decided to act as a moral guardian […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • May 5, 2006

Imaginary Homeland

By Benjamin McKay “Sometimes I wonder if you guys realise how hard it is for the rest of us to live here. It’s like being in love with someone who doesn’t love you back.” – Alan in Gubra In Yasmin Ahmad’s Malaysia, it appears possible for a Chinese Malaysian man to give a Malay woman […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • April 14, 2006

Project Runaway

By Antares M! The Opera, staged at Istana Budaya from Thu 23 Mar to Sun 2 Apr 2006, is arguably the most ambitious and esoteric piece of music theatre ever conceived and produced in Malaysia. I’m awed by Saidah Rastam’s perseverance and stamina, and gratified that after such a protracted incubation, her monumental vision has […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • March 28, 2006

The Mild Mild West

By Benjamin McKay In a lovely article for the British press, Annie Proulx, the author of the short story that the Oscar-nominated film Brokeback Mountain is based upon, had this to say in an uncharacteristically bitter, but amusingly succinct rant: “We should have known conservative heffalump academy voters would have rather different ideas of what […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • March 22, 2006

Protocol 101

By Gina Fairley Censorship is a contemporary issue. It is mitigated by a new set of protocols that we are negotiating globally. Goenawan Mohamad’s recent piece on Kakiseni speaks about the recent reactions to Prophet Muhammed’s cartoon representation in the popular press and I raised it recently in relation to biennales. I also discovered, cruising […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • March 15, 2006

Nomadic Dancers of Kuala Lumpur

By Joseph Gonzales The 2nd National Chinese Cultural Dance Competition organised by the Chinese Language Society of Malacca and Multi-Media University was held at the Taman Budaya Melaka from Fri 10 – Sun 12 Mar 2006. A total of 45 groups, consisting of Chinese Dance associations, secondary schools, cultural clubs and private dance schools, including […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • March 15, 2006

Mak Yong: A Jihad

By Fahmi Fadzil Royat hilang berita nak timbul Timbul nak royat Seorang Raja sebuah negeri Seorang Raja sebuah menteri… A vow to God In the beginning, there was no such thing as Mak Yong. But there was a family: a father, a mother, a child. They lived in an ordinary kampung house. One day, the […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • March 14, 2006

Bebas Dari Onani

By Hishamuddin Rais It is easier to dominate someone if they are unaware of being dominated. Colonised and colonisers both know that domination is not just based on physical supremacy. Control of hearts and minds follows military conquest. Which is why any empire that wants to last must capture the souls of its subjects. – […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • March 1, 2006

Cartoons

By Goenawan Mohamad Puffy face. Heavy eyebrows. Bushy moustache. Black turban inscribed with sacred words in Arabic calligraphy. More interesting still: the turban is complete with wick – it is a bomb. If this picture had been without words, we would not have known that it was a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammed. Yet we […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • March 1, 2006

Revenge of the Native

By Sharaad Kuttan I must admit that I am rather partial to academic conference even when held on home grounds (which eliminates the “junket” dimension). In my limited experience the academic conference is a site pregnant with possibility – both intellectual and social – limited in large part by the disposition of the participant-observer. This […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • March 1, 2006

Membutuhkan Tempat Tetap

By Nuraini Juliastuti [Artikel di bawah adalah di dalam Bahasa Indonesia.] “Sebenarnya aku tidak yakin, yang kita butuhkan itu sebenarnya tempat yang tetap, sebuah rumah, atau sebuah ruang kecil, dimanapun itu, tempat kita bisa menaruh komputer dan data-data kita?” kata Wimo Ambala Bayang. Tahun ini genap satu tahun Ruang Mes 56 di Yogyakarta kehilangan ruangan […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • February 21, 2006

The Princess who Went Up a Mountain and Came Down a Hit

By Shanon Shah Judging from the last two big budget Malaysian musicals I caught at Istana Budaya – Hang Li Po & Rubiah the Musical – I was ready to dismiss its latest offering, Puteri Gunung Ledang the Musical, as yet another patronising and jingoistic production that is spending a lot of money and clichéd […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • February 17, 2006

Exposing Artists

By Gina Fairley On the 14th January, a crowd gathered at Sek San’s Lucky Garden, mustered by the alliterative mantra, Bila Boleh Biennale?  But the punters may have been misled with a spirit of boleh rather than the answer to, “When can Malaysia have a Biennale?” Jammed with a hip art crowd eager to participate […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • February 16, 2006

Laptop Unplugged

By Matt Armitage When we heard that Lewis Pragasam was lining up a couple of Asiabeat shows (Fri 27 – Sat 28, Jan 2006) as part of the excellent Alexis jazz series at Great Eastern Mall we weren’t exactly overly excited. Not because there’s anything wrong with Asiabeat – they’ve been an essential part of […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • February 12, 2006

Double Afdlin Burger

By Ruhayat X Don’t say I never do anything for you, ducklings. Sebagai khidmat sosial dari aku, here’s a quick and simple test to see if these two movies – Afdlin Shauki’s double whammy Buli Balik and Baik Punya Cilok – are must-see events untuk dipenselkan dalam kalendar kau: Katak. Well? Adakah sepatah perkataan tu […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • February 9, 2006

Facilitator, Chill Thyself!

By Zedeck Siew Stella Maris, a mission school in Pudu that shares its premises with a chapel under restoration, found itself playing host to the Asian Youth Artsmall Exchange, a 9-day workshop for those interested in taking the arts to marginalised communities. Organised by Five Arts Centre, one of the pioneers of community arts in […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • February 7, 2006

The Mat Salleh Speaks Malay

By Sherry Siebel Tiara Jacquelina has always wanted to play the immortal enchantress-princess of Mount Ophir, that most mystical creature of all Malay legend. And what Tiara wants, Tiara gets. So when the bijoux gem that is Puteri Gunung Ledang was released by Enfiniti Productions with great pomp and circumstance in 2004, the resultant recherché […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • February 7, 2006

Sarong Party Beruk

By Hishamuddin Rais Kehidupan dunia moden semakin mengasak kita. Mata kita akan terus dikelilingi oleh imej, gambar, ikon, logo atau papan-papan tanda. Kota-kota kita berselirat dengan papan tanda dan papan iklan. Ada pelbagai imej yang terpaksa kita hadapi. Ada papan iklan yang didirikan sehinggakan anak mata kita tidak dapat mengelak melainkan memandang atau membaca iklan […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • February 6, 2006

Aunties In Agony

By Rebecca Duckett Penang playwright Mark Beau de Silva must have found his latest women characters from the Sunday market crowd: ordinary women who come along to the SPCA fair volunteering behind the stalls, women chatting on the benches along Gurney Drive in the mornings. They are not young but are dressed up gaily, with […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • February 3, 2006

Gated Garden Variety

By Andrew Hwang Very few things romance the egalitarian Malaysian public as seductively as free gifts from public-listed companies. When YTL Corporation Berhad (YTL) celebrated its 50th Anniversary, the public was offered free tickets to a series of concerts (13-17 Dec 2005) which were held at KL Performing Arts Center (KLPac). To make it more […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • January 25, 2006

Not In The Mood

By Jerome Kugan I have nothing against the Chinese. After all, I myself am half chink. But every now and then, I think of how the Chinese community in Malaysia (as do other races in their own way) default to their 5,000-year-old continuous history’s worth of identity so self-assuredly when asked what it means to […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • January 18, 2006

Crawl, Wriggle, Squirm, Walk, Run, Jump!

By Revathi Murugappan “My mother told me I was very good at art, singing and dancing so she wanted me to be an artiste like her. But my life changed after I contracted polio,” says Manri Kim, the youngest and tenth child of Honju Kim, a Korean traditional dancer. Polio eventually led to Manri’s paralysis […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • January 18, 2006

The Gospel of Rock

By Azmyl Yunor It was interesting to see if the Street Roar Independent Music Festival 2006 could be translated effectively from its Petaling Street origins to the idyllic lake-side setting of KLPac. The context of the event, being held a week to day of the dumbfounding raid at Paul’s Place on New Year’s Eve, was […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • January 17, 2006

“Kami Tak Minum Darah Kambing!”

By Rafil Elyas About two weeks before the cops hunted down satanic elements at Paul’s Place, I accepted this assignment from Kakiseni to review Rock The World 6 (17 Dec 2005, Stadium Merdeka) and unwittingly exposed myself to some potentially dangerous music. At that time, I had neglected to check if any of the bands […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • January 16, 2006

Yang Berat Dan Yang Hitam

By Hishamuddin Rais Tahun 2005 berakhir dengan nota yang kurang menyenangkan. Apa yang saya maksudkan ini bukan kerana kegagalan bursa saham melonjak tetapi penangkapan hampir 500 anak-anak muda yang sedang merayakan pesta tahun baru di sebuah kelab muzik – Paul’s Place – di Jalan Klang Lama. Mereka dikatakan sebagai penganut/peminat muzik genre Black Metal. Saya […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • January 12, 2006

Black Mental Nation

By Pang Khee Teik Rafil Elyas, 39, engineer, builder of mathematical models and rock musician, wasn’t playing at the ill-fated New Year’s Eve concert at Paul’s Place that was raided. But he was outraged all the same. So, with some help from the Centre for Independent Journalism, he organised a press conference at Paul’s Place […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • January 11, 2006

Teater Saat Akhir

By Zulkifli Mohamad Saya menjadi Lipas Kudung selama 5 hari kerana nak menonton Teater Melayu. Apa tidaknya, ada tiga festival yang berlangsung dalam minggu yang sama: Festival Teater Wilayah Persekutuan 2005 di Taman Budaya Kuala Lumpur pada 17-21 Disember Empat Drama di Stor Teater DBP pada 19-22 Disember Minggu Teater ASK yang menampilkan empat monolog […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • January 9, 2006

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 […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • December 30, 2005

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 […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • December 30, 2005

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 […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • December 30, 2005

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 […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • December 29, 2005

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. […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • December 23, 2005

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 […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • December 23, 2005

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 […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • December 22, 2005

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 […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • December 21, 2005

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 […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • December 15, 2005

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 […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • December 15, 2005

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 […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • December 15, 2005

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 […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • December 15, 2005

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 […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • December 9, 2005

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 […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • December 9, 2005

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 […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • December 7, 2005

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 […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • December 2, 2005

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 […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • December 2, 2005

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 […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • December 1, 2005

The Undanced Heroes of Malaysia

By Kakiseni Two years ago, French human resource consultant Cyril Rayer took a sabbatical – to “leave the analytical approach to work” and to capture instead the meaning of work through photography – to travel through Asia. Starting at Iran, he visited factories, studios, stages, places of worship, farms, NGOs and even political parties, finally […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • November 24, 2005

Trust Me

By Ray Langenbach (Ir)reversible Déjà vu I used to spend weekend mornings in Singapore with a friend, Lee Weng Choy, watching formulaic Hollywood flicks. Seeing the same actors appear in film after film left us with an eerie sense of déjà vu. One day following two hours of the usual fare, we devised a game. […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • November 17, 2005

Jit vs Afdlin

By Jit Murad & Afdlin Shauki Jit Murad: There’s a knife in my back Here’s another important Message to the World. Dramalab has decided to restage Jit Happens, my one-man show. Jit Happens Again or something. More of the same, certainly, but such sterling sameness. But still, why do another run of Jit Happens if […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • November 17, 2005

Noise For The Ringtone Generation

By Azmyl Yunor Penang-born Goh Lee Kwang deserves his due credit in the “Malaysia Boleh” rhetoric; he has toured Europe in 2004 (“Europe Pleasures Tour”) way before the Siti-hype at Carnegie Hall. Along with fellow sound/ visual/ installation recluses Klang-born-Melbourne-based Yeoh Yin Pin, Tham Kar Mun and Yandsen Yong, they have received accolades internationally for […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • November 17, 2005

Negara-who?

By Shanon Shah Music and sports. You gotta love the possible permutations of controversy that emerge when the two meet. Last year, there was unprecedented media coverage of Janet Jackson’s lack of coverage at the Superbowl. This year, some of our MPs wanted to send popular singer Hattan to bed without any broth for allegedly […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • November 17, 2005

Memoirs of a Banana

By Cheryl Tan “A Chinese Make Love Story.” What does that mean, exactly? The programme synopsis says the play “explores the very issue which plagues every Malaysian. When is a Chinese not Chinese enough?” Strangely, this seems to be the tone of the musical The Girl from Ipoh (9-13, Nov 2005, KLPac). Bridget Jones meets […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • November 17, 2005

Kak Endon, 1940 – 2005

By Faridah Merican & Joe Hasham What can be written about Kak Endon that hasn’t already been read, digested and wept over time and again? She was destined to leave an indelible mark on our lives and it’s difficult to express the impact this wonderfully passionate woman has had on many of us. Her legacy […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • November 10, 2005

A Theatrical Bermuda Triangle

By Jeremy Mahadevan German playwright Falk Richter’s Electronic City is meant to be chaotic or, as the programme would have it, “a panic-stricken farce from the inner world of contemporary busyness.” Consequently it’s full of people running around, bumping into each other, falling over and booming from the rooftops. And it has the potential to […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • November 10, 2005

Who’s Shitting in My Backyard?

By Erick Chiew Bravery in Broga I stay in Puchong. Some time back, I was asked to sign a petition protesting the building of an incinerator nearby. I asked the person holding the petition form, “How do you know the incinerator is bad?” She said it’s because her boss said so. I asked her again, […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • October 27, 2005

Hari-hari Mawi

By Zulkifli Mohamad Nama Mawi kian menjadi satu nama yang tidak asing lagi di dalam arena seni suara tanahair. Wajahnya yang tenang bermata kuyu “steamy eyes” itu sering mengisi ruang akhbar. Suka tidak suka, itulah hakikatnya. Asmawi Ani yang dikenal sebagai Mawi lahir dari sebuah keluarga berketurunan Jawa di Felda Taib Andak di Johar, antara […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • October 27, 2005

Croatian Idol

By Lisa Ho Franz Liszt was classical piano’s first idol. He took the European musical world by storm in the 19th century. With formidable technique at the piano (and in bed) and personal charisma, he left women swooning and men trembling after his concerts. He had fantastic hair too. Ivo Pogorelich, who gave a recital […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • October 25, 2005